As chain brewpubs go Ram Restaurant & Brewery is one of the better examples. Our nearest location from Bellevue is at University Village in Seattle – it’s well worth the trip across Lake Washington…
I first visited the Ram on my own during last fall as part of my The Heart of the University Walk. It was early afternoon, pretty quiet, and I sat at the bar in the 21+ area where I sampled the beer and munched on a small plate item from the appetizers. However I observed that the large main dining room was set up for all ages and it looked like the place would be kid-friendly.
Last night we put the Ram to the test – the spouse, daughter and I drove across the lake on a very busy Friday evening at the peak of dinner time. Our wait time at the Ram was long but within the hostess’ estimate. Our seating was a very comfortable corner booth. Table service was prompt and attentive throughout our stay.
As at my previous visit, we shared the Ram’s taster curl, their sample tray covering their standard year-round brews. We were able to pick and choose and tasted 5 standard brews plus 3 seasonals. Food-wise, and strangely for us, we all ordered burgers – Ram has some creative choices and their quality is excellent.
I mentioned after my first visit that I placed the Ram between McMenamins and Rock Bottom in terms of their beer and food offerings and quality; and closer to the latter than the former. Now, based on our second visit, this opinion is definately reinforced. And if anything I move the Ram even closer to Rock Bottom than before.
RB still has the edge in both their food and their brews, but they are getting pretty expensive these days – particularly the beer prices (unless you take advantage of happy hour or $2 Tuesdays, neither of which we are are able to enjoy). We had dinner at RB on Thursday with less beer yet we spent almost $10 more. If the Ram was located in Bellevue I suspect we might eat there more frequently than RB based on these experiences.
To enjoy the Ram as a Fueled By Beer trip, i.e. via transit and walking, read my post entitled The Heart of the University Walk.