May 4, 2007

North 45 Pub (517 NW 21st Avenue)

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Here's the thing: I was going to wait and post this later, but I am so excited about what I ate tonight that I simply cannot withhold my enthusiasm any longer. I am not a seafood person. I have just recently begun to eat prawns, crab, and tonight - mussels. I am so proud. I am 34 and yet my palette is not fully formed. I can still add appetite likes and dislikes to my brain. So cool.

North 45 Pub is a tiny place on NW 21st that has a casual feel. Maps line the walls - a perfect complement to the marble-ish tables and comfy booths. It's busy, but not overwhelmingly so. They specialize in mussels. Which I had never eaten before tonight. But they sounded so damn good that I could not hold back. This is what I ordered: Mussels with Chorizo sausage, tomatoes, toasted cumin, and garlic with chili-lime frites. I know. Delicious, huh?

It was surprisingly filling and the broth that the mussels were steamed in was especially tasty, with chunks of tomatoes and garlic. And the chili-lime frites were delicious as well. For every type of mussel they have, they have a matching type of frite. Here are some of the other choices of mussels:

PROVENCAL – Diced tomato concasse, garlic, fresh lemon, and herbs de Provence with sea salt herb frites

GREEN ONION CARDAMOM – Scallion, chive, toasted cardamom, and clam broth with old bay frites

COCONUT LEMONGRASS – Coconut milk, garlic, smashed lemongrass, ginger, and lime juice with curry frites

CRISPY PANCETTA AND ROASTED SHALLOTS – Cured pancetta ham, oven-roasted shallots, and garlic white wine butter with sea salt herb frites

LEMON PARSLEY CAPER – Fresh lemon juice, Italian parsley, toasted garlic, and crispy capers with old bay frites

STOUT – Stout beer, pan roasted garlic, fresh thyme, and bitter cocoa with sea salt herb frites

COGNAC CREAM – Toasted garlic, thyme, fresh cream, finished in butter and cognac with old bay frites

Can you imagine how many times you could go back and try something so completely different? And I'm just talking about the mussels, here - not even mentioning the portabello mushroom sandwich, the spinach salad or the fish and chips.

We sat and talked for a while - they played great music, loud enough to sing along, but still able to converse without shouting. Postal Service, Jack Johnson, Moby, Pink Martini and Silver Sun Pickups. I'm not sure if it was the mussels, the atmosphere or the music, but that was the most enjoyable dinner I've had in a long time.

North 45 on Urbanspoon


Chelsea said...

I really loved this place. I think it will be my new comfy hang out spot to replace Mcmenamins and Bridgeport Ale House:)

Steamy Kitchen said...

Aww shit. I was SO SATISFIED with what I made for dinner and then I had to read your post on mussels. Now I really want the coconut lemongrass one.