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Irish Waters

Update: Irish Waters is closed.

In a word: IdinnerodIrish it were better.

The specs: #0264
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; 30-second YouTube spot.

Brian ate the chicken diablo with a diet Pepsi.
JM ate the Limerick sirloin and clam chowder with a lemonade.
Nichole ate the fish and chips with a lemonade.
Lisa ate the taco salad.
The bill was $45, or $11.25/person, plus tip.
Brian gave Irish Waters an A; JM and Lisa gave Irish Waters a B; Nichole gave Irish Waters a C- (see our grading rubric).

Latest Irish Waters news and reviews

This was it. The last "I" in the Idinnerod. Brian and Lisa joined the adventure to this west-side bar/family dining establishment.

Irish Waters

JM and Nichole had been to Irish Waters in those dark pre-blog days when they had to decide where to go to eat. They had not chosen wisely that time. A simple lunch took forever and the waitress was surly. We hoped for better this time, and did get something moderately so.

Clam chowder and saladThe menu was broad and shallow, typical for a family restaurant. Sandwiches, salads, senior and kids' meals, and dinners that sometimes came with sides and sometimes didn't, and required some explaining. Our waitress called the menu "so stupid." In a funny, charming way.

One dish that stood out was Brian's chicken diablo, which was quite colorful and spicy. It consisted of chicken and penne in a cream sauce, topped with tortilla strips, tomatoes, onions, and parmesan (parmesan?) with Texas toast corners.


Lisa's taco salad came in 2, count 'em, 2 tortilla bowls, one corn and one flour. The salad was quite plentiful and fresh. The batter on Nichole's fried cod was tougher than ideal, and the fries and slaw fairly unremarkable.

Taco saladFish and chips

JM said his steak was average and didn't give him a particularly traditional steak mouth-feel. The plate was certainly dominated by the hash browns (a nod to Ireland's staple?) but the fresh melon was a nice touch.

Salisbury steak

Irish Waters seemed reasonably child-friendly, and the prices were cheap. Still, the best Nichole can say of it is it's better than the Taco Bell across the street.


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IW is worth it just for the clam chowder.

The picture of JM's gigantic hash browns was worth a thousand words. It was like, "huge hash, little steak." And I can't believe the taco salad came in two different tortilla bowls. Crazy!

"Irish it were better."


Little steak, yes... but the hashbrowns looked DELICIOUS. Please tell me they tasted as good as they looked. I love crispy, properly-seasoned hashbrowns with the same passion I have for French fries and hot, buttered toaste.

The has browns along the edges were indeed quite tasty and crispy, but I don't believe they were in any way seasoned. The spuds closest to the center were not as pleasant.

That's a darn shame. A little salt is good.

Hey, question: how much time do you two spend at any given meal? Do you always make time to linger and sip and nibble and talk so as to reflect further upon your experience in a restaurant? or do you often have to keep things short and sweet?

Generally we wolf and go, since this project is a compromise between very different ideas of how much time one should spend on food. (We never said we were great reviewers - just that eating A to Z increased marital harmony.)

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Listen to The Corner Table podcast "Remembering Restaurants," aired December 24, 2020, where Chris and Lindsay talk with us "about the menus and memories left behind when restaurants go away."

Madison Food coverInfo about our book Madison Food: A History of Capital Cuisine is here, or read it for free thanks to the library - print & ebook.



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