Monday, December 18, 2006
On Old Ballard Ave, happy hour lasts 4 hours. That's right, just one more reason living in Ballard kicks ass. We started our night early at the Matador (happy hour 4-6) and, as far we're concerned, that's the only time to go. Technically the place has an early and a late happy hour, but there's nothing happy about jostling for position with a bunch of drunken hispsters to get a table late night. At 5:30 on a Saturday night, you can walk right up to the bar, order a couple of drinks and tuck into their $4 appetizers (another not so happy fact about this bar: no drink specials). We had the wings and the southwest eggrolls (better than they sound, but nothing to write home about). The real reason to hit the Matador is the atmosphere. On a chilly Ballard night, nothing beats getting a seat by their blazing fire . . . except maybe a hot buttered rum at Hattie's Hat - the next stop on our 4 hour tour (happy hour 'till 7pm) - this bar makes some mean winter cocktails. We watched as the bar tender expertly made the afore mentioned little bit of heaven and hot toddies, guaranteed to knock the chill right out of your bones. Then it was on to King's Hardware, where, to our surprise and delight, we discovered that happy hour was from 6-8, and involved both drink and food specials. Never ones to pass up cheap food and booze, we ordered the discounted beers and the sliders ($4.50 for 3 perfect little hamburgers with all the fixins, garnished with American flags - like 4th of July exploding greasily in your mouth). King's also distinguishes itself by having a jukebox (which we made us of) and skee ball (which we decided was best saved for a subsequent night). Bottom line: If you're looking to get full and buzzed for cheap, come to Ballard, where the snacks are cheap and the hot toddies flow like water.