Main Street Alehouse & Eatery: Serving Stiff Drinks in Bothell"/>
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The Atmosphere: With its creaky wood floors and exposed brick, Main Street Alehouse has been around for an impressive 122 years. A long and lean room, the Alehouse has that homey, well-worn feel that old age brings. During prohibition, patrons were snuck through a trap door behind the bar, gaining access to a speakeasy that now serves as storage. On most nights, regulars living or working in the area line the bar. Crowds can be heavy on weekends, when at dinnertime the wait for a table can reach upwards of an hour.
The Barkeeps: On a recent visit, Katy Milliken and Cheri Phibbs shared serving and pouring duties. Milliken has worked at the Alehouse for four years, and Phibbs carries the title of longest employee, making drinks and serving hot plates for six years. Anyone who has been a server knows that all those hours on your feet, dealing with snarky customers or persnickety kitchen staff can be grueling. But the women click into an intuitive rhythm of mixing drinks and taking orders in the pub's dining room, making the job look like a breeze.
The Drink:When asked to pour a drink of her choosing, Milliken opts for her version of a Crazy Train. The process is short and sweet: a heavy-handed pour of Kettle 1 vodka, a few inches of water, and a wedge of lemon is served on the rocks in a pint glass. Milliken picked the Crazy Train because it's what she drinks when her shift ends, which can be as late as 1 a.m. on the weekends.
The Verdict: With a drink that sounds like it should be a mix of Red Bull and tequila sloshing around half a coconut, the straightforward Crazy Train is equal parts refreshing and strong. Sips over gulps are recommended. When you want to get out of town but only just, the Alehouse is a solid pick. Besides booze, a rotating tap is offered, with beers ranging from Bud Light to Boundary Bay Blond Ale. Happy Hour is every Monday through Friday from 3 to 6 p.m. Order the chips and beer combo, featuring house made, thick cut plain or spicy potato chips, dipping sauce, and a 16 oz. beer of the bartender's picking for a measly $5. Or opt for a burger and beer combo for $8.