These new late-night happy-hour deals hit just the spot, from $2 tacos to wild boar Bolognese.
Once, late-night happy hours lured just the line cooks and other industry folks who punch out after 11.
Now they have mass appeal. Some bars run late-night happy hour till last call. Others serve it on prime Friday and Saturday nights, catering to the party-hardy set.
The nocturnal version varies from the early happy hour in that the food isn’t light. It aims for the gut: carb coma and carnivorous feasts on the cheap.
The Butcher’s Table
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A newcomer to the late-night game, this steakhouse serves a “Bronto Shank Taco Platter,” a massive beef shank meant to serve six, though the bartender swears it can feed eight. For only $48.
It’s a hunk of Mishima beef, the high-grade stuff, smoked and braised and served with a stack of flour tortillas.
The smaller offerings are just as gluttonous. Nachos come with both tortillas and ravioli-shaped little empanadas, bound with Beecher’s cheese and mixed with ribbons of high-grade beef along with the usual nacho fixings (jalapeños, cilantro, onions, etc.). It has all the components of drunk food: deep-fried crunchiness, plus cheesy, salty, sour and sweet. And if that’s not enough, there’s also poutine with beef-fat fries.
2121 Westlake Ave., Seattle, offers late-night happy hour 10 p.m.-midnight Tuesday through Saturday (206 209-5990, thebutcherstable.com).
Wood Shop BBQ
At night, I purposely take the longer way home to avoid driving past this barbecue joint near my house. The lure of $2 tacos is too tempting.
It’s the best late-night deal in the city. Have you been?
The kitchen takes whatever leftover barbecue meat it has — chicken, pulled pork, brisket — and serves it on flour tortillas.
If you’re lucky, say when the whole neighborhood participates in Meatless Monday or something, you get lots of leftover options. The pork is the best — a hickory-smoked medley of charred and juicy bits, topped with pickled onions, cotija cheese and smoked salsa.
You’ll need the plastic fork to pick up all the shards of meat spilling out of the taco, they are so overstuffed.
2513 S. Jackson St., Seattle, offers late-night tacos daily 10 p.m.-midnight (206-557-8090, thewoodshopbbq.com).
Same concept as Wood Shop: This carnivorous spot takes the leftover meat or the trimmings from pulled pork, brisket and chicken and serves it in its gut-busting “Dirty Sandwich.”
It’s a mound of meat piled onto a toasted sesame bun and topped with smoked cheddar and a fried egg, served with a side of Tater Tots. To wash it all down, you also get a shot of bourbon and a Rainier tallboy. All for $19.
94 Pike St., Suite 30, Seattle, offers late-night happy hour 10 p.m. to midnight Monday-Saturday. (206-467-4268, radiatorwhiskey.com)
Tankard & Tun
For something different, try this new seafood restaurant, from the folks behind Pike Brewing, located above the brewery. Fish and chips ($10) is on the menu, but get the open-faced sandwich, topped with cubes of pork belly sautéed with foraged mushrooms.
1415 First Ave., Seattle, offers late-night happy hour daily 10 p.m. to midnight (206-812-6619, pikebrewing.com/tankard-tun).
The wild boar Bolognese ($11) is the best late-night pasta dish in the city, meaty, spicy and dusted with Parm. Eurocentric dishes such as the duck-and-rabbit rillettes get overshadowed here because everyone goes for the cheeseburger. Some dinner entrees are offered at a steep discount ($5-$7 off) once late-night happy hour starts.
429 Westlake Ave. N., Seattle, offers late-night happy hour 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. Monday-Saturday (206-467-5300, republicseattle.com).