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Murphy's Irish Pub, Local Chain in Old Town Alexandria and Virginia Beach - DC Branch Has Closed


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Murphy's, as you can imagine, was packed after the Scottish parade yesterday. We got there just as the parade was ending, meaning we were still able to secure a table downstairs to enjoy lunch, live music, and many pints of Guinness.

Murphy's really deserves a shout out for its fish and chips. Not so much the chips, but the fish is really good. IIRC it was only $6.95 or $7.95. Two healthy fillets of cod, I believe. Here's why they're so good. The batter is crisp and light and stays crisp. It also adheres perfectly to the fish fillet and doesn't get mealy.

Good stuff, and they pour a proper pint. More than one if you ask, too! biggrin.gif

Edited by DonRocks
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Murphy's has an Irish stew that really warms one up on a very cold day. Big pieces of meat and vegetables and a good gravy.

I was about to make this very comment when I saw the topic, but seeing as I've been beaten to it, I'll give it a hearty second. One of my +1's favorites when the need for something "good for you" strikes. Can't beat a bowl of that stew, paired with a Guiness, at a table close to the roaring fire (which is usually lit from logs stacked so high they defy gravity).

(Now the musical entertainment on the other hand...usually leaves something to be desired - but it is exactly what you'd expect)
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Yes, I know what is directly across the street from Murphy's, but there was no choice in the matter. Black Sheep had a friend in town she hasn't seen since our wedding day 15 years ago and Murphy's was more conducive to hanging out and catching up with pints and fish and chips.

On a rainy night, the fire at Murphy's was quite pleasant. Happy hour pints of Guinness are just $3 and the price goes up to $5 afterwards. The fish and chips price went up $8.95, I recall, but the quality has diminished. Particularly because of the potatoes. Instead of serving french fries as they used to do, they're now slicing whole rounds of potato about an inch thick and frying them. They're terrible. I nibbled on half of one chip and the rest just went back to the kitchen. I mentioned it to our server who indicated that next time just order it with french fries, which they still have. Whatever you do, confirm what potatoes will come with whatever you order there.

Murphy's really is a nice place to hang out. It can be crowded and the tables are pretty tight, but it's not uncomfortable by any means. And the live music can be nice, too, but if it all of a sudden became criminal to perform Wild Rover and the Unicorn Song, you'd get no complaints from me.

We did, however, make it over to Eamonn's for dessert where the three of us split a deep fried Snickers and a deep fried Milky Way. I just wish there was a way to sneak their fish and chips into Murphy's!

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I also have had many a pint at Murphy's and always gone their after the Scottish Christmas Walk (this year on Dec 2nd) http://www.scottishchristmaswalk.com/scw06index.htm Generally, as a member of the St Andrew's Society, I am walking near the head of the parade and then run back and join the Johnston Clan.

I like the fish here, but the stew really hits the spot on a cold night, with a chair by the fire.

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House guest wanted to take us out for dinner along with his daughter and son-in-law. We wanted somewhere that the football watchers could watch the game but the food was good and we could still have a conversation. And the son-in-law had commented that he had not had a good burger since moving to Alexandria. So we suggested Murphy's. Now I have only been in town for four months and this was our third trip there, and will not be our last.

Murphy's Grand Irish Pub ( http://www.murphyspub.com/ ) has three locations, we goto the one in Old Town Alexandria at 713 King Street. We were seated right away, the tables are pretty close together but staggered in a why to give more privacy then you would expect. The wait staff is wonderful, attentive but not in the way. They refilled water multiple times, checked on food quality, and to see if we wanted refills. We did have the wrong specials list in our menu so had to change my mind on what I wanted.

We started with beer, hard cider (Hornsby's) and some breaded mozzarella sticks, which all got there quickly. They would get extra points if they had a better cider on tap but at least they have cider.

Son-in-law and I both had the charbroiled Murphy Burger (6oz burger with Canadian bacon and melted provolone) with cottage fries. They asked how we wanted it done (both medium rare) and WOW were they good. Juicy, rich, flavorful, sturdy bun. Just how I like a burger to be. There was disagreement about the cottage fries (thick sliced potatoes fried) - some liked and others didn't. Daughter had a baked potato, our guest had the Beer-battered fish & chips which he really liked - batter was good, fish was tender, not too 'friey'. Pooch had the blackened rock fish special - fish was tender but the blackening overpowered the fish. We decided to have dessert, though in hind site that made us all pretty stuffed. Apple crisp was amazingly wonderful, chocolate cake and bailey's Irish cake were both quite satisfying for the chocolate people and but the pecan pie was okay but not exceptional.

Dinner for 5 was $110 with tip

We have had the Sunday brunch in the past - quite good, and Tuesday is half price burger night from 4-9pm

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Sigh.  I worked at Murphy's off and on over 4 years in the late 80s/early 90s.  I worked every Saturday night for years and usually had a blast.  It was such a cash cow for the owners that they didn't seem to mind that we drank the bar nearly dry after closing.  I had more than a few nights of stumbling out the door Sunday morning and being surprised the sun was up.    It was not a great bar but a very familiar one.  Because of the nearby hotels and apartment buildings you would get a really weird mix of regulars, tourists, and conventioneers (the tour buses full of German tourists being the worst, those cheap bastards).  Great group of people working there, some still friends to this day despite my not having lived in DC for years.  Slainte to PJ and the rest of the crew.

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