The Watering Hole: Endolyne Joe's, 9261 45th Ave. SW, 937-5637. WEST SEATTLE
Photos by Matthew Piel
The Atmosphere: A few of the trees along Fauntleroy in West Seattle are starting to turn what will soon be a brilliant shade of red. There's a slight nip in the air that never quite goes away, even with highs in the upper sixties.
You could put on a sweater and snuggle up under a blanket on the couch at home. But why would you when your friends and neighbors are all warming themselves from the inside out at Endolyne Joe's, a member of the Chow Foods empire just up from the Fauntleroy ferry terminal."Hi!" shriek the two regulars ahead of us as a waiter comes bursting out of the front door to greet them. Hugs are distributed then everyone heads inside and bellies up to the bar. At happy hour the tables are empty, but the stools are full of people who gossip and munch on the house onion rings with their thick, fried chicken-esque breading.
Though if that's not your thing (what is wrong with you?!), you're sure to find something on Joe's menu. It leans heavily toward comfort food with ravioli, barbecue, and chiles rellenos. But first, the drinks!
The Barkeep: Keeping this Cheers-esque scene lubricated is Adrien Lexington. He arrived from Austin, Texas a decade ago. Perhaps it's because of his southwestern roots that Lexington manages to pull off the requisite bolo tie worn by most of the staff at Joe's. His was made, he explains, by a friend in Taos, N.M., a place where such things are still worn without irony.
The Drink: "I was sick of drinking Maker's Manhattans," Lexington says, as he pours the golden liquid from a Maker's bottle into a martini shaker. I am confused by the juxtaposition of his words and actions.
"I wanted something like a Manhattan," he explains."But for fall." To that end, he dreamed up the Rusty Revolver. He shakes up a blend of bourbon, whiskey, a dash of bitters, and a splash of Tia Maria; pours it into a cocktail glass; and adds an orange twist.
The Verdict: The drink certainly looks like autumn with its red and orange hues. It also tastes like it--a touch sweet and very smooth, unlike the bright citrus concoctions that dominate summer drink lists.
But perhaps the strongest endorsement comes from a friend who is a notoriously picky drinker--he likes it so much he orders one for himself.
We'd also recommend the drinks, pig.