The folks over at The Noble Fir are quickly becoming the best place to grab a pint in Ballard. Unfortunately, everyone knows that now! The Noble Fir is now serving up a full house most nights.
A few months back, we talked about “Pints for Parks.” The event has the Fir donating $1 of every pint poured from 6:30 until close, on Wednesdays, to Seattle Parks. Over the past few months, they have managed to pour 2000 pints, donating $2000.00 to the parks.
The Fir west big again this week. Oscar Blue’s Gubna Imperial IPA is one of the most rugged on the market, and it was the featured beer yesterday. A love for that same beer, caused an epic rift between myself and another bar that shares Ballard Avenue with the Fir. Because that bar charged me $8.00 (its $3.00 next door at Olde Town Alehouse) for this 12oz can, it will forever not see another dollar from me. I won’t mention them because they don’t deserve the press.
But, you can hope that the Fir will continue pouring this delicious brew through the rest of the week. If you still have not had a chance to get by the Fir – now is your chance! Remember that next Wednesday means another great beer.
Keep up the great work for Seattle Parks!!!
Written by Jess R.
Week 40 of 52
The Traveler (ak.a. The Leary Traveler)
4354 Leary Way NW
Seattle, WA 98107
Type of Establishment: Chill beer bar, brunch spot
Visit: After writing the Beers in the Hood: Ballard, I was accosted by my dear, close friends about The Traveler. How could I have left this gem off my list? Simple- I had never been there. This weekend, I changed that with back to back visits.
Sorry Photo: Yikes. Sorry for the poor quality. A night time shot via iPhone is not so hot. My apologies to the good people at the Traveler, because this place is a beaut and deserves a better shot.
Beers on Tap (at time of visit):
Manny’s Pale Ale
Maredsous 8, Belgium
—The top 6 are a constant on tap here. The bottom 4 beers are constantly changing–
Allagsh Black Belgian Stout
Glacier Brewhouse IPA (AK)
Full Sail Lupulin, Fresh Hop
Sierra Nevada Tumbler
A glorious refrigerator with at least 35 bottle varieties from Russian River to Port Brewing. The Traveler also carries a seasonal selection, which makes things interesting and switches it up. It appears that the owner puts a lot of thought into selecting his bottles and rotating taps–this is all we ever ask of any and every bar owner.
The first visit occurred on a Friday evening. We had already indulged in a home-cooked meal, so we only perused the menu but man, does it look delicious.
The menu is served from lunch time through dinner and includes mini-burgers with crispy prosciutto and chipotle aoli and The Irish Interloper made up of house made Painted Hills corned beef (seriously made it the back of the house), sauerkraut, Russian dressing and Gruyère on rye bread with a side salad. Belgium mussels and frites showcase The Travelers’ European inspired fare.
The next morning, around 10:30AM we rallied the troops and headed back to try the food. Saturdays and Sundays until 3PM, brunch is served.
French Toast, an open-faced egg, cheese and prosciutto sandwich as well as all of the lunch options made our food choice an agonizing one. Bloody Marys and a Mimosa (served in a pint glass) started us off as we each ordered: corned beef (remember, made on site) hash with two over easy eggs and the steak and eggs were the highlights. The Bloody Mary bar is a never before seen treat – don’t miss it.
The corned beef hash was steamy, rich, chewy and the perfect start to a day and a hang over cure. The steak and eggs doesn’t sound all that exciting, but the cut of the steak was top-notch and it was cooked to perfection, making the eggs just an added bonus. The food is great, no dispute.
A small space and barely noticeable from the busy street in Fre-lard (the small area between neighborhoods Ballard and Fremont), I present to you The Traveler. As you walk up to this bar, you can peer through the floor to ceiling windows and see the candle lit tables with the patrons laughing and drinking.
A quaint place with exposed brick, hard wood floors, an open kitchen and a chalkboard full of glory, The Traveler can accommodate a cold winter night or a steamy summer day out on their back patio.
Tonight, in honor of Halloween, The Traveler was holding a pumpkin carving contest. As people were busy fashioning faces and scenes into these over-sized gourds, we found a standing table by the exposed wooden columns.
A quick glance at the beer board and I was instantly intrigued. I ordered the Allagash Black Belgian Stout which had a roasted flavor complemented with a silky, chocolaty mouth-feel and had a bitter coffee nose. My companion ordered the Glacier IPA (which I had at brunch the next day) which was a pleasant surprise from a small brewery in Alaska.
With a tap list guaranteed to have a several good choices (Ommegang Hennepin is always on the list which makes this bar Ommegang’s largest Washington state account), killer food and a cozy atmosphere, I would hit up the Traveler any day. You simply can’t go wrong.
Those of you passing through from Ballard to Fremont or vice-versa should consider the same! If you have been there and have something to say – post a comment below.