Friday, August 20, 2010

Another look at the Tin Shed Garden Cafe

1438 NE Alberta Street
Happy Hour: 3 - 6 PM

Oh my goodness! I love this place! It's great for breakfast (or brunch, when the wait is too long), they have amazing dinner selections (with more than what's typical at so many places) and their happy hour is more than delicious with great snacks and fun drinks that could easily be enough to make a meal. If you've been reading, though, you know that this was just the first of many stops to celebrate MY birthday.

After a summer (well, two summers really) of happy hour blogging, I thought it would be a hoot to celebrate with my friends on a happy hour excursion (similar to a pub crawl...but with plenty of food). I spent too much time trying to find the best run of places. It's probably ten times easier to plan a pub crawl because they are serving drinks all night long. With happy hours, the timing is everything. At the Tin Shed, happy hour starts early making it a perfect place to begin our adventure.

We sat in the garden (who wouldn't on such a nice day) and were quickly greeted by our server. She took great care of us, coming back again and again to see what we might need. And we were being quite needy. We couldn't seem to decide on anything (or, at least, I couldn't) and ordered three different things at three different times. That, plus the drinks, and the fact that we wanted to know everything about what everyone around us had ordered must have driven her a bit nuts. It just all looked so tasty. We (and when I say we I really mean I) couldn't help it. Oh, and we had three extra people show up at the very last minute adding more to our table and more to her list of things to do. A+ to her. She was great!

There were quite a few drinks listed on the happy hour menu. Having been there before, I knew exactly what I wanted. I started my birthday night with a Mikey Likes It. Sounds fun, huh? It is. Super tasty but really sweet. If you're not into pineapple juice, it's not for you. This drink is a perfect mix of pineapple juice and vanilla vodka. It's so tasty. I always have to order one.

Along with our fancy afternoon garden cocktails, we tried a long list of food items. It was all about sharing this afternoon. And when we were in between bites, we had a whole box of mini cupcakes to go through, too. Yummy.

Our first food pick was the artichoke dip. It's warm and cheesy and gooey and served with bread that is just right. I'm sure you know what it's like to have a fantastic dip with a chip that just doesn't fit. These slices were a perfect match. Not too chewy, not too toasted. Perfect.

Next up was a plate of the Shed Nachos. They were covered with all sorts of flavors but were lacking one thing: chips. They were hardly any. Thankfully, our close-to-perfect server was happy to bring out a bowl of extra chips. Just looking a the picture makes me want to go back for more.

We also tried the Berry Garcia. It may sound more like a drink than a quesadilla. This quesadilla is a bit unusual, though. It's stuffed with black beans, roasted red peppers, cheese, jalapenos, and JAM. Yes, jam. The berry jam cuts the spice, adds a funky bit of sweetness and gives this treat its name. It's weird to think about, maybe, but it's super tasty.

I was seriously pleased with our first stop of the night and not just because everyone was there for me. The weather was perfect, the garden seating is so fun in the summer, the food was amazing, and the drinks were good, too. I have loved the Tin Shed for every meal I've been to and need to make more of an effort to get there on a pretty consistent basis. Maybe every week? Or at least every month. It's worth it.

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


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