Wednesday, January 16, 2013

James Hoban's Food Review

Hoban's Burger

James Hoban's: A Taste of Home

I know James Hoban's best for hosting GAA hurling (the oldest field sport in the world) on its many TV screens; but the Dupont Circle eatery/Irish pub makes some mean grub too (their fish and chips are out of this world.) But what about DC Outlook's favorite sandwich, the hamburger? We gave it a go, over a late lunch yesterday.

Irish pubs get a bad rap, if you ask me. Back home, pubs are just as much about the food (if not more so) than the drink. James Hoban's is attractive and modern, without feeling too corporate. I wouldn't go so far as to label it "authentic," but it's hard not to feel comfortable there.

The lunch rush had long since passed when I arrived just after 2:00 PM, so I had no trouble securing a good table and top notch service. This time of day bodes well for customers, as I had not one but two servers fawning over me. I ordered a Hoban's Burger (8 oz. Angus beef on a kaiser roll) with fries for just a tenner. My burger arrived in under 10 minutes, cooked perfectly with a nice char. It needed salt & pepper, but I was pretty happy. The bun was nice, but started to fall apart towards the end. Kudos for perfect placement of lettuce, onions & three tomatoes at the bottom, where they belong. Fries were well done, generous in number, but light on flavor.

The bar area was plenty appealing, but I still prefer the better lit dining area. Music was nice (mostly Irish or Irish-inspired) and the restrooms were spotless! Coupled with terrific service, I couldn't ask for a more enjoyable lunch.

Atmosphere: B+
Burger: B (Solid. Add seasoning, a slightly larger bun and it jumps to a B+)
Fries: C+ (A little too done for me.)
Service: A-
Value: B ($10 + a tip in a real restaurant? Yes, please!)
Overall: B (Not exactly home, but closer than most.)