Sunday, December 27, 2009

Green Lake to Greenwood

I was awoken by the light of the moon Sunday morning at 2:43. Our bedroom window faces the west and it was so intensely bright that it actually woke me up from a deep sleep. The 3/4 moon looked like a burger with a bite out of it and that made me think of Red Mill, which made me think of walking up to Red Mill for lunch, which made me happy, which made me thirsty, which made me think that it was time for an Urban Beer Hike.

Three... Maybe Seven Pints UBH

View Three...  Maybe Seven Pints in a larger map

This is an easy-ish one -- especially for me, since I live right near here. It starts at the PCC Natural Market on Aurora Ave. and works east around Green Lake (clockwise) and then up the steep part of Phinney Ridge and north to Greenwood. From there, it loops back, over to Aurora and south to where it began. It's roughly five miles.
The first thing I noticed when we set out from PCC is that the sun was already relatively low in the sky -- and it was not even 12:30pm! It's a short jump from here to the walking trail that goes around Green Lake and soon we were among the throngs of Seattleites out enjoying the sunshine and relative warmth.

This was a bit of an occasion for it was the first time that I had someone with me other than Mandy. My buddy Tom and his dog Samba joined us. I admit, I felt a little pressure to be a bit of a tour guide and try to explain the philosophy of this "urban beer hiking" thing that has grabbed so much of my attention recently. Tom lobbied to stop at the Green Lake Bar & Grill for a pint to keep the spirits up and tie in the whole Green Lake part of the hike, but I had to veto this idea as it was important to me to get to the end before dark. I've learned how quickly time can get away from you on these things.

So we pressed on, weaving our way through the dogs, kids, and strollers. We made it all the way around and for the march up Phinney Ridge, we elected to take N 63rd up because Tom needed stop at home and grab something (he lives near 63rd and Phinney Ave.) It's a steep hill and when you get to the top you feel like you really were hiking. From Tom's we headed to Red Mill, but no one was too hungry and we all really wanted a lunch beer, so we voted to press on and make the first stop the 74th Street Alehouse.

At the 74th St., I had the Big Time Atlas Amber, Mandy had a Guinness and Tom went with a Hale's Cream Ale (nitro). We shared a plate of Mediterranean fixins and a small bowl of roasted curried cashews and regaled each other with stories from our respective holidays. It became even more obvious by now that the day was growing long (not even 3pm!) and it was time to move on.

We jumped across the street to Zak-n-Zoe to grab some dog treats for Samba and Link, who practically towed us up the hill earlier and waited so patiently for us outside of the Alehouse. Zak-n-Zoe is owned by two fellow beer lovers Nadja and Cary and it was hard leaving them behind, but I guess some of us have to work -- even on sunny Sundays. As we were leaving, we were joined by Tom's wife Meaghan. What? Are you kidding? We've got ourselves a PACK! (I began to have visions of UBHs future where as we walk, more and more people join, sort of like that weird old Coca-Cola ad or something.)

Next up, we hit Naked City Taphouse, which, if you're reading this, you probably already know about. I've been here a handful of times and today was about the only time when it wasn't busy. It definitely had a quieter, mellower feel that was agreeable as the beertender had more time to geek out with us and talk about beer and dogs. Once again, Samba and Link waited patiently for us while we had some snacks and brews. Mandy had a Russian River Consecration, I had something called Two If By Sea, which is a collaboration between Schooner Exact and Two Beers Brewing, Meaghan had one of the house brews, Yankee Drifter, and Tom had an oak-aged tripel from Drake's Brewing, which he really liked.

With a killer tap list like NCBC's, it was really hard to not have a second beer, but the daylight was growing ever so thin and it was time to move on to the home stretch. We headed east along 85th and then south on Aurora. I had been saving my appetite for a torta at Barriga Llena, which is a only a block or two from our last stop, Über.

These tortas are big enough to share, but I was pretty hungry, so I ordered my own (the Argentina). It's like a grilled panini with chorizo, beans, veggies, and mayo. And it's pretty inexpensive. I love that the proprietors speak almost no English and the decor is the most authentic I've seen. It reminds me of the little places I visited when I was off the main path in Cuba and Mexico several years back. Delicious.

At Über, we checked with the vice maestro (Gabby?) and she let us bring the dogs in. We sat in our usual spot on the couch and layed into our sandwiches. I was unable to resist the wookie-approved Breakaway IPA -- probably my favorite IPA of all -- way to go Skip! Mandy introduced Meaghan to the Duchesse de Bourgogne, got a Scaldis for Tom, and treated herself to a glass of Cascade Blackberry Nightfall. We talked and drank and took some cute photos of the dogs playing.

We managed to get there just as it was getting dark and it was comforting to know that the car wasn't more than about 30 yards away over by the PCC across the street where we started almost five hours ago.

We were only able to fit in 3 of the 7 places this time, but hopefully -- no, definitely -- we'll do this one again sometime in the spring or summer when the days are longer.

I'm going to Red Mill now.

1 comment:

  1. Looks like a fun UBH. I will need to make it to Uber some day.