Fado, in DC’s Chinatown, looks like a little Irish village stuffed into a storefront. There are cobbles on the floor, for cripes sake, and the chairs and tables look like something a druid threw together so he and his buddies could have a nice dinner before trooping off to Stonehenge for a little ceremonial soiree.
It’s like Disney with beer. Okay, I realize Disney has beer. I mean Disney with beer, good food, and no cartoon characters to interrupt your meal. And Fado sponsors the local Gaellic football team- represent!
When you get right down to it, the Irish drink like pros. They probably eat only to accompany the scads of yummy beer and ale that they slurp down- why else would they be famous for Guinness, which is the world’s most perfect food? Fado knows this, which is why they have GOOD beer on tap: Boddingtons, Newcastle, Smithwicks, Harp as well as Guinness. But the reason I get excited about Fado is that they also have draft Strongbow- hard cider that I used to love when I was a student at Oxford. You don’t find that everywhere.
The food is good and they make an effort to be authentic. Sure they have quesdadillas but they’re made with a boxty pancake- apparently an Irish potato pancake- and the wings are made Guinness, yo. They also have bangers & mash, shepherd’s pie, corned beef and cabbage, and fish and chips. And several types of boxties- one with blackened shrimp and chicken because you need to give the kids something they know, and frankly Irish food is linked in antiquity with England as being the heaviest, greasiest, blandest cuisine in the world.
But the really cool thing is the desserts. They don’t do cheesecake- too ubiquitous- but they are guilty of the brownie sundae. But they make up for it by topping it with Guinness ice cream. The bread pudding is topped with brown bread ice cream. You can also just get a dish of the stuff with orange slices and whipped yuck. It’s described in the menu thus:
whipped through vanilla ice cream and drizzled with caramel sauce.
The pub trivia is fun, sure, but the food is amazing. One of my goals for 2006 is to sample everything on the menu- except for the blackened chicken boxty- that’s not on.
We went for pub trivia night, but I think I’m not wrong in saying that dessert was the highlight of the night. Unless you want to remember that Clark Gable’s first breaththrough role was making unshaven love to a braless Jean Harlow in Red Dust.