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photo credit: Nate Watters

49th Street Beast image
7.6

49th Street Beast

American

Ballard

$$$$Perfect For:Drinking Good BeerCasual Weeknight DinnerSpecial OccasionsBig Groups
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Beast & Cleaver is a Ballard butcher shop that becomes an upscale restaurant after hours, and it’s one of the toughest tables in town to book. 49th Street Beast is their second operation, a pop-up-turned-permanent-outpost inside the kitchen at Fair Isle Brewing. And while 49th Street is by no means Beast & Cleaver 2.0, it is a place to come for tasty upscale brewery food beyond fried things and assorted nuts. 

For the most part, the fancy food here works well enough. Yes, the famed burger is here and way easier to secure, and it holds up. The Italian grinder is stuffed with incredible housemade cold cuts. And a smooth pork rillette makes total sense paired with Fair Isle’s farmhouse-style beers (like meadowfoam honey-infused piquette-style saisons) that have the same complexities as a glass of wine.

But certain dishes have some disconnect. Like the smoked celery root that tastes a bit like glugging a bottle of liquid smoke. Or the aforementioned grinder, which features buttery mortadella and thin-sliced pork belly, only slapped on too-crusty bread that puts the structural integrity of the sandwich—and the roof of your mouth—at risk.

49th Street Beast image

photo credit: Nate Watters

49th Street Beast image

photo credit: Nate Watters

49th Street Beast image

photo credit: Nate Watters

49th Street Beast image

photo credit: Nate Watters

49th Street Beast image

photo credit: Nate Watters

49th Street Beast image
49th Street Beast image
49th Street Beast image
49th Street Beast image
49th Street Beast image

Aside from the hiccups, this spot creates food that makes Fair Isle a place where you could come with a group that wants to eat a full meal while drinking beer. And you won’t be the only ones. Weekdays are pretty tame, but on the weekend you’ll find big groups underneath patio heat lamps, third dates happening on barrel furniture, and someone always sitting solo at the bar with a book. The food comes out fast, the beer options are vast, and it's a casual space to be used no matter who you're with—even if it's just Octavia Butler.

Food Rundown

Popcorn

Usually, popcorn at a brewery means an arduous journey from Costco straight into your bowl. But not here. This popcorn dusted with caramelized yeast is nutty, salty, and sweet—we find ourselves clutching fistfuls of it like a toddler who just discovered long hair.

Smoked Celery Root

The heavy smoke on this hunk of celery root distracts from pretty much everything else going on the plate. Which is unfortunate, because the airy vache cheese and crunchy almonds are a nice touch.

Smoked Tofu

Getting tofu at a place that specializes in meat may not be your first choice. But this sandwich with creamy slaw and tangy beet kraut is worth an order whether you’re vegetarian or not. The meaty tofu log is dense, and when glazed with sweet BBQ sauce, it scratches a hot dog itch.

Smoked Potato Wedges

We could say that the miso-spiked beurre blanc is something we’d smear on leather and still eat. But the skin on these potato wedges is ironically too similar to leather, and we have a hard time enjoying it. Stick to the meats.
Burger with bacon, a thick patty, and drippy cheese on a plate.

photo credit: Nate Watters

100-Day Dry Aged Burger

Yes, this is the burger—a ketchup and american cheese-topped Beast & Cleaver special that’s now a 49th Street Beast staple. And while this thick wedge of coarsely ground meat isn’t cooked to a pristine medium rare every time, it’s still juicy, and the best thing here—which is why it regularly sells out. Always order it with bacon.

Sticky Toffee Pudding

If you’re in the mood for something sweet, this sticky toffee pudding is the only dessert choice here—but it’s excellent, so everyone wins. The sponge cake hidden under a bunch of gooey caramel is so dense it’s almost hard to get a spoon through, but once you do, make sure to scoop some of the smoked pears and roasted walnuts in the same bite.

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FOOD RUNDOWN

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9.1

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