Tavern Hall (Bellevue)

Hello Again!
I have been lacking on my restaurant reviews the past few months. I will get back on track now!
I met Ryan in Bellevue for happy hour at Tavern Hall. It just opened, maybe 3 months old. It sits at a great location right next to the Bellevue Square Mall. As I walked in, I noticed the polished look with many taps on the wall; probably 100. In my mind, you cannot go wrong with a place with a lot of beer. The place was packed, but luckily I found a spot in the corner.
As I waited for Ryan to arrive, I wanted  to order off the happy hour menu. The drink selection had 5 choices, with 2 being beer choices. This was a bit disappointing seeing all the taps. I ordered off the regular menu, a 16oz Octoberfest beer. I also ordered a sausage flatbread pizza and chicken wings. These items were reduced for happy hour.
The service was a bit slow, but the place was packed, so it was understandable. My server was very nice, but seemed new to the job. She delivered the wrong beer; luckily it was another decent beer. I did not say anything, but something to note.
The food arrived about 15 minutes later, right on time for Ryan to show up. The flatbread was a bit smaller than expected. The quality of the flatbread was only okay. It tasted a bit like it was reheated at some point and not fresh from the oven, The chicken wings were also only okay. They had the taste of coming from a fast food restaurant.
As you can see, I am not impressed with Tavern Hall. The atmosphere was fun and full of energy, but the food was only okay. The service was good, and I am sure with time our server will be really great.
I would like to go back for dinner and not happy hour to compare, but at this point I would not recommend Tavern Hall for food. I would suggest it for drinks only.
Ratings (1-5):
Overall: 2.5
Atmosphere: 5 – Full of energy!
Food Quality: 2.5 – I only had happy hour food, and would not recommend it.
Services: 4 – My server was very nice, but I could tell she was new.
Bikeability: 2It may be difficult to find a bike rack and the roads near the restaurant do not have bike lanes.

Japonessa is the Besta

Long time no see!
 
It’s been over a month since my last post. Summers are hard here in Seattle. With a limited amount of sunlight, every moment not spent in the sun seems like a bad juju. I have been enjoying this very hot summer by, of course, riding and playing lots of soccer, and eating out 🙂 I have to give my self a pat on the back for finishing my first 77 mile bike tour. My legs hated me for awhile, but we are good terms now.
 
Lets get to the review…
 
I have been to this place many times and finally remembered to take a photo of the food….Japonessa, voted best happy hour in Seattle (www.japonessa.com/). A well deserved win. You can get amazing sushi for a great price for almost the entire day in the bar! My typical meal is the avocado roll ($4) and the tofu roll($5). I know, I know, I need to step outside my box and try some raw fish, but not today. Maybe if I had a crowd chanting at me or something to inspire me. I also get the miso soup ($1). The hot house sake is a delight ($5). It’s great for those rainy days.
 
The bar can fill up fast on weekends and after work, but I have never had to wait more than 10 minutes to eat. The bar has limited seating with not a lot room for large groups, but the main area does have happy hour until 6:00pm everyday. I have only gone for happy hour, because well it’s just so good, so I cannot comment on the main area’s service. The bar service is good, usually with 2 people serving everyone. The workers are very friendly and are very knowledgeable not only of the food, but of the surrounding area.
 
Ratings (1-5):
 
Overall: 5
Atmosphere: 5 – You could go here dressed up or casual – great for both! And located right downtown Seattle, near Pike’s Place Market.
Food Quality: 5 – I have not tried anything other than veggie sushi
Services: 5 – Very attentive even on the patio
Bikeability: Would like more areas to lock our bikes, I tend to lock it a few blocks away and walk. This works fine though.

Lot No. 3 (Bellevue)

