Monday, August 24, 2009

Family Brewery Tour: The Triquel

Issaquah Brewhouse in Issaquah, Washington
Our friend who recently relocated to Seattle took us to this Rogue brewery in a small town about 30 minutes east of Seattle. We went there after a long drive when there was some obvious brewery burnout evident in the family. However, they had a lego playcenter and served their kids' meals on red frisbees (Daisy was embarrassed when she saw this picture but it was either this one or Violet crying hysterically). It also happened to be a Tuesday when if you wear a Hawaiian shirt, you get the first round free. The waiter generously gave us the discount for our scuzzy camping clothes.

There was a lot of kobe beef on the menu and I ordered the kobe tacos. The meat was decent but naturally greasy. The tacos were served plain with salsa and a couple other things on the side. The tacos would have benefited from better salsa, guacamole, and tortillas, but Californians tend to have high expectations for Mexican food. I can't remember much more, other than running back and forth between the table and the bathroom, breaking up lego standoffs, and entertaining/soothing the kids until it was time to leave. ttp://

The Pike Brewing Company in Seattle, Washington
This was probably my favorite brewery on the trip. They had lots of organic produce, local meats, and fresh seafood. They also served organic, nitrate-fee hotdogs, which is a big selling point for me. On top of that, the kids actually ate their food. On most kids' menus, there is: cheese pizza, mac and cheese, grilled cheese and hot dogs. Since Violet is lactose intolerant, we have to limit her dairy so she often gets the hotdog. But how many servings of nitrates do you really want to feed a three year old?

The best thing about the place, other than its location next to the Pike's Place Market and the better-than-most service, was the Crab and Artichoke Pizza. The waitress recommended we order it with the red sauce instead of the cream, which was a good call. It was covered with sweet Alaskan crab, artichoke hearts, mushrooms and organic garlic . . . so tasty.

Snoqualmie Brewing Company in Snoqualmie, Washington
If you are familiar with the TV show Twin Peaks, you might recognize this town where the series was filmed. It was a really hot day so we visited Snoqualmie Falls for a few minutes then stopped in at this small brewery, which seemed to be the only place open with air conditioning. I wasn't expecting much. The kids and I were really over the brewery stops at this point but I was pleasantly surprised by the food. For $12, we got a pizza big enough to feed the family - half Hawaiian, half barbecue chicken. I was thinking it wouldn't be much in comparison to the crab pizza but it was delicious. The red sauce had a kick to it and the chicken was perfect.

Standing Stone Brewing Company in Ashland, Oregon

And finally, our tour came to an end in Ashland. We stopped for dinner on our marathon drive home (we left Seattle at 11 am on Friday and didn't arrive home until 5 am Saturday morning). The kids had seen enough crayons and kids' menus to color that they started experimenting with using forks to launch crayons across the table and using their fists to drink their cherry lemonades. This brewery is 99% organic, according to one waiter. I had a blackened wild salmon sandwich and it was good, but I was ready to get home. Can't really give it a fair assessment. We had all been without a shower for the better part of a week and were completely disheveled with stench, and this happened to be the most upscale restaurant of the trip. I was surrounded by women with freshly washed hair, sparkly jewelry, and polished make up. They sat us by the door to the busy back patio so everyone and their mother walked by to enjoy the camping aroma. I just wanted to get out of there as quickly as possible.

The End.

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