It isn't the handy location, just blocks away. It isn't the waitress that Mr. Pants thinks is cute. It isn't even the friendly staff or that the bartenders make possibly the best Old Fashioned in Seattle.
It's more that the food is really quite good. Quinn's super fine selection of whiskeys and beers doesn't hurt, either.
I also have to love a place that doesn't cave to foie gras protestors picketing right in front of the diners. The wall of windows look right out on Pike Street and the occasional protestors. Dim lighting, dark bar, tables and chairs and other cool touches make it a hip but comfortable space.
Though I am sorry they took the bold descriptor "Braised Farm Animal of the Day" off the menu. I wonder if they had second thoughts on their own, or received complaints. Whatever it is they are calling it, it's hellishly tasty.
They use some uncommon cuts in some entrees, which denotes a sort of respect for the animal. It also may be off-putting for some, and sometimes a dish can be less than stellar to my eyes because of this. Yet I appreciate the whole beast principle.
Beasts like chicken, for example. There's often a great chicken dish on the menu; usually halved and roasted with various seasonal preps like chick pea puree and green olives. Soups are also seasonal; we loved the summery green asparagus and prawn several months ago, and recently, a winter-perfect borcht.
Mr. Pants is fond of their "Reinforced" Guinness. The reinforcement comes in the form of shot of Cynar and bourbon, which keeps him loopy and docile.
Highlights: chicken, soups, WIld Boar Sloppy Joe
Mr. Pants: full and happy, loopy, docile.