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Archive for April, 2012

The Gerald – 4/13/12

Website

Location: 5210 Ballard Ave

Hours:

Tues-Sat: 4pm-Close

Sunday: 10am – 2pm

Happy Hour:

4:30-6pm

10:30-Close

The Gerald, located on Ballard Ave across the street from The Tractor, is Ballard’s newest bar/restaurant. It’s a chic place with a 60’s style in keeping with the 50th anniversary of the 1962 World’s Fair. Dark, wood paneling. Funky, geometric wallpaper. Nubby upholstery on the cushions of the booths. An European style that is somehow comfortable rather than overblown. Having seen photos of The Gerald on various Seattle restaurant news websites, I thought it would have that overly hipster vibe of some Capitol Hill bars. Instead The Gerald had a comfortable, friendly Ballard feel to it.

They have a great list of classic cocktails with quirky twists. The menu is full of comfort food favorites done through a foodie filter. Veggies chips. Duck deviled eggs. Gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches. Swedish meatball sliders, as a nod to Ballard’s Scandinavian heritage. On Sundays they offer an eclectic brunch menu.

The Service:

Our server was friendly and chatty and interested in how our food and drinks were since she had not yet tried everything on the menu. On top of the friendly service, the manager/head bartender noticed from across the room that the color of J’s drink was wrong, meaning it was missing a key ingredient. So she came over to our table to fix the drink and make sure it tasted better.

The Drinks:

I ordered The Aviation, house infused kaffir lime gin, lemon, luxardo, and maraschino liqueur. I’m not usually a gin fan but his cocktail was quite refreshing with a sharp, almost spicy undertone.

J had a Moscow Mule, ginger and spice infused Fris vodka, lime, and house-made ginger soda. At first J found his cocktail good but a little too gingery and sweet. When the bartender added the missing ingredient, bitters, the cocktail became far more complex and balanced.

The Food:

We started with a couple of appetizers. First, the Deviled Duckies, 4 deviled duck eggs spiked with horseradish. The hard boiled duck eggs were firmer and chewier in texture than regular deviled chicken eggs. The filling had a subtle spiciness that tickled the back of the throat rather than making you sweat. The horseradish complimented rather than overwhelmed the egginess. These deviled eggs were so rich that two each was just enough.

Our other appetizer was the Devils on Horseback, bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with asiago cheese. The asiago cheese, instead of the more common blue cheese stuffing, was a nice substitution. Its salty sharpness complimented the sweet, caramelized flavor of the date. The bacon wrapping, which can sometimes be over or under cooked, was broiled to a perfect state between crispy and chewy. We both liked the presentation of the dates on a bed of arugula. While most would ignore the arugula, we found it a perfect palette cleanser.

I ordered the Gourmet BLT, applewood-smoked bacon, arugula, and tomato with Tillamook cheddar, red onions, mayo, and avocado served with veggie chips. I was surprised when the sandwich arrived untoasted. I don’t think I’ve ever had a BLT from a restaurant without the bread being toasted. It was an oddly brilliant idea, the soft bread insuring that the interior ingredients wouldn’t slip out. The bacon was perfectly cooked. The grated Tillamook cheese only slightly melted onto the bacon allowing its sharp flavor to come through clearly. I really liked their use of spicy arugula instead of lettuce which gave what could have been a boring BLT a complexity. All in all a very good BLT.

The side of veggie chips was quite good as well. Especially the salty, fried greens which weren’t greasy or under cooked. Next time we may order a whole bowl of veggie chips for an appetizer.

For his entrée, J chose the Sweet Chorizo Grilled Cheese, smoked gouda with house-made chorizo and sliced tart apples with apple slaw. J described his sandwich as “a deconstructed cheese burger”. They used grated gouda which melted better over the spicy chorizo. Very different than any grilled cheese he’d ever had. Not as greasy or heavy. No big glop of cheese. No ingredient overpowered any other making for a surprisingly balanced sandwich. The apple slaw was hard to figure out since it was so unique. It tasted like slaw but with tart, Granny Smith apples and a hint of Chinese five-spice powder.

The Price:

The Aviation: 10.00

Moscow Mule: 10.00

Deviled Duckies: 6.00

Devils on Horseback: 7.00

Gourmet BLT: 10.00

Sweet Chorizo Grilled Cheese: 10.00

The Verdict:

The Gerald is a welcome addition to Ballard Avenue. Outstanding cocktails. Great service. Good food with a homey menu with a twist. There are definitely a number of other things on the menu that we would like to try. The Swedish meatballs and the chicken and waffles are at the top of the list along with trying out their Sunday brunch. We’ll be back.

Ballard Restaurant News – First Half of April

A slew of restaurant news so far in April. Openings. Up and coming places that look very interesting.

Kickin’ Boot Whiskey Kitchen, from the people who run The Matador, will bring yet another Southern style, BBQ place to Ballard. Seattle Magazine and Nosh Pit have the latest news.

Dish It Up, one of Ballard’s kitchen stores, unexpectedly closes.

Seattle Times reviews Café Munir.

Eater Seattle gives us a closer look at The Gerald. I’ll have our review of The Gerald posted by the end of the week.

My Ballard takes a closer look at the new, larger Starbucks on Market Street.

Nosh Pit, Seattle Magazine, and Eater Seattle all visit Ballard Pizza Company, Ethan Stowell’s New York style pizza joint at the south end of Ballard Avenue.

Sauced focuses on Urban Family Public House’s sandwich options.

According to Sauced, Bastille’s Erik Carlson makes the best Bloody Mary.

Seattle Magazine and My Ballard have the scoop about Renee Erickson (owner of The Walrus and the Carpenter) and her cute,  mobile oyster wagon and Seattle Weekly names The Walrus and The Carpenter‘s Poached Halibut one of their 100 favorite dishes.

Seattle Magazine and Eater Seattle both report that Delancey, on 70th, has taken over the space next door in order to open a bar this summer.

Nosh Pit reports that Benito’s Chicago Eatery will finally open this month.

Categories: Restaurants