GSBA Vision & Mission

MISSION: To combine business development, leadership and social action to expand economic opportunities for the LGBT Community and those who support equality for all.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

I Took the Bait: Frozen & Fried, Beer Battered & Boozy

by Rachael Brister, Deputy Director

Linda Derschang’s name has become synonymous with Capitol Hill food and drink and not just because her first establishment bears her name. Her fourth Hill spot joins a growing enclave of businesses on the north end of Broadway, an area with many restaurants, but none that would be described as a bar….until now. Joining Linda’s fleet is Bait Shop.

The Painkiller
There is definitely a nautical theme when you enter Bait Shop’s knotty pine walls. But you will never hear In the Navy on the speakers. What you will see is a 7-foot marlin sharing wall space with the hood of a 1977 Firebird. The dark setting gives way to a friendly, relaxed vibe and a menu of cocktails, beer and food mostly of the fried variety. The signature Bait Shop drink is the Painkiller, a cold, refreshing, boozy, slushy drink that is delicious whether it is warm or cold outside. Served from a slushy machine, this drink consists of rum, pineapple juice, coconut, and orange, topped with freshly grated nutmeg. It comes in a tall curvy hurricane style glass that would not be complete without the paper umbrella and plastic mermaid hanging from the rim. Two insider tips: you can get a short size of the Painkiller (which I usually order if I want a second one since two of these tall drinks is too filling) for just $5 and consider ordering a float of Myer’s Dark Rum on top. The slushy machine that serves up the Painkiller has a twin that houses a rotating drink that have included a Julius Wallbanger (think alcoholic creamsicle) and an Irish coffee concoction that needs to make an encore appearance because it was so good.

Bait Shop has two cocktails on draft: a Dark & Stormy and a Paloma (tequila, grapefruit, aperol, lime and soda). The rest of the cocktail menu leans a little tiki with drinks like the Zombie, with so many different kinds of alcohol in it that there is a two limit per customer, and the Coconut Lime Rickey. If you are a bourbon fan like me, try the Lion’s Tail: bourbon, lime, allspice and bitters, a subtle combination of tart and spice with a clean, strong bourbon finish. Most of the cocktails are $7, with the most expensive being the Painkiller at $9, which can be purchased for $7 during their daily 4-6 p.m. happy hour. The weekend brings a lineup of 4 different Bloody Marys to choose from and English muffin sandwiches to make your brunch complete. And those English muffins are not Thomas’. They are lovingly made in-house. In fact, everything on the menu is sourced locally or made in-house. Well, except for the ketchup and malt vinegar.

I will gladly settle for Heinz ketchup to enjoy the quadruple-cooked French fries. Their size resides somewhere between a standard fry and a steak fry. They are lightly seasoned and arrive crispy and piping hot. Try them with a side of tartar for dipping. These pieces of potato perfection  are the jewel in the fried food crown of Bait Shop’s menu. Next up: the fried chicken. I have tried it in sandwich form, but the best way to enjoy it is atop a salad. The caesar salad has a tangy, creamy dressing that is not too heavy, parmesan cheese and substantial piece of fried chicken on top. Not chicken strips that you would normally expect to receive when adding chicken to your salad, but a crispy, juicy fried chicken breast. It goes perfectly with the cold salad. I usually order the small version of the salad so I can also enjoy another favorite on the menu: street corn. This started as a special one night and it is now part of the regular menu, and it’s so easy to taste why.  An ear of corn on a stick grilled to perfection, with small sections charred, but not burnt. Heavily dusted with cotija cheese, it’s sweet and slightly smoky with a nice balance of saltiness. It’s also messy but very worth it. If you are looking for more fried goodness try the Dungeness crab fritters, fish tacos or the fish & chips. I have not tried the fish & chips, but my dining and drinking companion ordered this dish a few times and cannot say enough about it. The beer battered true cod is fresh, flaky and not too oily and of course, comes with a side of those scrumptious French fries.

The food menu also includes crab fritters, calamari and fish tacos. For those who don’t want to indulge in the battered and fried food group, there are deviled eggs, corn and black bean tacos and a pulled pork sandwich. The pulled pork is decent, but comes with too much fennel slaw piled on top of it. The one thing missing from Bait Shop’s menu is a few dessert options (unless you count the Andes after dinner mints served with your bill). I suggested to my server that they consider some type of fried candy bar or deep fried apple pie. If this shows up as a special in the future….you’re welcome.

Bait Shop is located at 606 Broadway East in Seattle.


Anonymous said...

would love to go... what's the address?

GSBA said...

It's located at 606 Broadway East.