Monday, November 18, 2013

Murphy's of DC Food Review II

Charbroiled Hamburger with Cottage Fries

Round 2 at Murphy's of DC, this time for a burger and cottage fries (more on those, later.) I arrived during Happy Hour (Monday through Friday, 4-7 PM) but couldn't find the "luck of the Irish." For starters, I missed 1/2 price burgers by one day (Tuesdays 5-10 PM.) No worries: At least I had my choice of appetizers for half-price. Hmm... not so fast. The hostess literally covered up more than half the options on my menu with her fingers, and said, "except for these." And to think it went downhill from there...

It was pretty crowded inside; so I asked for a table on their patio overlooking 24th Street. It didn't take long to regret my decision: First, the old, plastic tablecloth was dirty. Second, the chain smoker at the next table was on the first of her three cigarettes. Lastly, no less than three employees were cackling in private conversation, in between spats of coughing... just inches away from yours truly. Great atmosphere? Check!

Thankfully, my server (Grace) was friendly and professional (something of a rarity here, I'm afraid.) I placed an order for a Diet Coke ($3) and a Charbroiled Hamburger ($9) with cottage fries. FYI, the online menu says $7.95. I waited almost 10 minutes... during which time, I inhaled enough secondhand smoke to kill a moose. Not sure how outdoor terraces missed the smoking ban; but here's hoping they close the loophole soon.

My burger arrived; and I couldn't help but notice four cottage fries occupying the majority of the plate. Sadly, there was no ketchup at my table to dress them properly. I ate one and a half; and even that was a stretch. As for the burger... no salt, no flavor. The meat was MEDIUM-RARE, not MEDIUM as ordered; and my bun was ice cold with zero char. The best part? Nice lettuce. Not exactly the "Burger of Champions," is it? The icing on the cake? A flat soda, with a dirty lemon wedge on top. Nice!

I couldn't wait to get out of here. In fact, I have no idea why anyone would come here in the first place. It's pretty gross, and far from cheap. I had a better time back in June, when I stopped by for an Irish breakfast; and even that was OK at best. More than $17 for a bad burger, worse fries and a flat soda. What's Irish about that? Nothing.

Atmosphere: F (Gross.)
Burger: D (Undercooked, cold bun.)
Fries: F (These fries give cottages a bad name.)
Service: C+ (Primary server was nice. Only positive.)
Value: F (Happy Hour food specials are a joke. Menu is expensive, given the low quality.)
Overall: F (I'll never come back. Worst eatery in Woodley Park.)