The Atmosphere: Edmonds was a sawmill town 150 years ago. Today it's>"/>
The Watering Hole: The Winged Pig, 203 Fifth Ave. S., 425-712-0300, EDMONDS.
The Atmosphere: Edmonds was a sawmill town 150 years ago. Today it's a charming waterfront suburb with tidy beaches, an independent movie theater, a tiny bookstore, and an inordinate number of nail salons and beauty parlors. A carry-over from the sawmill days is Old Milltown, an old sawmill that was converted to a de facto mall a generation ago. Despite a recent renovation, the arcade alongside the main structure still has the original creaky wooden walkway and dusty charm of its predecessor.
At The Winged Pig, mismatched tables and chairs are scattered throughout the two main rooms, while well-worn Oriental rugs cover the uneven concrete floor. Porcine art decorates every surface. There's a wall of pig masks, and papier-mâché pigs in cages hang from the ceiling. There is also a graffiti wall mural of a pig in bondage gear. OK, maybe it's supposed to be a piggy pilot. I guess that would make more sense.
There are also buckets hanging from the ceiling above the bar. When I asked what they were for, the staff said "It's an old building and we have some leaks." Sure enough, a new leak sprung directly above me about 10 minutes later, sending droplets of water splashing onto the tiled bar just a few inches from my drink.
The Barkeep: Despite a new leak to contend with, bartender Kristina Berube was cool as a shaken margarita. That's what she suggested I order when I asked for a recommendation. Kristina teaches elementary-school PE in Woodinville during the day, but has bartended at other bars around Edmonds for the last few years in the evenings.
The Drink: Kristina and bartender Jeff Rose have curated a drink list that includes classic cocktails such as the Negroni and French 75 and new creations like the Passion Fruit Martini, a mix of vodka, Lillet, passion fruit, and champagne. Kristina suggested the margarita, since they make them fresh and not from a mix. It's her drink of choice and she must have sensed my need to be transported, if only briefly, to a warm, tropical beach bar that had neither a leaky ceiling nor a creepy pig mural.
The Verdict: Served on the rocks, in a highball glass, the margarita at The Winged Pig was a refreshing, tangy drink with just a touch of sweetness thanks to the Cointreau mixed in. Kristina floated the margarita with a touch of Grand Marnier as well. When I couldn't decide if I wanted salt or not, she suggested half-salt and dusted half the rim with coarse salt. The selection of well spirits are pretty bottom-shelf at The Winged Pig--El Jimador tequila, Jim Beam Bourbon--so if you're a top-shelf drinker, it's probably worth calling your spirit. But with cocktails in the $7-$9 range, I'd say you're still getting a good value, leaky ceiling and all.