Cheap cocktails and generous eats at this throwback favorite.
Last Thursday, it was wet and windy, the traffic bottlenecked, when we ducked into Wedgwood Broiler. We lucked into “BBQ Rib” night, my beer buddy and me.
We didn’t want to know where the Brontosaurus-size beef ribs came from; we only cared that they’re just $11. And it came with a salad topped with Cheez-Its, and some starchy side options, including a baked potato wrapped in tin foil.
Wedgwood Broiler is an old-school Midwestern-type steakhouse that hasn’t changed much since it opened 51 years ago. Its carpeted, dark lounge looks like the same bar that I stumbled upon in the late 1990s, albeit minus the smoky haze.
I’m convinced these were some of the same workers who served me then. Some employees have been here for three decades; some regulars have been coming here even longer.
Instead of having to show ID to enter, patrons here should be required to name the barber on “The Andy Griffith Show” (Floyd Lawson). Wedgwood Broiler is so old that the cool kids like it because it looks vintage.
The menu still features “liver & onions.” The drinks are priced like it’s 1999. Cocktails range from $6-$8 and “specials” are so stiff that the sign warns there’s “A LIMIT OF 3 “SPECIAL” MARTINIS OR MANHATTANS PER CUSTOMER.”
One old-timer in a baseball cap couldn’t recall what prompted the bar to put up that sign, only that “it must have ended badly.”
My Stinger cocktail, filled to the rim, cost only $7.
The happy-hour food, as you would expect, is dirt cheap (about a dozen snacks from $2.50 to $3.50) but surprisingly good.
There are crunchy wings to gnaw on, and mini roast-beef sandwiches in doughy bread to dunk in au jus.
The $11 beef specials (five giant ribs) were fall-off-the bone tender and drowning in barbecue sauce, the perfect beer sidekick for watching the game.
On this evening, a couple of regulars were squabbling over the remote control and arguing whether to flip to the Republican debate or the University of Washington-Arizona basketball game.
“The debate! I wanna see a fight,” a raspy-voiced patron said.
“I’ll give ya a fight,” said another patron from the back booth.
The game won out.
Wedgwood Broiler, 8230 35th Ave. N.E., offers happy hour Saturday-Thursday 4-6.p.m. and again 9 p.m. to midnight with food specials from $2.50-$6.50 and 50 cents off on well drinks, beer or wine (206 523-1115 or wedgwoodbroiler.com).