Home > Restaurants > Old Town Alehouse – 2/4/2011 – Closed

Old Town Alehouse – 2/4/2011 – Closed

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Location: 5233 Ballard Ave NW

Hours: Sun-Mon: 11:30-10

Tue-Thurs: 11:30-11

Fri-Sat: 11:30-12

Old Town Alehouse is tucked between Hattie’s Hat and an engraving/rubber stamp shop that seems to have been there since the Jurassic period. Their website says that the building has operated as a bar of some sort for 113 years. The interior is fairly bright and open with lovely hardwood floors.

It’s a nice, comfortable place for lunch or dinner. There are a couple of tables for largish groups and the dining area is family friendly. It’s one of the few places in Ballard that doesn’t change their menu between lunch and dinner. Also, they have a great collection of local and Belgian beers and usually have at least one hard cider available. In fact, they only serve beer and Washington wines. The Old Town Alehouse offers hot sandwiches, soups, salads, a couple of pasta dishes and the ubiquitous fish & chips.

The Service:

When we first arrived, it took a while before someone came to our table. At first this kind of annoyed me but I realized later that we had come in during a shift change. Also, the drink and food menus are already at the table so I think they tend give a little extra time so your order for drink and food can be taken all at once.

Our first server was very polite. When J ordered a pint of cider, she let him know that it was very dry which was fine with him. Our second server, who covered the last half of our meal, was equally polite and personable.

Another thing I need to mention is that our food came out incredibly fast. Both of us were shocked how fast it came out.

Drinks:

J ordered a pint of Anthem hard apple cider since he isn’t a fan of beer. It was a new brand of cider for him and he found it crisp and tasty. I tried a sip and would order it for myself if given the chance.

I had a pint of Schooner Exact, Gallant Maiden Hefeweizen, which I’ve ordered on previous visits to Old Town Alehouse. I’m a big fan of this beer, with its very light, citrus flavor with a slight floral aftertaste. If I could find this beer in the store, I could buy it all the time.

Food:

Salad: One of the things I always order at the Alehouse is their Caesar salad, one of my favorite Caesars in Seattle. A small order comes on a tiny plate, piled high with fresh romaine, just the right amount of a Caesar dressing that straddles the line between creamy and vinaigrette, fresh grated parmesan and, when requested, anchovies. My small salad had six, full sized anchovies.

Entrees:

I ordered the Ballard Beef Dip, roast beef with tomatoes, red onion, pickled cherry peppers, smoked provolone, mild horseradish spread and garlic au jus. I enjoyed my sandwich. Served on a toothsome Bolo roll, the sandwich had a large amount of moist, flavorful roast beef. The peppers and horseradish sauce had just the right amount of bite. Because the roll wasn’t too soft, it held up well when dipped into the au jus, which was tasty and not greasy as some au jus can get.

J ordered the Hot Turkey Pesto, smoked turkey breast with fresh basil pesto, roma tomatoes, onions and gruyere cheese. J isn’t a huge turkey fan but it sounded so good he went ahead and ordered it. He was not disappointed. He thought it was awesome.

Both sandwiches came with Alehouse Fries, their special fried, shoestring potatoes tossed in house spices and parmesan. These fries are great. Just the right amount of salt, peppery with the slight creaminess of cheese. The only problem with them is, as shoestrings, they have a tendency to get cold quickly. All the more reason to eat them quickly.

Dessert: After dinner, we debated whether to order dessert. A few years back I had tried their Turtle Sundae and sang its praises to J. We were full but figured that we wouldn’t get a chance to come back anytime soon. This sundae was well worth the food coma that came afterwards.

The Turtle Sundae was vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, fresh whipped cream and the best part, spiced pecans. It comes in a large, footed cup topped with whipped cream sprinkled with chocolate, caramel and the pecans. At first I thought all the pecans we would get with the sundae were the ones on top but as we worked down through the perfect vanilla ice cream and the hot sauces, we found a huge cache of spiced pecans at the very bottom. The sundae would’ve been overly sweet without the cayenne spiciness of the pecans.

The Price:

Anthem Cider: $5.25

Gallant Maiden Hefeweizen: $4.75

Caesar Salad: $4.50/sm

Ballard Beef Dip: $10.75

Hot Turkey Pesto: $10.75

Turtle Sundae: $6.00

The Verdict: We’ll both be back. The service, sandwiches and beverages were all worthy of a return trip. I’ll be back anyway since I usually go there for lunch once every couple of months for the Caesar salad and fries alone. Definitely try this place.

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  1. TheAngryGerman
    February 16, 2011 at 11:20 am

    I’ll back up your comments on the Old Town Alehouse. We love going here – in fact the hot turkey pesto is one of my favs. And of course the fries are diabolically tasty!

    I can’t believe you used the word ‘toothsome’ to describe the roll – that rocks.

    Love the blog – keep ’em coming!
    -r

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