Thursday, July 29, 2010

Jake's Famous Crawfish

401 SW 12th Street
Happy Hour: 3 - 6 PM daily, 9 PM - close Sunday through Thursday, and 10 PM - close Friday and Saturday

Jake's Famous Crawfish is the NEW McCormick and Schmick's. I know that they are, in fact, related and that their menus are practically identical but I didn't realize that something could so easily fill the void when the original McCormick and Schmick's closed. I was in love with the original McCormick's. Okay, maybe that's taking it a bit too far...but I really liked hopping off the MAX for appetizers and fancy cocktails in the bar or dessert and coffee late at night (or sometimes even both). It was a "go to" place for fancy occasions and late night cravings (they had the best bread pudding). Now that I've been to Jake's, I know that everything will be okay. Like most seafood places, I can't order much from the menu but I like the atmosphere (despite the ultra uncomfortable wooden benches), appreciate the fresh citrus drinks, and love that they tempt everyone with a dessert tray at the end of the meal. (I'm a sucker for a dessert tray. If it comes to my table and I can see how scrumptious it looks...I'm gonna order it.)

We made it to Jake's just in time to get a seat outside. This place fills up fast. Plan to get there early or be ready to stand around (possibly even hover) to get a table. I hadn't done as much research ahead of time and needed to take a look through the food offerings before placing my order. I did, however, know exactly what I wanted to drink. I always, always, always ordered the Tom Collins at McCormick's and I will probably always order that here, too. They make it with fresh citrus and that makes all the difference.

I was pretty hungry when we first arrived but decided that I better start off with something small. I ordered the fresh mozzarella bruschetta. I'm fairly certain that they have something just like this listed under appetizers on their regular menu. Of course, their regular menu is printed daily (if not twice daily) and might only have this same bruschetta some of the time. (That's what's nice about this place. Everything is seasonal and fresh, fresh, fresh.) For happy hour, the bruschetta is only $1.95. In fact, all of the vegetarian options for happy hour are just $1.95. The menu is tiered with prices going up one dollar at a time to the fanciest of options. For me, the $1.95 prices meant I'd be eating quite cheaply this time. Even with the drinks included, my bill wasn't too bad at all.

The bruschetta was pretty amazing with reduced balsamic, fresh mozzarella and a tomato mix but I was still a little hungry. I ordered the spinach and artichoke dip to share with everyone at the table. The dip was served with a bucket of chips and had the best salty finish. Of course all that salt led me to want something a bit sweet. Lucky for me, mini desserts are available on the bar menu at Jake's.

I ordered the mini creme brulee. I was so excited when it arrived to the table that I cracked the sugar layer before taking a picture. The brulee was a little colder than I prefer and the layer of sugar was a bit too think in places. I still loved every bite.

Service at Jake's was a little slower today than I've experienced in the past. I'm guessing it had something to do with the crowds of people and the limited number of servers. It's probably typical for happy hour and not something that you'd ever expect in the main dining area of the restaurant. They are a little too classy for that.

Food: Meets
Drinks: Meets
Service: Meets
Ambiance: Meets
Value: Meets


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