Sunday, October 30, 2011

Zombies V. Babies: Battle Halloween

A very important discovery has been made over this Halloween weekend:  Babies and Zombies are strikingly, and often, frighteningly, similar. 

Case in point:

  1. Babies and zombies both communicate in a series of low grunts, groans, and moans. 
  2. Both are completely and totally tireless in their pursuit of what sustains them. 
  3. After a prolonged encounter with either one (especially in the middle of the night), one feels as if one's brain has been obliterated.
  4. The double tap is oh-so-necessary when both battling a zombie and trying to put a baby to bed. 
  5. Neither care whether it is day or night.  Remember, they never get tired!
  6. Even a brief interaction with a zombie or a baby can inspire deep fear into the hearts of many.
  7. Cardio.  Endurance is key to your survival.
  8. In order to avoid waking either beast, BE QUIET.
  9. Zombies and babies cannot climb.  Thankfully.
  10. And finally, whether battling in a post-apocalyptic zombie world or adjusting to life with an infant, the most important thing to remember is...enjoy the little things.  They're all you've got left now.
Happy Halloween! 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

NO Minors Tonight!

Sometimes you just can't bring your baby to the bar.  I mean, you love your baby and all, and of course, you want to spend every single second of every day just snuggling him nonstop until you both want to scream.  But you can't. 


And so, to keep from losing your new-parent-mind, you MUST recruit a good friend or two to look after your child for a few hours - he will be fine - and get yourself out a good old American No Minors Bar.  Seriously, do it now.

After realizing that we, in fact, were quite close to refering to each other exclusively as "Mommy and Daddy" even when talking to each other, we knew that we had to get out of this house STAT.  I slapped on some lip gloss and heels(!), dropped off the little Bean with some friends, and headed to South Lake Union to one of Tom Douglas' newest creations, Brave Horse Tavern.

Tom pretty much owns Seattle at this point.  Every experience we've had at his places has been amazing, and Brave Horse was no different.  The atmosphere was exactly what I was looking for - raucous and loud.  It's a huge bar with communal tables, TVs everywhere, and a big fat bar.  The brick walls definitely add to the noisy-ness.  If you are looking for an intimate date night, skip this joint. 

Tim and me, not looking for romance, but just a place to get our drink on, cozied up to the bar.  Bartender was super friendly and changed the nearest TV to the Tigers game for us.  Their beer selection was great (not Naked City fabulous, but great), and we both ordered pint that were served in super cold frosty 20oz pint glasses.  We both loved the menu, and although the sandwiches sounded great, we decided to share some apps so we could try more stuff.  Especially because the first thing we saw on the menu was...

Fried Cheese Curds!

Um, yes please!  And holy shit (see, you can swear when you don't bring your baby to the bar), they were amazing.  Hot and gooey, deep-fried and greasy.  Amazing.  And you get a ton of them too.  We followed these up with a hot pretzel and the "cannibal" crostini.  Okay, so yes, the pretzel is something that Brave Horse is known for, and it was totally good.  They serve it with 3 types of mustard, and they also have several choices of dipping sauces you can add.  We (stupidly) did not order any dipping sauces, and we would not make that mistake again.  I think it woudl have elevated the pretzel to the next level.  The cannibal crostini was topped with beef tartare, pickled onions and some sort of amazing sauce.  Beef tartare was a new experience for both of us, and one we are definitely inclined to repeat.  This dish was incredible. 

Tom Douglas, once again, you did not let us down.  Thank you for a bar that does not allow our baby.

P.S.  In other news, if you think you're going to hit up Dante's Inferno Dogs at 10pm on a Saturday night because that's the time you have to head home from the bar because you have a baby at home, think again.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Bless You Boys

You may not know this, but Will loves baseball.  Yes, it's true.  His father thinks he's a Yankees fan just because he does have a Yankees onesie, but he is wrong.  Will loves the Detroit Tigers.  And because of this love of the Tigers, Will demanded that we watch Game 4 on Wednesday afternoon. 

