I’m not exactly sure at what point in time my pursuit for Puget’s perfect pint became perpetually persistent and perennial. In the beginning, when we ventured out into uncharted Seattle territory, and we found a kid-friendly brew pub there, we just wandered in – no systematic seeking involved.
On such a day back in May 2009, after spending the day at Woodland Park Zoo, we decided to explore the nearby quirky Fremont neighborhood we had heard so much about. While looking for the Center of the Universe we happened upon Dad Watsons: daughter was hungry (when isn’t she?), I was thirsty, ‘nuf said!
Dad Watsons belongs to the McMenamins chain: 24 brewpubs in Washington and Oregon based out of Portland. As such it is closer kin to Rock Bottom than, say, The Pike or Hale’s, though not on anywhere near the same scale as RB.
What strikes me now about Dad Watsons is that while I remember the interior decor, where we sat, etc., I don’t recall the food or the beer – it left no lingering impression. Just that it was OK and we were not dissatisfied when we left. So essentially this is run of the mill pub fare: reasonably priced simple appetizers, soups & salads, burgers & sandwiches; the closest thing to an entree being fish & chips.
So, to my verdict… If I was in Fremont hungry for something quick and simple, and thirsty for ale, I might go back. But now that I am more familiar with Fremont, knowing there are other options nearby, I might just as easily pass. In other words, I don’t see any compelling reason to return, certainly not to make a trip from the Eastside specifically to eat or drink there. However, it is worth mentioning that McMenamins has two other brewpubs in Seattle: Queen Anne and Six Arms; both have been added to my brew pub bucket list and I’ll post my opinions when I get to them.
Dad Watsons is located at the corner of Fremont Avenue and N 36th St. From downtown Seattle the best buses to take are the #26 or #28 – get off right after the Fremont bridge and walk uphill the block or two; alternatively you can also take the #5 bus but be aware that it crosses the ship canal via the Aurora bridge, joining Fremont Avenue at 39th St – so get off there and walk downhill to 36th. If coming from the U-District, take the #30 or #31. If coming from the Eastside, several routes connect through downtown or the U-District – it all depends on your starting point – for these I recommend using Google maps, the get directions feature, and selecting the By public transit option.