The drinking wing of the Library Bistro offers a mean macaroni and cheese. Like the Kettle Chips 'n' guacamole, burgers made with Oregon Country Beef,

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Bookstore: A Bar and Cafe

The drinking wing of the Library Bistro offers a mean macaroni and cheese. Like the Kettle Chips 'n' guacamole, burgers made with Oregon Country Beef, and cheese plate on the bar menu, it goes for $4 from 2 to 6 p.m. daily. A friend thinks white cheddar is the crucial ingredient. I'd agree, and add that the baked-crunchy top evokes memories of the homemade stuff we begged Grandma to make every Christmas. Now that we're grown-ups, of course, a glass of house red (also $4) makes a fine accompaniment, and other happy-hour dishes—tender, not-too-briny pan-fried oysters served with good cocktail sauce; a side salad with spicy and bitter wild greens—can round out the M&C to make a nice mini-meal for two. The Bookstore has real books, though no one seemed to be reading on our recent visit, and we refrained from making off-color Dewey Decimal jokes with our server. In the end, the literary theme is mostly for show, though it'd be cool if they had regular poetry readings. A mirror at the bar's far end makes the place look twice its actual, snug size, and the crowd is kind of posh, as the downtown location would suggest, but you won't feel like a leper if you're in jeans. 1007 First Ave. (at the Alexis Hotel), 206-382-1506, www.alexishotel.com. DOWNTOWN

 
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