July 2019 Bar Bulletin
When in the affairs of working legal professionals there comes a time when daylight lasts into the evening and the rain warms up or even goes away, those people look to form a more perfect basis upon which to socialize and seek out, their summer constitutional beverages. WE THE PEOPLE, of Dining Out with Schwabe, have undertaken that endeavor in this issue.
It may be true that Benjamin Franklin once said, “Beer is proof that God wants us to be happy,” or it may be apocryphal. What is undoubtedly true is that Robert Hare’s porter, brewed in a brewery founded in 1773 in Philadelphia, was a favorite beverage of both George Washington and John Adams.
To honor our founding fathers, we sought out porter on a recent Friday afternoon at Taphouse Grill (1506 Sixth Ave., Seattle; www.taphousegrill.com). Taphouse boasts the largest variety of beers on tap in the Northwest. We ordered a Snoqualmie Steam Train porter and were delighted: a smooth, complex-tasting brew, with plenty of malt and chocolate flavors. To accompany our drinks, we ordered pork carnitas sliders, which were generously sized, to say the least, and tasty enough for a second round. We also ordered wings that were so large they had us speculating whether they might be chicken or turkey.
Service was prompt and friendly; prices were reasonable. By 6 p.m., the restaurant was full, but noise levels were tolerable. The underground locale obviously lacks a window with which to view the summer, but on a cloudy, Seattle January day this is not an issue. This is the perfect place for an afternoon brew, but with these portions, bring your appetite.
A summertime detour after work is the happy hour at the enclosed outdoor bar at Poquitos (downtown at 1000 East Pike, 206-453-4216, or at 18505 Bothell Way NE in Bothell — https://www.vivapoquitos.com/), allowing us to enjoy the vibe and the very ample happy hour (4 to 6) menu. We sampled the purist margarita, the fresa purist (using strawberry-infused tequila), “La Diabla” (strawberry, ginger, lime, crème de casis and soda), and the coco slushee. We very much enjoyed the first three of those, even the one who does not usually like tequila. The coco slushee was a bit like a frozen piña colada and a bit like a kick in the mouth – it is strong for sure.
For food, we tried several of the happy hour tacos, the guacamole and the salsa trio. We enjoyed it all, especially “Al Pastor” (grilled pork) and the fried-potato tacos. We thought the portion for the guacamole order was a bit small, but we were prepared to blame that on the new threatened tariffs raising the price of the guacamole.
If you are bargain conscious though, stick to the happy hour tacos. There is also a late-night food happy hour from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. in case you get late-night munchies. Poquitos is in the same family of restaurants as the Rhein Haus, and Stoneburner and Bastille in Ballard.
If you have been reading this column for a while, you know we like Monsoon (615 19th Ave. E.; 206-325-2111; www.monsoontestaurants.com/seattle) for dinner, brunch, takeout or its late-night happy hour. But, did you know Monsoon has a roof deck? Now you can sip your aperol spritz or your barrel-aged cocktail while overlooking the bustling scene on 19th Avenue East while also enjoying that same award-wining Vietnamese/Pan Asian food available in the main restaurant.
We stopped by one evening to try it out. The bar menu is separate from the main bar’s, featuring spritzes, one or two alcohol-based slushees and barrel-aged bourbon beverages. We tried the “Good Gone Bad,” a rum-based, slightly sweet beverage that went down very easily; the “Whiskey Rebellion,” a slushee with bourbon, lemon juice and blackberry purée; and the barrel-aged special, the “Last Strong Man,” which was a strong but simple bourbon cocktail — our waiter could not remember all the ingredients.
And, of course we got the scallops, sugar cane shrimp and spicy green beans brought up from downstairs. Almost the entire Monsoon food menu is available, except the clay pot dishes. We found the location to be delightful — it felt as if we were tourists on vacation in Seattle. And it is on the eastern slope of the hill, so if it gets chilly when in the shade, there are heaters and servers will distribute blankets.
The roof deck stops seating soon after 8 p.m. due to local noise ordinances, and Monsoon does not take reservations except for larger groups; with only 10 tables we had to wait a few minutes to get seated. And, there is no happy hour on the roof. It is a fantastic neighborhood spot, but expect downtown prices.
We sent a team to check out South Lake Union’s Mbar, with its roof-deck bar, but they liked it so much they do not seem to have reported back — must be a really good happy hour. Stay tuned for an update.
Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt is a multiservice, Northwest regional law firm with offices in Seattle, Vancouver, Portland, Salem, Eugene, Anchorage and Bend. For comments on this article or to share your favorite places to eat or drink with the Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt attorneys, contact Jenn Campbell, Schwabe’s Manufacturing Distribution and Retail Industry Group leader, at 206-689-3052; firstname.lastname@example.org; see also www.schwabe.com/dining_out.aspx.