First Call is a weekly food-blog feature in which we walk into a bar unannounced and ask the bartender to make us his or her favorite drink.
The Watering Hole: Twilight Exit. An alleyway-entranced, easy-to-miss, neighborhood bar in Madrona.
The Atmosphere: Gogol Bordello on the speakers. Galaga on the tabletop. A 1970s-basement-den melange of tropical sunset wallpaper, mood lighting and old baseball trophies lining the walls. Leroy the Labradoodle (owner's dog) hunting for dropped tater tots. Little miniature flags instead of numbers for your food orders. In short: The coolest Model U.N. Conference you've ever been to, only with hipsters and $1.50 PBR.
The Barkeep: Shira. Who we owe an immediate apology to because of that picture. Jesus. Raise your hand if you're too dumb to operate a point-and-shoot. Sorry, Shira. In no way does our crappy attempt at photography convey the wit or warmth with which you helped get us tipsy. Let's just call it avante-garde and move on, shall we?
Getting Seattleites Drunk For: Four years. Twilight Exit has an extremely loyal staff, apparently, as Shira's long stretch of employment actually makes her the shortest-tenured bartender working on this Tuesday night. "The girl coming on after me has been here seven years."
Drink of Choice: Grape soda. Three Olives Grape Vodka and soda water with a lime on the side.
Wait, seriously? A drink with only two steps? "Sorry! Normally it's just vodka soda. You got the fancy version."
Is this what you should expect from a bar that has an eight-hour happy "hour" seven days a week? "Yeah, we're pretty simple around here. One of us likes tequila. I like vodka. And then there's one girl who likes the frou-frou stuff. She's the outlier."
Conversation We Overheard Right Before Leaving:
Shira: How long have you been dating her?
Random dude: I wouldn't call it dating.
Shira: OK. How long have you been fucking her?
Conclusion: Shira rocks. Even if her favorite drink does not. We'll be back, but next time we'll stick to the $3 Manny's on tap.