Monday, July 5, 2010

Star and the Shamrock

after another failed attempt at making it to biergarten haus (they weren't open for weekday lunch yet at this point but apparently, now they are), we decided to head two doors down to star and the shamrock for lunch. omg. did i mention that star and the shamrock is another H Street Wonder?!? clearly. gosh, i might have a slight obsession with H street. I really don't think it's a big problem. Well maybe it's a little problem, but who is keeping track?

star and the shamrock features food that is very unique but the name explains it all. the restaurant refers to itself more as a "tavern and deli" and it features both irish and jewish cuisine. the restaurant definitely has a very nice irish pub ambiance with its hardwood floors, brown wood tables and chairs and overall warm and welcoming appealing.

when you walk into the restaurant, you do get a little overwhelmed by the HUGE wrap around bar takes up a lot of space. I think this is both a bad and a good thing because it takes up a large amount of space that could have been used for more additional "restaurant" seating, but because it also wants to retain the feel of the pub, the huge bar plays to an advantage.

there was a large group of us and on a 95 degree DC day in the shade, we were just thrilled to be in a nice air conditioned location. they accommodated our large party very quickly but on this "holiday", the restaurant was relatively empty so it could not have been an issue to begin with.

S & S has 10 beers on tap and about 20 specialty bottles. they also have a nice selection (judging from the menu) of scotch, whiskey, bourbon and they also offer wine and specialty cocktails. so essentially, they have a nice full bar but also stocked with some specialty irish and jewish items.

various BOOF buddies tried the hebrew messiah bold, hebrew genesis ale, brooklyn lager, and guiness. the guiness was standard so onto the newbies. the messiah bold is a dark stout beer but it is actually much lighter in body then expected, definitely tasty the hebrew genesis tastes like a standard ale but it was still very good. the brooklyn lager was also really good but let's be serious, i don't think a bad beer comes out of brooklyn brewery.

onto the food. S & S has already made themselves known as a sandwich place and they definitely live up to the hype. i will be honest and say that I was a very poor photog of this meal but no biggie. i can describe it well. :-)

we started off with the curly fries and the onion rings. Although each cost $6.50 which is a bit pricey between the 10 of us, they fed everyone. both were really good. I love me some curly fries...who doesn't? These were seasoned very well as were the onion rings and although onion rings are not my fried appetizer of choice, these were ample sized and fried well.

some of the sandwiches we ordered. all of the sandwiches are pretty large, so most of the group ended up splitting their sandwiches. a couple of buddies got The Concord which was fried bologna, american cheese, ketchup and griddle sourdough. I used to loveeee fried bologna sandwiches so it was a nice surprise to see it on a menu. the buddies who had this enjoyed it and said that it was simple, classic but the sourdough bread definitely gave it a nice flavor as much the rest of the sandwich is definitely full of salty seasoning.

Other buddies ordered The Clogger which is a hot beef brisket, provolone, bacon, gravy, garlic butter, mayonnaise on a kaiser roll. they also the said that the sandwich was very tasty but as you can see, all of these sandwiches tend to be a heavy which is both a good thing because you are full and feel as though you got your money's worth but you are also very very full. with this sandwich, the mayo (although i am not a proponent of mayo), was definitely necessary to balance of the heaviness of the brisket, bacon, and gravy. still very good.

Some other buds ordered the McTuna Melt which is a house-made tuna salad sandwich topped with hot peppers, melted cheddar and rye bread. i debated on getting this because it was one of the two vegetarian/pescatarian friendly sandwiches on the menu. the buds who had this sandwich said it was really good and when they said, melted cheddar...they are not kidding. this sandwich was definitely more of an open face sandwich as the top layer was just melted cheddar. it looked yummy and a bit overwhelming all at the same time. however, the flavor of the tuna salad was good and the hot peppers definitely gave the sandwich a nice kick which is something that was kind of missing from the other two sandwiches.

The last BOOF buddies ordered the Turkey # 2 which is a hot, house roasted turkey with muenster cheese, bacon, mayonnaise and sourdough. this is definitely a sandwich that if I wasn't a veggie, I would be nomming hardcore on this badboy. the muenster cheese was definitely the staple to this sandwich because it gave it a sharp flavor that definitely took this standard turkey and bacon sandwich to another different level. you might see a sandwich such as this typically with provolone or american cheese but the muenster fit in perfectly and was a well welcomed addition.

I really can't remember if anything else was consumed (i kind of think someone may have gotten a reuben) but that is standard. I ordered the Latke Madness but to make it vegetarian (and better, i think) I asked for no hot corned beef (which I think is pretty gross to begin with). I was really pleased with this sandwich as it had 3 potato pancakes, griddled sauerkraut, swiss and russian dressing on it. This sandwich clearly did not need any bread because it was made up of potato pancakes and I was pleased with it's taste. Surprisingly enough, the sandwich was not too salty and the pancakes were cooked well and were tasty. Rather then having the consistency of the familiar latke, it stacked more like a potato burger pattie. I think that if the latkes would have been more of a standard shape and size, it definitely would have really been madness. all in all, it was still really tasty and i would eat it again. once again though, super heavy.

all in all, we had a really good trip to S & S. If you are looking for a nice twist on an original sandwich, then S & S is definitely your place. the meat is super fresh and brined, cured and roasted on site which is also pretty sweet. the seasonings were good and each sandwich definitely had its own unique identity. the restaurant is something different which is always welcomed and fits perfectly in the H Street neighborhood. I am docking them because of their lack of veggie friendly items and also although the sandwiches were good and unique, they were not the best you've ever had...just pretty good. Nevertheless, if you want a filling and relatively decently priced sandwich and beer, this is definitely your place. And you never know, they may eventually even know your name (yes, i just referenced Cheers, no big deal).

Grade: B

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