Okay, young son, we said.  Whatever you're into, we'll make it happen.  And so began our quest for a Seattle-area sports bar that is open in the afternoon which also allows babies. 

Not as easy of a feat as one might think. 

After discussing numerous possibilties including WingDome (Will was sick of it), Auto Battery (doesn't open until 3pm), The Pig and Whistle (doesn't open until 4pm), Bleachers (No Minors), The Ram (no TVs in the dining room), and Ballard Loft (just not feeling it).  We finally landed on Magnolia Village Pub.  Quiet little pub so no stress bringing Will the Tigers Superfan in there plus individual TVs at each table.  Plus, Magnolia is such a cute little neighborhood, it was a great place for a pre-game walk. 

Magnolia Village Pub totally lived up to our expectations too.  We both had a great meal off the nice-sized pub menu - hello, waffle fries!  The service was friendly and totally not freaked out by Will's Tigers's obsession.  They were out of several of their beers on tap, but their selection was still decent. 

Unfortunately, what Will does not love is rain delays.  He was so pissed off about the over 2-hour delay that we were forced to move on before the game actually started. And after the Tigers lost in the 11th out, yo. 

Note:  My friend, Asia, a wise and worldly mom of 2, reccomends Fremont's Red Door as well as Hale's Brewery in Ballard.  We've got them on our list.  Stay tuned.

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Naked Truth

Apparently, my child, like Tobias Funke, is a Never Nude

After losing his mind when being forced to change out of his PJs and put on a clean diaper, we decided it was time to leave the house for a while.  A walk for Will, beer for Mommy & Daddy - it's a win/win. 

In keeping with the spirit of nudity, we decide to hit up Naked City Brewery, a great little alehouse in Greenwood.  Naked City is actually Will's favorite bar as he has been there several times since birth including at age 6 days.  It's kind of his local.  We love this place because we can walk to it, they have 20+ interesting micro-brews plus cider on tap, the bartenders are amzing, and, suprisingly, they are super baby-friendly.  There is a clear separation between the bar and the restaurant, but you don't feel like you are being exiled.  And if you are baby-free, you can totally sit at the bar without feeling like you are at Gymboree.  They also serve a mean hot pretzel. 

Unfortunately for us, Will did not forgot about the trauma of the earlier clothes-changing incident, and he was not super cooperative.  After a bit of fussing, Tim took him around the block to calm him down which prompted our favorite bartender, Karina, to thank us for being such amazing parents.  Yes, I sighed as I sipped my beer in peace for the 7 minutes they were gone, we are amazing parents. 

Note:  Naked City is open at 4pm during the week, but they open up at noon on weekends.  All day happy hour on Sunday.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Come Fly With Me

Babies On A Plane!  ...coming soon to a 747 near you!

Yes, Will has now completed the infant equivalent of a full marathon:  SEA - DTW - SEA.  No training, no dry runs, just a let's-do-this-thing mentality and a swaddle. 

Note:  You may not think that this post has any relevance to the bar blog, but IN FACT, just add alcohol and a plane becomes a FLYING BAR.  Think about that for a minute.  A flying bar.

So, yes, SEA - DTW - SEA, nonstop on Delta, but a 4-hour+ flight just the same.  And honestly, the kid was awesome.  Just as regular bars have a lot of background noise, various lights, and things for babies to stare at, flying bars are the same - just a lot more expensive. 

