I went for happy hour (and more) yesterday. Wow. I am very impressed!
The negatives for me, was that it is full of hard surfaces (including uncomfortable chairs) so it is loud in there and it has communal tables (which I despise) but with happy hour being less crowded, it worked out fine.
The beer was terrific, all organic, and the attention to detail and pride in the craft is obvious. The servers were very knowledgable about the brew and gave us spot on advice. I ordered a summer ale that was really light, citrusy with delicate carbonation ...perfect for me as I am not a big fan of beer most days. I asked about a brew with ginger in it, the server steered me out of that one unless I was "committed" ...it is very gingery. I laughed and thanked her because we were ordering food and would, indeed, likely clash with our menu choice that day. The service was amazing, fast, informative, polite, friendly but not overly so- if that makes sense. My partner ordered a new beer, just out, and I can't remember the name. It was an IPA and was fragrant and medium bodied, a nice palate cleansing beer actually.
One order of Elote. Elote!!! In a northwest brew pub, let me think a minute....yes please. The grilled corn on a stick delight had a perfect char in spots, covered with a spicy chili crust and cotija cheese. It is served on a plate with fresh cole slaw. I hope they continue this through fall as it is perfect with the lighter ale's...and I don't have to just make it at home! 5 bucks.
One order of black bean dip and chips. I am hard to please with black beans as when they are poorly done (often), they taste like dirt...or worse...complete mush...or...a can. Not here! They were perfectly prepared, of medium mash, topped with avocado cream and topped again with fresh pico de gallo. Served in a good sized bowl with quality homemade fresh chips! The server let us know that we can ask for more chips if the dip outlasted them. It did not. 5 bucks.
Then we split a bacon bison burger. Now, I like bison and we often have it at home, butchered to spec from local farms. The grocery store bison is usually inferior so I hesitate to order it out. But, I took a chance. The bison burger was cooked perfectly, moist without being loaded with fat, bacon jam and blue cheese (Good call), arugula, on a nicely toasted poppyseed bakery bun. It is a fairly small sized burger in comparison to typical pub burgers, but perfect for me. Waffle fries. 13 bucks.
So far, this place gets my vote right now for the most creative, flavorful, thoughtfully prepared, best value, casual food in the 'ham. They truly designed the food around the brew. Someone put some serious thought into the menu. What an unexpected visit!
I am planning to take my Seattle "kids" there Saturday. I am curious as to the loudness level and crowd in there on a weekend. It might be bad. So, I will report back on that if it works out. I wish the seats were more comfy, they look cool. They are tall metal bar stools, the seat is made of a piece of flat wood... Not good for people without a lot of padding in the butt :)
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