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Tom Sietsema Awards Eamonn's and TNT Bar Two Stars

Tom Sietsema gets his drink on for this week's review of Eamonn's a Dublin Chipper and TNT Bar, the Arlington offshoot of Cathal Armstrong and Todd Thrasher's original Eamonn's and PX in Alexandria. Yes, the Washington Post critic quaffs TNT Bar's infamous $17 cocktail, which he deems "dynamite." And it seems the drinks go a long way toward Sietsema's two star award to both establishments, since he questions the amount of fry at Eamonn's in everything from the entrees to dessert:

"Almost everything but the ice cream cone involves a candy bar and a deep-fryer, and chances are I've already had my month's allotment of crisped food after just one stop at Eamonn's. More often than not, I'll return to the cocktail list -- you know, for research purposes -- to ferret a fresh favorite from the collection."

Although he dreams of a salad and non-plastic utensils, Sietsema does like the twice-fried chicken wings, shepherd's pie, and chips drizzled with curry sauce. As for the Eamonn's Dream Burger piled with two beef patties, turkey, salami, bacon, ketchup and mayonaise, Sietsema calls it a "frat house joke." At Bar TNT, he falls in love with the Pink Shadow Cat and Thymes Like These, and duly notes Todd Thrasher's propensity to wear glow-in-the-dark Kiss T-shirts. [WaPo]

Nevin Martell checks in at the new grab 'n' go spot Bean & Bite for the Post, breaking it down thusly: "Think of Bean & Bite as Pret A Manger with heartier portions." He liked the baked goods, but gave the sandwiches the highest billing: "Your focus should be the praiseworthy sandwiches, built with bread from Sterling's Baguette Republic and Uptown Bakers in Hyattsville. The chicken and avocado ($6.75) is laid down in a chewy baguette trough along with chopped tomato and lettuce from local farms, then modestly seasoned with salt and pepper. At first I was put off by its humble approach, but before I knew it, it had been nibbled to its last nubbin." [WaPo]

Fritz Hahn gamely checks out the new happy hour at Clarendon Whole Foods for the Post this week, assessing it a great deal for beers like Dogfish Head Punkin or DC Brau if you don't mind the salad bar view: "Clarendon has no shortage of happy hour options, but if people can get past the "Oh my God, I'm drinking at Whole Foods" feeling, I can see this being quite popular." [WaPo]

Young & Hungry treks to Bethesda for fancy $1 happy hour tater tots at Food & Wine Co., judging them better than the average tot: "These ones are plump, crisp, and juicy—filled with heavy helpings of Gruyere and parsley—and served with a side of homemade ketchup with a kick of Sriracha. The sauce is somewhat unnecessary; these tater tots don't need anything other than themselves to satisfy." [WCP]

Best Bites files reports from recent dinners at Spices in Cleveland Park and Ray's the Third in Arlington, and at Woodberry Kitchen in Baltimore, which they judged as still a must-eat destination: "Our table became cluttered with terrific snacks: cucumbers seasoned with fish pepper, crab dip with a shot of sherry, a crisp salad of charred sugar-snap peas. Excellent desserts—from a blackberry meringue pie to a marshmallow-and-malt sundae—helped make the meal one of the best we've had here. " [Washingtonian]

THE BLOGS: DC-Wrapped Dates recommends the namesake mussels at St. Arnolds in Cleveland Park; Bitches Who Brunch award a B+ to Juniper at the Fairmont Hotel.

Adele Chapin

[Photo: R. Lopez]

Ray’s³ [Ray's To The Third]

1650 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22201 703 841 7297

Eamonn's & TNT Bar

2413 Columbia Pike, Arlington, VA, 22204