Parents, I know you're on to all of the little tips and tricks that make flying with a kid easier, so I'll spare you.  However, as you have come to expect, I have some tips for you that might make "taking the edge off" a bit easier. 
  1. Arrive early.  Yeah, yeah, getting through security by yourself with an infant, a stroller, a carseat, a diaper bag, 4 blankets, 3 bottles, 18 diapers, wipes, 4 pacis, and an US Weekly might take a while.  But more importantly, you need to have time to hit up one of the airport bars pre-flight. Having a large $14 beer will greatly reduce the stress of boarding your flight with said items and 2 hands.
  2. Suck up to the counter agent.  If there are extra seats available on the flying bar, they can block the seat next to you to give you a little more room.  And by a little more room, I mean space for a tray table to open to hold your wine. 
  3. Smile sweetly at your seatmeats while also looking slightly manic.  Chances are, someone near you is a parent or a grandparent.  They are quite familiar with that crazy look in a new parent's eye that says "Someone please take my child so I can pee, eat a few peanuts and gulp a glass of Chardonnay before I lose my freakin' mind."  Folks will take pity on you.  If you manage to brush your hair and avoid spit-up stains on the day, you might even get the guy next to you to lend you his tray table. 
  4. Have your credit card at the ready.  When you first pile into the flying bar, organize you and your baby before everyone else has boarded.  Get out everything you might need in arm's reach and put it in the pocket in front of you.  This includes your credit card.  Otherwise, the chances of you being able to reach it when the flying bartenders come around with the wine are minimal.  You don't want to miss this opportunity.  It may not happen again. 
  5. Finally, alert the folks at your destination of your needs when you arrive.  After your long day of hauling more crap that you ever thought humanly possible, holding your squirming baby while sitting for 4+ hours, seeking out hard-to-find elevators because you can't take the escalators, and overall just being a freakin' superwoman, YOU DESERVE A BIG GLASS OF WINE.   
P.S.  Does anyone else love the idea of a Babies On A Plane and Go The Fuck To Sleep mash-up from Samuel L. Jackson?  There's definitely something there. 

Monday, September 26, 2011

Baby in Bartell's

There are some days that you just can't take your baby to a bar.  Those are usually the days when you are most in need of a visit to a place that serves alcohol in copious amounts.  Do not fret.  You always have the option of consuming at home!  It's cheaper too.

Will and I had one of those days on Friday.  In a two birds, one stone scenario, we headed out on a walk to Bartell's.  The walk was to calm Will, the destination, which helpfully sells both wine and Pretzel M&Ms, was to help Mommy.

While shopping, Will woke up and decided he hated Bartell's, hated his Graco, and generally hated Friday.  Undeterred, I motored around the store, grabbing whatever alcohol and chocolate I happened to see first.  As we checked out, the following scene played out.

Cashier:  "Do you need a bag for your wine?"
Will:  Baby scream.
Me:  "No.  I'm going to drink it on the way home."
Cashier & Shoppers behind me:  Silent horrified stares.
Me:  Wild eyes, crazy smile.
Will:  Longer, louder baby scream.

And scene.

Sometimes we have to make our own fun.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Ain't No Thing

Wings are delicious.  Unfortunately, for 9 long months, I was forced to be wing-free.  Bean did not enjoy meat on the bone while in utero.  Fortunately for him me, we seem to be in the postnatal clear.  And so, last night we took our second trip to Wing Dome!

Wing Dome is an interesting beast.  A bar in the body of an old autoshop, and it looks totally divey.  But it's completely and totally kid-friendly.  We're not even being rebels by bringing our baby to this bar.  In fact, Tuesdsay nights are "Dad's Night To Cook":  with every adult, a kids eat for free.  Yeah, it was all Gymboree up in there last night. 

But no matter the day, Wing Dome is a great option for getting out, getting some beer (pitchers!), and getting some yummy food.  Besides wings, they have a full menu so if you too are not-so-keen on meat on the bone, you've got options.  And their wing sauce options besides the regular buffalo - thai chili, garlic, rasta, peanut - are fantastic.  And would it kill them to have tator tots?  No, it fact, it would not.  Yippee! 

No issues negotiating your way through the bar with the hummer, great waitresses who take no issues with kids breaking things and making messes, changing table thing-y in the bathroom.  Yeah, Wing Dome is practically a bar made for babies.   

Will can't wait to try his first 7 Alarm wing.  Probably 6 more weeks should do it.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Another POV

Seattle's Real Underage Problem?  Clearly, Hanna Olson would not enjoy this blog either. 

Okay, y'all, let me break it down for you. 

First, it's not illegal to have a baby in a bar that has a distinct and seperate bar area.  Obviously, Will isn't all up in his Graco sitting on the bar next to your tequila shots and packs of Camels.  If there isn't a "No Minors" sign on the front door, your baby is in.  Wouldn't it be nice if there was some "No Assholes" policy that had to be abided in the same manner?

