On Lake City Way lives a haven for beer and Russian snacks, served at a great price by friendly staff.
Walk up Lake City Way toward 125th Street and you’ll pass a Halal market, a dive bar and an aquarium store on your way to Korochka Tavern. There, you’ll find a charming, chic and comfortable bar with great beer and a homey menu of Russian snacks, made in the tiny kitchen on-site.
Intricately decorated gold-and-black wallpaper covers the bar’s side wall while a soft bear skin is draped over wood paneling on the other. An old-school Tetris machine gives a playhouse feel, but beautifully crafted raw-edged wood tables, benches and the bar top are refined and lovely.
Owners Lisa Malinovskaya and Karena Anderton set up shop in January on the eclectic street. The duo previously owned Monkey Grind Coffee Shop in Greenwood but sold it to a friend and moved north in search of lower rents and a more diverse crowd.
12348 Lake City Way N.E., (Lake City) Seattle; open 4 p.m.-midnight Tuesday-Saturday; 206-420-3142 or on Facebook
The menu: Hungry patrons have a choice of noshing on Russian snacks or diving into loaded baked potatoes, which are easily whipped up to order by the bartender. Pickle options ($2-$9.50) shine: house-brined pickled cucumbers, plump and juicy beets, crunchy cabbage and a scrumptious pickled and shredded carrot salad.
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Pelmeni ($8), stuffed with beef and pork, are served with sour cream and vinegar and are easily shareable. Piroshki (one for $3, or $2 on Tuesdays) offerings rotate, with options like ground pork, and beef and cheddar.
Wash it all down with a rotating draft selection (mostly $6), with a mix of well-known local names like Pike Brewing and Holy Mountain cozied up next to Uinta, Paradise Creek and other rare finds. Russian Baltika beer is also available.
Don’t miss: The pickle plate ($9.50) includes each of their lovely pickled picks plus slices of dark rye from a nearby bakery and a small mound of goat-cheese butter. Pelmeni are plump and juicy and made daily; try them with hot pepper sauce, served in a squeeze bottle alongside the silver dumpling caldron.
Sharing is caring when it comes to the potatoes (a steal at $6) which are topped generously. The Julienne is smothered with a creamy mushroom cheddar sauce that is both so rich and so addictive. Purists will prefer the Classic, with crisp bacon, cheddar, sour cream, butter and green onions.
Take it or leave it: The piroshki vary, with one day’s crisp on the outside and soft on the inside with flavorful filling, and another day’s less pleasing.
Prices: An early evening fill-up was inexpensive and delightful, served with great cheer from friendly staff. The pickle plate ($9.50), Julienne potato ($6), pelmeni ($8) and a piroshki ($2, as it was a Tuesday) were washed down with a Portland Cider Company cider ($5 during happy hour) and a Holy Mountain Wit ($5 at HH), for a total of $35.50 before tax and tip.