Top 10 Places For a Cold Brew Around the Sound

Do you find yourself getting bored of hanging out at the same neighborhood bar, just around the corner form your apartment? Try something different next time your in the mood for a change of scenery, and check out one of the local favorites around the city of Seattle. Seattle Weekly has compiled an extensive list of fun and funky places to order a brew and watch a Sounders game, or play a round of shuffleboard or pool with your friends. Check out the list below, and please offer your suggestions: any additional watering holes that MUST be on this list?

Canterbury Ale & Eats – This Capitol Hill dive is a place where you can truly eat, drink and be merry. The exterior resembles a medieval castle with a full suit of armor to greet you at the door. Once inside diners have endless options of pub grub and a full bar, with shuffleboard, pool tables, a number of large flat screen TVs playing whatever games are on that night of the week, and a jukebox full of all the classics.

Al’s Tavern– This Wallingford favorite is easy to miss on NE 45th Street, but those who have been in a time or two since it’s opening 7 decades ago will tell you they come back for the old school charm, and cheap good eats. Al’s is a cash only dive, with cheap burgers pints and stiffs, and prices haven’t changed much since it’s opening long ago. Al’s has a jukebox and pool tables for entertaining.

Targy’s Tavern– Who knows if the rumors ring true, but Targy’s is said to be one of the first bars in town to have opened after Prohibition went out the window. Located on Queen Anne Hill, Targy’s is away from the busy ave, but neighborhood locals will flock here for a relaxing brew or a stiff drink, and hit the dart boards or catch a game with the guys. They have a very happy happy hour from 4-7 Monday-Saturday, and all day Sunday, $2.50 bottles, and $3.50 drafts.

Twilight Exit– Can you really say anything bad about a great Central District bar that cures it’s own bacon? Twilight has a great beer selection, and happy hour with $1.50 PBRS til 8pm, and you’ll find an array of games in the back area from Ms. Pac Man to Buck Hunter, and shuffleboard. When the weather pick up again, there is ping pong out back

Hattie’s Hat– While wandering down the main strip of Ballard Ave, you’ve likely passed Hattie’s, and it’s pretty much stayed the same since they served the first brew back in 1904. They no longer open at 6am to cater to the graveyard dockworkers, but they do have two nice happy hours from 3-7 and 10-midnight, and brunch on the weekends.

 

Best Seattle Bars to Watch the Olympics

If you’ve been keeping up with any of the Olympics this year, you’ve probably noticed that there is quite a handful of local Washingtonians representing the United States, as well as other countries at the London games this year. Our state is represented by hot shot swimmer Nathan Adrian,  Basketball Star Sue Bird, and Adrienne Martelli in women’s rowing. If you’ve been busy outside enjoying the sunshine, or holed up at work during prime Olympic hours, we’ve got a handful of local neighborhood bars that are playing the games non-stop through August 12th, so you can catch team USA in action.

If you’re in Capitol Hill the newest sports bar in town 95 Slide open from 2-2, and the bar is planning on having food and drink specials during major Olympic events such as the basketball finals. If you’d like to feel like you’re in London, hit up one of the  sister English pubs, in Ballard the Market Arms or George and Dragon (operated by the same English owner). Spit Fire and Buckley’s in Belltown will have specials during popular Olympic events, and Spitfire will be hosting a closing ceremony party, similar to the big event they had on opening night. Come on out and experience the Olympic tradition, and success of team USA with your neighboring sports fans through August 12th!

Maple Leaf Coffee Shop Opens Sister Store In Queen Anne

If you’re a fan of Maple Leaf’s Cloud City Coffee, you’ll be pleased to know that the owners have swooped up a storefront in Queen Anne- the El Diablo Coffee Company!

The 12 year old Queen Anne coffee shop was purchased last week by Jill Killen, owner of the Maple Leaf shop she started 10 years ago. El Diablo will have the same baristas, and staff as it had before, and will host the same menu focusing on Cuban food and drinks. Killen plans to expand the menu, offering some of the favorites from her Cloud City store like morning glory muffins, and various breakfast and made-to-order lunch sandwiches. The drink menu will also undoubtedly expand to offer a full espresso bar and chai tea. If you’re looking for a new caffeine fix, find out all of Killen’s plans for El Diablo here.