Now, I understand that you're not enjoying your PBR if my kid is screaming his face off next to you.  I'M not enjoying my wine if my kid is screaming his face off next to me, trust.  We're going to hightail it out of that joint as soon as this happens.  Or, one of us (and by one of us, I mean Tim) will be heading outside to calm the kid.  Now if only you could do the same for your drunk-off-his-ass friend who won't stop screaming during his pool game or hitting on me when I go to the loo. 

And seriously, let ME worry about the decibel level and the appropriateness of my kid watching you make a fool out of yourself after your third car bomb.  He's seen worse.

Also, consider the state of the parents of this city.  If stopping into Naked City for a beer during our Saturday evening walk helps keep us normal, sane and not-constantly-baby-talking parents, isn't this actually doing Seattle a service?   If not Seattle, then at least the folks that interact with us on an every day basis. 

Finally, if my baby is at a table next to you, chillaxing quietly in his Manny's onesie, among the dull roar of voices, the punk jukebox, and the clink of pint glasses, think about this.  My kid at 6 weeks is already cooler than you'll ever be.  True story. 

Monday, September 19, 2011


You might not think that the Georgetown neighborhood would be a good place to take a baby for an afternoon out.  Well, unfortunately, you would be correct.  Most bars* in super-cool Georgetown will not only frown upon your baby's arrival, they will, in fact, remove your baby from the premises.  However, there is one very notable exception:  Stellar Pizza

Yep, this amazing pizza joint will welcome you and your baby with open arms.  In fact, you even have your own entrance, you're that extra special.  Well, actually, it's just that the main door opens up to the actual bar, and as the sign outside helpfully points out, yes, babies are minors too.  So use the door to the right of the main entrance so as not to be yelled at. 

The non-bar area is totally doable for you and your baby.  We had the hummer (AKA Graco Snugride Stroller 2000) with us, and we could navigate it around the joint.  Booths are big enough for the carseat to fit in next you so you can enjoy your beer and make sure your baby is still asleep at the same time.  Speaking of beer, there are lots of great options on tap here, including Elysian's pumpkin beer, hooray! 

Pizza is amazing - I totally recommend the Orcas, a white pizza with feta, artichokes, and garlic.  We also had a pepporoni which had amazing sauce but was way too greasy.  Note that Stellar offers half pizzas so you can try more than one type.  They are huge, so we had enough left over for another meal.  Great service too.  Friendly, not annoyed by the baby in a bar.  Note that pizzas take 25-30 minutes to bake so if your baby is edging toward crabby, you might want to try a sammie instead. 

Oh, and this place is totally cool for older kids as well.  I saw crayons and coloring options as well as kids who had just finished their soccer game.  Stellar is sort of a cool cross between being a divey bar and a local family pizza parlor.  Nice combo.  Don't try and change a diaper here though - definitely no room in the bathrooms. 

IMPORTANT:  Stellar does not open until 3pm on weekends. 

*Notable Georgetown establishments to try:  Jules Mae, 9lb Hammer, and Smarty Pants.  Alas, do not bring your baby.

Man About Town

I feel confident in saying that, in his 6 weeks of life in Seattle, Will has visited more bars and restaurants than many first year UW students.  True, this may be due to the fact that his mother had not had any wine in nine months and is now making up for lost time.  Ahem. 

No matter the reason, Will is a man (okay, newborn) about town, and I love this.  Bringing our baby to bars gives Tim and me a little bit of "normal" in our lives.  Will can now sleep anywhere, he loves people, and he's not freaked out by new experiences.  It's true:  having our baby in a bar actually makes us better parents.  And you can too!

Watch this blog* for reviews, photos, and info of various Seattle-area bars and restaurants without the dreaded No Minors sign posted on the front door.  This isn't about being kid-friendly.  This is about us.  (Or as much about us as anything can possibly be when we have a kid.)

*Thanks, Maura, for the inspiration!