The Big Breakfast Adventure | The Leary Traveler

(In case you missed how the Big Breakfast Adventure got started, you can read it  here:  How it all began)

Today’s breakfast was pretty much destined to be one of the stranger Big Breakfast Adventures for me.  Since I don’t drink alcohol, heading off for the Best Bloody Mary in Seattle seemed weird right from the outset.  But it got weirder.  Going out to drink the Best Bloody Mary in Seattle at any time of day would be odd to me, but at 10:30 am?  Even before I swore off the hard stuff almost 20 years ago I never drank at 10:30 in the morning.  OK, yes, sometimes there were a few mornings where you could tell I had only just stopped drinking from the night before, but let’s not dwell on that.  Weirder still, The Leary Traveler is essentially a sports bar, aka not the kind of place I frequent.  I think I’ve been to one other sports bar one other time in the last 10 years and that was because I went with 30 other people that I work with.  Now don’t get me wrong:  I am sure that sports bars are quite lovely & in no way am I judging them or the folks that like to go to them.  However, when you’re single, don’t watch sports and don’t drink alcohol…well…you get my point.

It was weird being the only one standing outside The Leary Traveler while there were 15 people standing outside Anita’s (next door) and another 22 people standing outside The Dish (next door the other side).  It was even weirder when 10:30 rolled around (opening time! yay!) & nothing happened.  No one came to open the door, switched lights on, put a board outside, welcomed us (ok, me) in.  Nothing happened.  So I waited until 10:35 and then decided to see if the door opened.  It did.  I walked in.  Weirder and weirder.  A chef and a barman were there inside.  I didn’t hear anyone say “Hello”.  No one said “sit anywhere you like”.  No one said, well, anything.  So I just sat at a bar table, perched on a stool.  And waited.  Finally the {cuter-than-heck-but-not-especially-attentive} barman wandered over my way.  I asked for a virgin Bloody Mary.  He asked if I wanted the rim salted or not.  I didn’t have the faintest idea, so I said “Surprise me.”  “I’ll salt half of it then so you can decided which you like better.”  I like that man’s thinking.

There was basketball playing on the {silent} TV.  Basketball is the one with hoops, right?  It is a Sports Bar, after all – if there were no sports playing on the TVs that would be truly weird.  There was also fun music playing – The Dropkick Murphys (WARNING: seriously noisy link) singing “Take ‘Em Down” – & other foot-tapping, smile-making ditties.  Rather reminded me of Ryan Shupe and the Rubber Band.  All banjos and jolliness.  Not a bad thing for a Saturday morning.  Not a bad thing at all.

Oh my.  And there was me thinking a virgin Bloody Mary was pretty much just tomato juice.  Oh my.  That’ll go through me like a dose of salts.  Can you say “HOT” ?

I asked the {cuter-than-heck-but-not-especially-attentive} barman what the very best thing on the menu was.  He told me that the very best thing was the thing that was often overlooked – the Open-faced Egg Sandwich.  I’ll have that, please.  Overlooked Egg Sandwiches need some lovin’ too.


I have no clue why everyone else was waiting in The Line (and the freezing cold) next door outside The Dish.  Hey, peeps, the great food – it’s in here.  That {cuter-than-heck-but-not-especially-attentive} barman was right.  One sterling sandwich if ever I have had one.  Pesto aioli, grilled (fried) bread (from Essential Baking in Fremont aka the good stuff), bacon, sharp cheese, bunch of funky lettuce & greens, fresh tomato & 2 right-way-up eggs.

It was completely & unexpectedly good.  Who knew they turned out this kind of food in a Ballard Bloody Mary Sports Bar?  That Open-faced Egg Sandwich had me at the first bite.

So, here is the synopsis:

Food: awesome

Service: cuter-than-heck-but-not-especially-attentive

Music: fun, toe-tapping jolliness

Temperature: freezin’

However, because I do like to focus on the positive and this sandwich was particularly so, here it is again:

If you like the whole Sports Bar scene & like really good food I definitely recommend this place.  If you’re a single girl, don’t drink & don’t know a football from a basketball I still highly receommend the food, but you might enjoy the whole thing more if you take a pile of friends & don’t mind being the designated driver.

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  • C-T-H-B-N-E-A Barman - cb-

    Thanks for coming in — I’m glad your experience was… Well, I’m not sure from your review if it was good or not. But thanks anyway! I usually hear the opposite about my service and cuteness, so your assessment gave me pause on two fronts.

    Some notes:

    – I unlocked the door at 10:15am. If we’re ready, we open early.

    – I don’t put the board out on days where it’s likely to rain. Too easy to forget about it and the thing gets water-logged. What a mess.

    – I had the lights on since I arrived at 8am that morning. (There is no neon “OPEN” sign to turn on or anything.)

    – Yes, I had all three TVs tuned to basketball. It’s March Madness. There’s no getting around it. If I had my way, it would be all Coen Brothers movies all the time.

    – I take issue that I didn’t say “hello” when you arrived. I specifically remember greeting you and noting your accent. I did not, however, as you mention, tell you to sit wherever you like. That’s a good tip. I’ll do that from now on.

    – I’m glad you enjoyed the music. It was a Pandora station seeded by a band called Old Man Markley. I saw them a few nights before in Ballard. Great punk/bluegrass group.

    Cheers! I hope to see you again — with a pile of friends of course. Our deck outback is very pleasant in the summer.

    – daveReplyCancel

  • Bryon - Interesting review, especially since the “specifically mentioned” bartender replied to the review. I’ve never seen that before, but he seems well written. The pictures are the best advertising for the restaurant and certainly help support your opinion of the review. I just read a recipe that called for aioli, which seems like fancy mayonnaise but the taste is nothing in comparison (according to the person who designed the recipe). I get a lot of my inspiration from The Food Network and recently I can watch again since I have access on my iPhone. I use my DISH Network employee Slingbox to send live or recorded TV to my phone wherever I am. It is nice to see that someone can review with such class such as yourself. Keep up the fantastic blog!ReplyCancel

  • cb - C-T-H-B-N-E-A Barman: I loved your comments :-)

    My review was not criticism at all, just observations of a girl’s first visit. I had a great visit. My point about the whole opening time thing was that I couldn’t tell if you were open or not and so I wonder how many other people don’t realise that you are either. The food, as I mentioned, was awesome. I want to eat my way through the entire menu!!

    Oh, btw, I think it’s you that has the accent :-))


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