Lot No. 3

Foodies!!
http://www.lotno3.com/
Sunday of 4th of July weekend! It’s 70 degrees and sunny. First thing on my mind… Where is my bike? Second thing on my mind… What do I want to eat today? It’s hard loving food so much sometimes. I convinced Ryan to ride from West Seattle to Bellevue with a promise to buy him lunch. Why Bellevue? With all if its shiny buildings and nice restaurants, I new I could find a bar that would cater to sweaty bike riders and still have amazing food. We stumbled across Lot No. 3 at just right the time. The patio caught my eye. We looked for somewhere to lock our bikes in front of the restaurant, but settled with a 2 hour parking sign’s pole. As we walked in, the place looked real classy, but looked like it would be suited for anyone (except children), even someone who just rode 15 miles up and down hills. We asked to sit in the patio, and were sat immediately. The patio area is a bar style with high stools. For an appetizer, I ordered a pretzel (one of my favorites). It was hot and fresh from the oven, crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. One of the best pretzels I have had, but not as good as Brave Horse Tavern. The mustard sauce that came with Lot No. 3’s pretzel was a bit bland, I would suggest ordering another sauce.
I ordered the Veggie Sandwich. The menu has a a huge selection with options for anyone. I chose this because this was the first Veggie sandwich without mushrooms (I am not a fan). Their were so many veggies I cannot name them all, with an amazing sauce. I honestly have no idea what was on this sandwich, but it with it’s toasted bread and delicious side salad I would recommend this for anyone who leans to the vegetarian side. Ryan ordered the Reuben with the kettle chips. The chips are addicting with the right amount of crunch and great taste. I only ate half of his chips. His Reuben would be a great choice for someone who leans to eating meat more.
I added a category below, Bikeability… Yes, I did make this word up. Considering Seattle and surrounding areas are pretty bike friendly, I thought a Bikeability score would be worthwhile. What does the Bikeability score consist of? 1) Ability to  lock a bike in front of restaurant 2) Ability to see the bike from restaurant (my bike is like my baby) 3) Restaurant atmosphere – Good or bad for sweaty bike riders.
Ratings (1-5):
Overall: 4
Atmosphere: Patio – 4, Inside N/A – Only inside for a minute
Food Quality: 4 (Pretzel sauce not great) (Drinks are very expensive with a Light Beer for $6 Services: 5 – Very attentive even on the patio
Bikeability: 4.5 – wish there was an actual place to lock our bikes in front instead of around a pool. Patio was perfect for us since we were glistening with sweat.

Brave Horse Tavern (South Lake Union)

Hello! Seattle Foodies ~

By now, you know my love for food, but I have not told you about my love for my bicycle. I ride it as much as I can. That can be difficult here in Seattle, with the whole rain thing going on constantly. I’ve learned in my 2 years being here, that you just have to suck most things up you want to do outside and go for it, even if it’s raining. But, raining and riding is different. Once you get wet, the wind against your cold skin and wet clothes can be torture. I learned this a long time ago. My family was one of those that went on family bike trips all the time. One of those bike trips was in Elk Rapids, Michigan. We decided to go on a 30 mile bike trip. The day started out nice, but towards the end I was tired and soaking wet from a 20 minute thunder storm. These random storms happen frequently with no mention from the weatherman. After, the sun came back out, but I was still freezing. This is why I hate riding in the rain. Luckily, I had an awesome Grandpa who came and picked me up before the end leaving my brother and parents out. Nice being the youngest sometimes.

But let’s get back to food review. Ryan and I decided to ride our bikes on June 1, 2014 to Smash Wine Bar and Bistro in North Seattle. We leave in West Seattle, so this was not just a hop, skip, and a jump away. It took us 1 hour and 12 miles to get there. The last stretch of the ride was a long road that slowly kept getting higher in elevation. I got passed by a few people on this stretch; my legs were burning. I finally made it with Ryan waiting by the door. “Where should we lock our bikes?” I asked. He looked at me and pointed to the “Hours” sign on the door.

Monday – Thursday – 5:00pm – 10:00pm

Friday – Saturday – 5:00pm – 11:00pm

It was Sunday…

My stomach started punching me from the inside, and the inside of my legs grabbed hold of my muscles and didn’t let go. Luckily, Ryan loved the 75 degree weather and the sunshine so he agreed to go somewhere else.

We hopped on our bikes flew down the giant hill we just rode up and headed to Brave Horse Tavern.

Good thing that other place was closed, because this is an awesome tavern with an indoor and outdoor space. By the time we got there (Sunday, 5:00pm) we were both starving and ready for a beer. We sat outside with a view of our bikes and enjoyed the amazing weather for the next hour. I ordered their burger of the week (Loco Moco) which consisted of a burger patty, turkey gravy, rice, over easy egg, between 2 toasted buns. This burger just melts in your mouth, and the flavors all come together and make you want to not eat it so you can have some forever. I had it with the Espresso Stout from Boneyard. I recommend this beer for anyone who likes dark beers. It’s really smooth and has a lot of nice coffee flavor.

I would also recommend ordering a pretzel. They make them fresh and you can tell. It was very, soft and great to split with one other person.

Here are a few pictures:

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*Brave Horse Tavern is located in South Lake Union, Seattle. Check out their website here: http://bravehorsetavern.com/ *

Ratings (1-5):

Overall: 4.5

Service: 4 (Service was a bit slow in the patio area, we didn’t mind, the sun was out)

Atmosphere: 5 (very relaxed, great for a date or hanging out with a bunch of friends/coworkers) (21+ Only)

Food Quality: 4.5 (Burger and pretzel were great) (Note: burger does not come with fries, I was too full and would not be able to any anyway)

FX McRory’s (Pioneer Square)

Seattle Foodies!

