Madison Park’s Attic Ale House & Eatery

The Attic has been a staple in Madison Park for over 50 years.  As their website says: ‘Your grandparents drank here, why not you?”  If The Attic was anything back then like it is now, they probably went to UW and drank beer / wine.  While The Attic probably has college students that hang out there, the Seattle restaurant / bar definitely has UW alum hang out there and if a Husky game is being played somewhere it will definitely by on several of their numerous televisions.  They also have 20+ beers on tap and several wines and while they have hard liquor you probably wouldn’t know it since it is hidden in the corner and rarely ordered.    Thus, it is probably the most appropriate to refer to the Seattle restaurant’s full name “The Attic Alehouse and Eatery” but that only explains the beer.   What about the eatery?

The Attic Seattle

Wings after I had a couple - I couldn't wait

Now, The Attic has a lot of good food.  Some swear by the taco salad, some love the breakfast, I am a huge fan of their wings.  Now, I have had wings at several restaurants around Seattle, but I think The Attic’s are the best.  I can’t really pinpoint why they are the best.  There is nothing too fancy about them.  They come with buffalo sauce, side of blue cheese, and a couple sticks of carrots and/or celery.   Maybe it is the smattering of sesame seeds or chives they put on top.  I am not sure how they cook wings in most restaurants, but in this Seattle haunt, they deep fry the wings.  Maybe that is the difference.  Either way, if you make your way to Madison Park then maybe make a stop and get some wings……and if you are looking for a late snack the wings taste especially good after 10 pm since the wings are $6 at Happy Hour which starts again at that time.

Seattle Restaurant: South Lake Union’s Re:public

re:public

re:public

re:public

re:public

I went to re:public restaurant and bar for lunch today with a group of friends to celebrate the Christmas Season.  Re:public is in South Lake Union on Westlake near the cross street of Republican.  It is located in a cool old brick building that has probably seen a 100 year of changes in the Lake Union neighborhood.  The inside of the Seattle restaurant shows off the brick and the beams of the old building.  The restaurant has a large bar and you could tell that place probably is packed at Happy Hour with all the people that work around there.  I asked my friends and they confirmed it.

The menu looked good.  Not too many items to pick from, which I like when the options are good.  The top of the menu had 3 or 4 salads to pick from, the middle of the menu had about 5 sandwiches, and the bottom of the menu had about 4 items for entrees.  I concentrated on the middle of re:public’s menu where they featured a Kobe burger, Kobe bacon burger, Reuben sandwich, crab melt, and I think a tuna salad.  They all looked good; and I was having trouble deciding between the bacon burger, Reuben, or crab melt.  I went for the crab melt on the condition that my wife ordered the Kobe bacon burger, so I could try it.  Then we started to order and after going around the table, 5 Kobe bacon burgers were ordered and one crab melt.

The crab melt was very good.  I have talked about my love of cheese before, but I have to admit, I often shy away from crab melts because, dare I say it, a lot of times they have too much cheese on them when I order them in restaurants in Seattle.  This crab melt was perfect: it was light on the cheese and I could taste the crab (which often gets drowned out).  It was served on grilled sourdough, and it looks like it was made in a Panini maker.  I order the side salad which was light, but good.

I was not impressed with the Kobe bacon burger.  The burgers came on those buttery type rolls, which looked good but the buns dwarfed the meat.  It seems they make their own patties at the Seattle restaurant, since the burgers were all shapes and sizes, but all on the small side.  The restaurant also overcooked nearly every burger – the largest one had a sliver of pink in the very middle.  The cheese was very light (unlike on my crab melt, I think this is a big mistake to go light with the cheese on a burger).  Finally, they came with two strips of bacon.  Although there was ketchup on the side, there was nothing else to add (tomato slice, lettuce, mustard, etc).  I do not know if that stuff was need or not, but just an observation.  Really the most disappointing thing about the burgers was their size and that they were overcooked.  I did not hear the waitress ask how to cook them, but maybe you could order the burgers medium rare and at least that issue would be solved.

I will say the burgers came with fries, and the fries were pretty good: salted with sea salt, cut thicker than say any fast food restaurant in Seattle, but not too thick.  And you could see the potato skin on the ends.  They kind of reminded me of Seattle’s famous Dick’s Drive-In fries but thicker.

It was my first time I was at re:public, since I do not make it down to South Lake Union for lunch very often, so I hate to judge the burgers so critically with one visit.  I guess all I am saying, is the Kobe bacon burger looks real tempting (5 out of 6 ordered it), make sure you order it the way you like it cooked and do not go with an empty stomach.

Happy Hour at Il Fornaio in Downtown Seattle

Il Fornaio Seattle

Il Fornaio Seattle

I went to the Il Fornaio restaurant in Downtown Seattle last night for their happy hour.  Their happy hour went until 6:30.  I do not know what my thoughts were of Il Fornaio before I got there.  I have been there before, but it’s in a mall (Pacific Place), it’s a chain from I presume California and I am a little prejudice against that whole situation.  So I entered from the street level and went upstairs to the bar area and it was packed.  A friend of mine had grabbed a table in the bar area.  We happened to be near a buffet table filled with free appetizers: bread with a spinach dip, bread with baked tomatoes and a slice of cheese, and crackers with baked brie.  (I was told the appetizers vary at happy hour depending on the day).  I ordered a beer which was $3 during happy hour, and then looked at the menu.  Everything was $5 on the happy hour food menu.  We ordered a pizza, which was their full size pizza with sausage etc.  Our other friend called and said he was on his way but he was going to miss happy hour so before 6:30 we ordered calamari and carpaccio (thinly sliced raw beef with thinly sliced parmesan cheese).  Out of the appetizers and the three things we ordered, my favorite was the carpaccio.

My friend thinks it may be the best happy hour in downtown Seattle and Belltown area.  I do not know if I agree, although I think you get a lot for what you pay for for a happy hour in Downtown Seattle.  Overall, it was a good experience and I would go again for happy hour.

Il Fornaio is in Downtown Seattle at the northwest corner of Pacific Place Mall and can be entered from the street.

Address: 600 Pine Street

Happy Hour: Monday-Friday 4:30-6:30