Jan 032015

Gastropubs FremontIn 2014, I set a goal of visiting every eating/drinking establishment in my neighborhood of Fremont, Seattle. Here are my reviews for the gastropubs I visited. See more reviews.

**** One of my faves!
*** On my regular “go to” list
** I’d go if a friend wanted to
* No thanks

**** Brouwers  Almost gave this one 5 stars because it’s #1 on my list. The menu isn’t huge, but it’s got a good variety, and it seems to be the only place in the neighborhood I can get good steak. (The steak frites, yum, and a choice of dipping sauces for the frites.) Mussels, lamb burger, I’ve never been disappointed.If you’re a beer drinker, I can’t even guess at how many beers they have available. For a wine drinker like me, their list is short, but there’s always some really good options and I’ve never been disappointed.

It’s cozy, it’s friendly. When I hadn’t been in for awhile (because I was trying all the other restaurants on this list), they immediately recognized both me and that I usually drank the Malbec. A winner. (Downtown Fremont)

*** The Traveler  If the Traveler was a little closer to me, it would become more of a regular haunt. Low-key little pub with some interesting menu items, I could hang out here a lot. I was in on a sports night, and people were watching the game, but it wasn’t a loud, noisy sports crowd. (Leary Way)
*** The Red Door  It’s been in Fremont forever (though the location has changed) and is a classic. Great outdoor space in the summer. I only go there when I’m in the mood for standard pub food, but it’s always a solid option. (Downtown Fremont)
Norm's dogs pub Fremont*** Norm’s  Good pub-type food and a very fun atmosphere since they welcome people’s canine friends. It always feels a little lonely to go there without a pup though. (Downtown Fremont)
*** Hale’s  Hale’s is an interesting place that I seem to go to for all sorts of different reasons. Their food is good, their beer is good. The atmosphere in the pub and/or restaurant is always friendly and customer-focused. (When they had a mixup that delayed my order, they gave me a glass of wine on the house.)

But what really makes Hale’s stand out are all the interesting events there. The monthly Kindlings Muse is an intelligent, lively, Christian-focused panel discussion of current topics … and is held in Hale’s special events room. The annual Moisture Festival is a crazy variety show … and is held in a large adjoining event space called the Palladium.

I’ve been to fundraising events and book launch parties and wedding rehearsal dinners there. Way more than just a pub with good food. It’s really an interesting place. It only falls short of 4 stars because it’s just far enough away from me that I don’t usually wander there on foot. (Leary Way)

Russells Fremont*** Russells  I didn’t have high hopes for this place and was pleasantly surprised. It’s small, crowded, and the menu isn’t extensive. But I had an amazing beet salad and meatballs. I thought they were supposed to be small plates, but couldn’t finish everything and had to take some of the meatballs home. Service was a little slow (one gal seemed to be in charge of everything), but she was pleasant and the food was great. I’ll be back. (Stone Way)
*** Pacific Inn Pub  Another place I didn’t have high hopes for. It’s close to my house, but always looked a little dive-y. I went there on a sunny summer day when I was working at home, had a fabulous salad sitting on the outside deck as I read about Ethiopia (for work), and it was really a pretty pleasant place. The menu was not all burgers and fish & chips, which was a pleasant surprise. Convenient, reasonable, decent food. (Stone Way)
** The Sixgill  I lunched there with a friend and remember being pleased, but not wowed. (Downtown Fremont)
* 9 Million in Unmarked Bills  It wasn’t inedible or anything, but given how many, much better pubs are available in Fremont, I wouldn’t bother with this place.If you do decide to go there, at all costs, avoid the truffle fries as they’re a huge disappointment. There may have been some truffle oil somewhere in the same room with those fries, but it never made it near enough to actually becoming one with the fries. (Downtown Fremont)
Hunger Bar & Grill**CLOSED  The old “Hunger 2.0” was fabulous. The more recent “Hunger Bar & Grill” was terrible, and I’m glad it closed. The server boasted about the quality of their meat, but the French Dip was wan and lifeless smothered under some cheese. I swear they rolled every French fry individually in salt.And the server was a complete idiot about the wines. (I realize not every pub server can be a sommelier, but some basic understanding of wine types would be helpful—or they should realize their lack of knowledge and ask someone for help.) The final straw was being called “Sweetie” by the server. I’m looking forward to whatever new is opening there. (Downtown Fremont)

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