I’m glad you are here. I just came across a place in Pioneer Square (near CenturyLink field) called FX McRoy’s (http://www.fxmcrorys.com/). I went there on a Friday night at 6:30 p.m. I was expecting it to be packed, it was not. Besides Ryan and I, there were 2 other couples in the restaurant. This was not a game day, but if you plan to go here on a game day I would expect the place to be packed. They have Sounders, Seahawks, and Mariners gear all over place. I love the atmosphere. It has a nice classy charm, but great for wearing your sports gear and not feeling under dressed. You can also wear your little black dress and fit in perfectly!

We sat close to the bar because there was only one server. He was very enthusiastic and very attentive. I ordered a burger. Here is the description off their website:

Sunny Side Up Burger
A half pound fresh ground chuck patty seasoned with cumin, grilled, and topped with a sunny side up egg, guacamole, tomato, and lettuce on a bun dressed with red onion mayonnaise.
14.45

Sounds delicious, right? I thought the burger was good, but not worth $14.45. It was on par with an Applebee’s burger. The fries were of the same family as McDonald fries. I was really craving some big steak fries… bummer. I would suggest trying McRory’s during happy hour, and testing this place out for yourself. I will go back, because I believe they were just having an off day with their cook. There are so many things on the menu that sound so good.

Here’s a really poor-quality photo of the  bar area. The sports items are behind me when I was taking the photo. Sorry, I didn’t get a photo of the food. My battery died at the worst moment.

mcrorys

 

Ratings (1-5):

Overall: 3.5 (Expecting better food)

Service: 5

Atmosphere: 5

Food Quality: 3 ( I believe they were having an off day. I will try again and update you.)

Leave a post if you tried this place and had a different reaction! I’d love to hear.

Shadowland (West Seattle)

Foodies ~

2:00 p.m. Sunday, March 30th, 2014. Hangry was overcoming Ryan and I. If you do not know what Hangry is… well basically hangout with Ryan and I when we haven’t had any food for 8 hours and you will know.

Luckily for us, it was brunch still – yes my favorite meal of the day! I ordered the Breakfast Burrito which consisted of sausage, egg, avocado, tomatoes, some type of sauce, with a side of hash browns, beans and rice. This meal hit the spot for me. It was the perfect amount for me. I would order this again. Here’s a pic:

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Ryan ordered Huevos Rancheroes:

Image We sat at the bar. There was one other person at the bar with us. The service was a bit slower than I thought it should be, but the bartender was still very nice. I ordered a Bloody Mary ($6.00) (I mean why not on a Sunday). It was a bit more spicy than expected, but very good. Ryan ordered his meal with Chirizo and it was missed, but was not on the bill eaither, so no big complaint on that. He said he still enjoyed his meal.

If you are looking for a good quiet brunch I would recommend Shadowland. It was not the best service or best food I have had for brunch, but it was nice to get away from all the people and enjoy the company and good food. I should mention that this is also a bar, and I am sure other times are way busier… be aware.

Here’s a link to there site to check them out: http://shadowlandwest.com/

Ratings (1-5):

Overall: 4

Service:3 (Bartendar was nice, but a bit slow)

Atmosphere: 4 (good for a relaxed brunch)

Food Quality: 4 (Decent, better than what I can make at home)

The Lodge (Pioneer Square)

Good Evening Foodies!

I saw a coupon for The Lodge on Amazon Local and decided to go for it. The coupon does not work during happy hour, which this place has a pretty good happy hour, with 2 dollar fries, 6 dollar popcorn shrimp. Ryan and I were there at the end of happy hour at 6pm, to watch the march madness Michigan State basketball game. They weren’t playing it, but changed the channel on one tv no problem for us. The place had several people in it, but not overly crowded for a Saturday. The atmosphere was very nice, with a cool waxed wooden bar area.

Ryan and I both ordered beer first before our meal. Ryan ordered an IPA. The beer had a lot of foam, so when it settled it was not all the way to the top, the bartender grabbed and filled it up, that never happens at bars! I ordered the Fettucini Alfredo with chicken, while Ryan ordered the fish and chips. Both meals came out quickly and were very good. The alfredo sauce is homemade, and you can tell. Ryan gave his fish and chips and 8 out of 10, based on no prior knowledge of this type of food, meaning it was really good. 

If you see this coupon buy it! 

Also, make sure to get the Hazelnut Brown Ale by Rogue. Best dark beer I have ever had!!

Sorry, I didn’t take a picture, I will next time, because I will be back. 

 

Ratings (1-5):

Overall: 5

Service:5

Atmosphere: 4.5 (bathroom is shared by 2 bars, could get crowded)

Food Quality: 4.5