Veg Out: Brave Horse Tavern
One of my college roommates was a German major. When she studied abroad in Munich, she taped multiple episodes of The Simpsons, dubbed in German. They were among her most precious souvenirs. This is why I am able to describe the fried cheese curds at Brave Horse Tavern in the style of the German Montgomery Burns:
Of course, I also finger-twiddled over the hearth-baked soft pretzels. If you do not want to order one, I suggest closing your eyes as you walk in the door and having a friend guide you to your table. This is because when you walk in the door, there are gratuitous baskets of hearth-baked soft pretzels, puffing steam, flashing their salty bits. You could fill a bathtub with them. You would be … awash in soft pretzels. Doesn’t that sound nice?
You get a trio of mustards with any pretzel, and then you can order extra dipping sauces. Three of them are veggie-friendly by my count. Unfortunately, Jules did not dig on his cheddar-pimento spread (“too much nacho, not enough cheddar”). My Theo-chocolate-with-toasted-hazelnut sauce tasted just like melted Nutella. Far be it from me to turn down melted Nutella, but I was hoping for a little something more. Never satisfied, right? I bet there is an awesome German word for that.
Strange. I feel an overwhelming desire to quote another sitcom …
Diese Brezeln machen mich durstig.
(Translation, so says Google: These pretzels are making me thirsty.)
Thankfully, Brave Horse has many good beers, including a house ale that made Jules’s eyes A-OOGA cartoon-style. There is pear cider on tap, and there even is something citrusy-sparkly: a non-alcoholic fizz, made with ginger ale, grapefruit bitters, and lime. It was a welcome counterpart to the following drink. You may want to sit down, my liebchen.
Yes, Fraulein Virginia, there is an Irish car bomb made with Bailey’s ice cream, Irish stout, and a Jameson jello shot. The people at the table next to us came over and asked if they could take a picture of it.
“How do you say arteries in German?” I asked Jules, who was slurping away in Beer Float Heaven.
“I have no idea. Google translate,” he said.
“Du bist der Teufel. Du hast meine Arterien.”
“Meaning?” he said.
“You are the devil. You have my arteries.”
The Tavern’s house-made black bean and green chile burger fell victim to the crumbliness that has plagued most every veggie burger I have ever tried. (One exception is the spicy chickpea melt served at the Harbour Public House on Bainbridge Island, though to be fair that patty veers toward falafel.) But the smoky flavor was excellent. It paired nicely with the crisp bibb lettuce and just-squishy-enough Dahlia Workshop bun. Also, Veering Toward Falafel would be a great name for a band.
The black bean burger is the only vegetarian main at this place, which I’m sure will be packed to the gills with Amazon employees most nights. In addition to the pretzels and curds, they serve a Rub with Love snack mix and a baked cheese dish we did not try because, you know, we had already eaten the fried cheese, etc. Also vegetarian: Darts and shuffleboard!
(Faces have been changed to protect those who got shuffleboard schooled that day by a 70-year-old man. Really, though. What did you expect?)
Brave Horse Tavern
310 Terry Avenue North
(On Terry Avenue, between Thomas & Harrison)