Seattle Spoke & Food Event Tonight

It may appear to be a dreary wet morning, but that shouldn’t stop any diehard Seattleite from going out tonight  for the third annual Seattle spoke & food event! Grab your raincoat and bike to one of the participating restaurants between 6-10pm tonight, and 20% of your bill will be donated to the FamilyWorks food bank and resource center. FamilyWorks is a Seattle based food bank that intends to nourish and strengthen local families by connecting them with the support, resources, and community they need.

The restaurants participating in the event tonight seem to be spread all over the major neighborhoods in Seattle, so if you live in and around the city, you shouldn’t have trouble finding one near you. Participating restaurants include Serious Pie on South Lake Union, St Clouds in Madrona, The Shelter in Ballard, Julia’s in Capitol Hill, Stumbling Goat Bistro in Phinney, Emmer & Rye in Queen Anne, and Duke’s on Green Lake among others. For a bike map of participating restaurants, or for more information click here.

The Ruins – Seattle’s Best Kept Secret – The Way He Wanted It

The Ruins Seattle Outside

The Ruins from the Street

The Ruins Seattle

A Horse of Course

The Ruins Seattle

Orchid in Dining Room

I recently had the chance to go to one of Seattle’s great restaurants: The Ruins.  Located at the base of Queen Anne near Mercer Street and Aurora Avenue, not a place to hide, but that is what this private restaurant has done from most of Seattle since it opened in 1993.  And that is how Joe McDonnal, who opened the restaurant with his partner in business and life, Virginia Wyman, wanted it.  The Ruins website proudly states “Seattle’s Best Kept Secret.”

When I was invited to The Ruins recently (inquire about membership to The Ruins here), I had no idea Joe McDonnal, 79, was very sick with pneumonia in Palm Springs, CA.  Mr. McDonnal passed away on January 31st.  During his lifetime, he not only created The Ruins, a restaurant as well as a base for catering and a place to host weddings and corporate events, Mr. McDonnal was a mentor to many of Seattle’s restaurateurs.  Both Ethan Stowell, who owns four Seattle restaurants including Anchovies and Olives, and Joanne Herron, who opened the French bistros Le Pichet and Cafe Presse, worked under and were encouraged by Mr. McDonnal.

Mr. McDonnal is survived by his “unmarried spouse” of 32 years, Virginia Wyman, his sister Maribel Cadmus, and his brothers Bill and Fred.

Esquire Magazine Names Seattle Restaurants in Top 10

Canlis

Canlis

Esquire ranks Seattle the 10th best restaurant city in America.  In the introduction it says if you want seafood go to Seattle’s restaurants and in the details it credits the Pike Place Market (and local vineyards) for giving our restaurants access to the ingredients to make great meals.  The article specifically mentions Queen Anne‘s Canlis; Downtown Seattle‘s Dahlia Lounge and Etta’s Seafood; Ballard‘s Ray’s Boathouse; Kirkland‘s Cafe Juanita; Pioneer Square’s Salumi; and Capitol Hill‘s Anchovies and Olives.

Some are classic Seattle restaurants, some are newer, but all had a part to helping Seattle to be ranked in the top 10 for best restaurant cities.

Is Canlis Expensive?

CanlisThe other day I was out and someone brought up Canlis Restaurant, which I believe is the best restaurant in Seattle.  There are many restaurants that I enjoy, but to me, when it comes to ambiance, food, and service, there is none better.  The discussion about Canlis that night had varied opinions, but no one could sway mine.  Then the inevitable argument against Canlis came up: “But it is so expensive.” I realize the economy is struggling, so my argument is much weaker than before.  Nevertheless I argued, as I have for years, that Canlis is not expensive, at least in comparison to other top Seattle restaurants.  So this time, I decided to back up my assertion with a simple search.

I personally love to order the New York or Filet Mignon at Canlis, thus I thought I would see how their steaks compare to other restaurants where I have enjoyed a great steak.  The competition was chosen from memory with relative ease: Daniel’s, The Met, and El Gaucho.  I know I am leaving out some great steak houses, but these were the first that came to mind.  When I checked each of their websites, I found the following:

Restaurant New York Filet Mignon
Canlis $48 $48
Daniel’s $44 $45
The Met $48 $49
El Gaucho $59 * $45

* 14 oz steak

Some of the restaurants stated the size of the cut, others did not.  I cannot remember what sides come with a steak in one restaurant versus another.  And like I said, I only compared the price of two different steaks and nothing else on the menu.  But to me, this proves my point that Canlis is not expensive when contrasting it to what I think are comparable restaurants……but really does any restaurant compare to Canlis?