It is a record 87-degree day, and Chris Craft boats are cruising Lake Union. A guy throws out a fishing line from his kayak and pops a cold one. A heavyweight crew team rows by, pulling way too hard for such a hot day.
We’re at Little Water Cantina, late afternoon, the happy-hour rush still on the horizon. So it’s order, order, order before the madness begins: tacos, guacamole, empanadas and pickled veggies, and to wash it all down, margaritas and light beer.
Out front, a flirty girl collects signatures or money for a cause. No one’s got time for that now.
Guys in shorts and gals in one-strap dresses rush to the deck, laughing and slugging margaritas like it’s spring break in Cabo. Others snap iPhone pix of white boats bobbing over the blue water.
Most Read Life Stories
- Hot pot is hot in Bellevue right now, but good luck trying to get a table at Liuyishou and The Dolar Shop
- In the heart of a Kirkland tech campus, an old railway path becomes a fun public park | Seattle Sketcher
- Veterinary Q&A: HGE in dogs Part 2
- Day Tripper: All aboard for tacos, espresso and breweries in Vancouver. (Yes, that Vancouver.)
- Groats? Steel-cut? In a smoothie? However you eat them, oats deliver key nutrients
Is there a better happy-hour view of Lake Union?
Most bars with water views don’t offer food or drink discounts at their prime real estate, relegating happy-hour revelers to the dim bar for the special $2 Rainier and discounted wings.
There’s no asterisk in the happy hour here, though. You grab a seat in one of the 16 picnic tables outside if you can find one.
The carnitas, marinated in Coca-Cola and bathed in coconut milk, were soft and juicy, served with warm tortillas made in-house. That pork appears again in a greasy version of empanadas. This is where the pickled jalapeños come in handy.
And no cheap, cloying sour mixes here. Grab a stiff $6 margarita with fresh squeezed lime while you breathe in the unobstructed water view, and listen to the megaphoned barking of the coxswain and the hum of float planes — the soundtrack of Lake Union, a prelude to summer.
Little Water Cantina, 2865 Eastlake Ave. E., offers happy hour weekday 3-6 p.m. and again Friday and Saturday from 10 p.m. to close in the bar and lounge. Happy-hour food (tacos, guacamole and empanadas) from $2 to $9, $6 margaritas, $2 tequila shots, 25 percent off agave spirits, $4 draft, $5 house wines and $1 off well drinks (206-397-4940 or www.littlewatercantina.com).
Tan Vinh: 206-515-5656 or email@example.com. On Twitter @tanvinhseattle