Two reasons to visit Blue Moose Tavern 

click to enlarge BBQ pork nachos at The Blue Moose Tavern. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • BBQ pork nachos at The Blue Moose Tavern.
We hit the Blue Moose Tavern for two reasons: 1) Sustenance before viewing the awesome Field of Light installation (up through Sept. 17) across the street. 2) We wanted to see how bartenders handle nearby Black Bear Distillery’s products (which just earned a gold and two bronzes at the Seattle International Spirits Awards).

The answer, $3 pours that we turn into drinks that they serve in 16-ounce pint glasses — not exactly the fanciest cocktail ware, but generous. My vodka-soda with lime drinks sparkle-clean and smooth with faint notes of sweet corn in the finish, on account of its barley, brown sugar and corn base. The Bear’s Mountainshine whiskey meets an unfortunate cloying margarita mix that totally overshadows any of its nuance. The Moose’s Korean BBQ lettuce wrap ($9.75) oddly pairs quinoa, pulled mushy chicken and wonton crisps with an off-putting gooey sauce — we’re guessing house-fortified Mae Ploy, they wouldn’t say. Leagues better, despite nearly all broken chips and our cheese being melted to the plate on bottom, is the BBQ pork nachos ($10.25), bright with banana peppers, soft pulled pork, and a great, tangy house barbecue sauce.

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