Maritime Pacific Brewing Company
1111 NW Ballard Way
Visited on March 29, 2009
I remember one thing and one thing only about Maritime Pacific – the best goddamn onion rings I’ve ever encountered. Big, thick, juicy, and goddamned smoked before going into the panko crumbs and deep fried to perfection. These boys alone are worth the trip to this brewpub.
Everything else was decent too, from what I remember. It’s Seattle, so the beer is pretty good. The maritime decorations in the small pub were cozy and quaint. The televisions were almost nonexistent, making it difficult to watch NCAA tournament basketball, but that can be forgiven. And the sandwiches I tried I remember being pretty decent as well, though not particularly memorable in any way, shape, or form. I think maybe I had an Asian-spired one with kimchi?
Despite the name and close proximity to the coast, the brewpub has no ocean view. But its taproom is really cool! Dubbed, “Jolly Rogers,” the taproom is a small, homey place with 10 to 15 tables, a decently sized bar and a single television. This last fact made it difficult to watch March Madness, but it was better than nothing. The pirate theme is not over-done, which is nice, and the floor is a giant treasure map. I wonder if there’s a big X on the floor in the brewing room?
Jolly Rogers features a decently sized and very inventive menu. As the name suggests, go for the seafood. Two small sandwiches of either fried Mahi or grilled Ahi tuna are your best bets, or the larger version of the two. All of these were greatly enjoyed by my company. I, on the other hand, felt adventurous and went with the Asian Po’Boy featuring barbecue pork and Portuguese sausage topped with pickled Asian veggies and ginger mustard. It was spicy and tasty, but I would have preferred the fish. I was expecting something like pulled barbecue pork and was disappointed when the meat looked like lunchmeat (although I’m sure it wasn’t.) But the star of the meal was the Smokers. These are giant slices of hand-cut, applewood smoked onions hand breaded and deep fried. These are the best onion rings I’ve ever had, and I love onion rings.
They’ve got quite a selection of beer here including two nitro taps and two cask-conditioned taps. The sampler comes with your choice of 5 samples of 5 ounces each. I didn’t get to try everything, but what I did have ranged from good to great. The two that stuck out in my mind were the Flagship Red Alt Ale and the Nightwatch Dark Amber Ale. The Flagship wasn’t different from other great red’s, but it was crisp, malty and hoppy all at the same time. The Nightwatch was very dark (I’m surprised they call it amber) and was velvety smooth with rich, complex flavors all the way through.
The whole restaurant is served by the two bartenders, which means service can be very dicey. If you manage to capture their attention they take care of you, but if you don’t you can be forgotten. And careful when ordering a sampler. They really hate taking the time to fill five separate glasses. When we told the waitress we were going to hang out and drink after lunch, she said fine as long as you order, “real beers.”