The Watering Hole: Big Mario's, 1009 E. Pike St., 922-3875. CAPITOL HILL
Bartender Lisa Mungo's Tequila Tuesday concoction.
The Atmosphere: Big Mario's is equal parts pizza parlor and bar that attracts mostly students and other industry people around Capitol Hill. It's a surprisingly warm place that makes you feel the urge to hunker down and hang out. It looks like a dive bar that's been in Seattle since the 80s, but really, it's not even two-years old yet. The place really gets hopping on Friday and Saturday nights when Big Mario's serves pizza by the slice out a window until 4a.m. and during weekdays when they dole out buck beers from 3-4p.m.. The place is also home to the world's cutest dog, a Puggle named Jackson that belongs to the bar manager, Melissa. It was hanging out with a customer the entire time I was there and, just like the bartender, seemed to know everyone walking through the doors.
|Big Mario's offers 40s of Olde English and Boone's Farm which Mungo says, "Is much more popular on weekends."|
The Drink: I figured a hole-in-the-wall teetering the line between the hungover and hipster would serve me something along the lines of a Jager and Red Bull, but instead, I got myself a margarita. "Today, I made a margarita and the reason why is because it's Tequila Tuesday," Mungo tells me. "A lot of people come in, a lot of students, and they'll do a little Tequila Tuesday action. It's not that we even have a particular special or anything, it's just that...it's Tequila Tuesday."
The drink that needs no introduction.
There's nothing earth-shattering about the recipe: tequila, a mix of simple syrup and lime (Big Mario's makes their own sour) topped with a splash of OJ and soda. It's a little fancier than what Mungo likes to drink. "I'm easy. [I prefer] something like whiskey. Probably Jameson. I'll do a PBR or some other cheap beer. The simpler it is, the better."
The Verdict: The drink was really good. But what I remember most was how much it made me appreciate Big Mario's, as if it were a little bit of sunshine that parted the clouds during a dark and gloomy afternoon, like when you've had a shitty day at work and your low expectations when you enter an unfamiliar bar are exceeded ten-fold. Lisa and her margarita (and her pink shirt) definitely brightened the day. I found a new favorite in a bar I didn't think I'd like. And a dog I want to steal.