Bottomfeeder: First Hill Bar & Grill—In a Class by Itself

Greek with a side of bar. (You won’t be punished for ordering a cheeseburger.)

The First Hill Bar & Grill is not a restaurant whose Greekness is betrayed in either name or facade. And while it's very much a grill—more Greek diner, really—its bar only stays open until around 9. In fact, so de-emphasized is the bar part that the hostess will kindly point you next door to the Quarter Lounge should drinking be your main objective.But venture indoors, past the jagged rock exterior, and the place couldn't be more Grecian. Its back wall (by the bar, which is virtually hidden) is covered in a kitschy Mediterranean mural, and its menu is chockablock with ethnic faves as well as Ameri-Greek hybrids like the Gyro Burger, which features multiple strips of split lamb sausage on a perfectly toasted sesame bun.During lunch, the restaurant is consistently bustling, mainly with employees from nearby medical campuses who are none too thrilled with the quality of hospital cafeterias. Some of these folks come for the Greek fare, but just as many don't—hence, the First Hill Bar & Grill must be all things to all people. Still, even American standards like potato salad and navy-bean soup appear to be homemade; it's not the sort of Greek diner that slyly punishes customers for not ordering Greek food. And for its type of establishment, the First Hill Bar & Grill has very little competition, outdistancing its eastward rival, Zeena's, in both quality and service.The highlight of the menu is the loukaniko. This zesty pork sausage can include a range of ingredients (citrus peel, leeks, fennel, etc.) depending on the whims of the chef, and our waitress wasn't about to reveal her restaurant's secret. She did, however, recommend that plenty of good loukaniko would be available at the Greek Festival, one of the city's most stealth annual ragers, which took place this past weekend at St. Demetrios Church in Montlake. That's one to block off in permanent ink on the fridge calendar next year.mseely@seattleweekly.com

 
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