By Anna Roth
What: Northwest-style Mexican in the North End
Where: The Pub at Third Place
What Does $13 Get You? Nachos ($4.95), three-cheese pesto quesadilla with lime sour cream ($4.95)—and an optional pint ($3.25) if you can hit up you friend for tax and tip.
Recommended? If you’re in the nabe and want to escape from the world for an hour.
Official Tasting Notes: I am an idiot. The place I was supposed to go for $13 was closed on Sundays. A lot of restaurants, it turns out, are closed on Sundays. So I drove around the north end with my sister aimlessly for about an hour looking for somewhere to eat, and we ended up at the bar nearest our out-of-town parents’ house (we had to water their plants).
I was worried our choice would smack of desperation, but as it turned out, we unwittingly stumbled into a cozy little corner of Seattle, made of glowing warm wood and all-day Sunday happy hour and lots groups of well-meaning neighborhood citizens, many with beards and t-shirts bearing the names of their children’s elementary schools, drinking microbrews and talking about eating locally. Ah, Ravenna.
I view nachos as sort of a cop-out food--I’ll eat them when they’re in front of me, but I’d never go out of my way to get them. My sister, on the other hand, is a huge nachos fan and rated these a solid 8/10 (the fresh salsa and liberal cheese was a plus, but could have used more sour cream and/or olives). We both agreed the pesto quesadilla was probably the best quesadilla we’d ever had. It was adequately cheesy, slightly savory from pesto and tiny flecks of red pepper, and the lime cream was bright and refreshing. Two major thumbs up, especially paired with a Boundary Bay IPA.
With its wood tables and walls, the Pub at Third Place is the kind of place where you forget whether it’s night or day--in the best possible sense of the term. There’s a TV, but its unobtrusive, and there’s a well-stocked bookcase and a pile of board games that make you feel like you’re actually bettering yourself for being there. It’s the height of civilization, and I could totally imagine myself there with my laptop on a rainy Sunday in the future, stuffing myself with cheap quesadillas with a big grin on my face.