My trip to Seattle was a rousing success. It would have been fabulous whether or not I had consumed a few burgers, but Two Bells Tavern added something special to my trip. Two Bells is, appropriately, in the Belltown area of Seattle. Eager to check out the Seattle burger scene, I popped by on my first night in town. Despite the rainy night, the place was pretty full. Then again, most nights are rainy nights in Seattle.
A large portion of the restaurant is monopolized by the bar, but it's obvious that people stop in for more than a couple brewskis. My uncle, girlfriend and I grabbed a table and perused the menu. Karen, my ex-Seattlite friend, had warned me that there would be no fries, but it was still odd to not even have them as option. In the end it didn't matter as they had some kick-ass baked beans. The oddities continued when I found out the burger was served on a baguette and the meat was a combination of brisket and round (similar to Shake Shack) mixed with garlic and olive oil. Not your typical burger, but it was certainly enticing.
The burger arrived and, as usual, I ripped off the top bun to see what's under the hood. The patty wasn't round, which makes sense as the baguette isn't either, and the cheddar cheese was melted perfectly over the meat. I assembled my burger with the lettuce and tomato on the side and took a bite. On first reaction, I was put off by the baguette. The quality was fine, but a bread this rigid isn't suitable for burger consumption; it's too difficult to focus on the real good. Once I overcame the bread situation, things took a very positive turn. The burger was succulent and overflowed with flavor. The brisket was prominent, but the garlic added a subtle kick that made the taste truly unique. Unsurprisingly, the burger's short life ended quickly that night.
Aside from the bun, my only regret was not ordering the baked beans. I went with the chili, which was good, but the beans were excellent. Make sure to grab those if you get a chance to make it to Two Bells. Also, make sure to stop by Top Pot Donuts when you're done for some darn-tasty treats.
The food at Two Bells was all very reasonably priced, possibly because Belltown used to be a somewhat seedy/artsy neighborhood, which you can tell by the current clientele (more artsy than seedy). In the end, this was a great recommendation by friends and readers alike. So far, AHT fans are 1 for 1.
Look for the Red Mill Burgers review in the next few days.
Two Bells Tavern
Location: 2313 4th Ave. in Belltown
Hours: 11am - 2am
What's Cookin': The unorthodox but delicious meat mix and the baked beans