Questions. We get questions. Readers asked about two of the most beloved things in our bar scene and a new Seattleite just wants nachos, darn it!
Q: How is Murray Stenson? I miss him. Will he be behind the bar again?
A: I had coffee with him last week. He looks great. And yes, you’ll see him behind the bar, likely in May somewhere, making the famous Last Word cocktail for all the tourists.
To those who don’t know — and you must be a saint who has never stepped into a Seattle bar — Stenson is the legendary bartender known for his days at Zig Zag Café and most recently at Canon. Last fall, after his heart attack, the bar community from as far away as Australia and England raised more than $200,000 to help pay for his medical bills.
Stenson said his cardio rehab is on track and his energy and stamina “is about 80 percent.” He said he needs at least another month to recover from a broken right arm before he can start shaking and stirring again. He thinks he will be ready to work by May, though he doesn’t know where yet. Expect a long line of suitors.
Q: How come I haven’t heard a peep about Pliny the Younger this year?
A: You know the saying “Don’t shoot the messenger” right? Because I have bad news for you, bro. That cult beer from Russian River Brewing Company in California is no longer available in Washington.
Because of the demand for that triple IPA, the brewery told Seattle-area bars in December that it would keep more of the Younger at its brewpub and bars in California.
Q: I just moved to Crown Hill. And I’m floored by how highfalutin the happy-hour food is in Seattle. Tempura raw tuna? Really? Where can I find some good old nachos?
A: Just make a short drive to Northwest Market Street in Ballard. The “Texas Size Nachos” at Matador is the most famous happy-hour nosh in Seattle since the old $1.99 cheeseburger-and-fries deal at McCormick & Schmick’s of yesteryears.
It’s the Mount Everest of nachos, a pile of chips with a charred smokiness, covered in gooey jack and cheddar cheese, slathered with black beans, salsa, sour cream and guacamole, and only $5 during happy hour. Tell the server to add chorizo, and it’s dinner for two.
A few blocks away is the Ballard Loft, which has decent nachos, too, but I’m going to throw out a healthier option that’s even better: The chips and salsa at Señor Moose Cafe. It will spoil your dinner. The hot, flaky chips are made to order. They may take 15 minutes but are worth the wait.
As always, feel free to email me any bar questions.
Tan Vinh: 206-515-5656 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @tanvinhseattle