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New Friends, Milkshakes & Broken Hearts {Buckley’s Belltown, Sport Restaurant & Red Robin Pier 55}

April 3, 2011

There’s no way to sugar coat it. This weekend was rough. Last night was the UK/UConn Final Four game and if you’re inclined to pay attention to those things (admittedly I wasn’t not so long ago), you know things didn’t exactly go our way. I won’t get into why Kentucky basketball is such a big deal for B and now for me, but it runs so much deeper than just a game. That’s really all I have to say about that.

Last Sunday, it didn’t seem like it could get any better. The Cats pulled off an unexpected win against UNC and we watched as usual from Sport Restaurant. We even made friends with a table of fellow Kentucky fans sitting behind us. We all shared a round of celebratory Woodford Reserve after the game. I really enjoy meeting other Kentucky fans. It sounds like a strange thing to say, but every one I’ve met so far has just been so nice (except the one crabby girl sitting behind us at the Portland game). I’m sure they’re like every other school and have their fair share of obnxious jerks in their midst too, but so far, they’ve all been great. After we finished our bourbon, B traded phone numbers with J (half the couple J and K, the other locals at the table) so we could connect before this week’s game.

After a very long week, Saturday finally arrived. I’m going to keep this next part brief since I really don’t want to relive it. J being a UK alum had the inside scoop that the alumni association would convene at Buckley’s Belltown for the game. He was able to add us to their list. B was torn since we’ve always had such a great time at Sport and his superstitious nature made him inclined not to watch from somewhere else. Ultimately, the hope of friendly fans led us to decide on Buckley’s with J and K. In all fairness, I’ve always held a grudge against Buckley’s since they only occupy the space they do because our beloved Marjorie’s lease was broken leaving us without our favorite place in Seattle for a year and a half. That said, the staff was really nice and doing their best to handle a ridiculous and disrespectful crowd. I can’t say I have anything bad to say about Buckley’s in general… except maybe about the people who patronize their business. Worst fans of all shapes and sizes ever. Obnoxious, rude, hateful people. I’m talking about you, horrible Yankees fan in the striped dress. We suffered through the first half (some rough basketball and terrible fellow customers) before deciding it was time to make a break for Sport. I was a little sad to leave our fellow UK fans behind since a nice woman in a UK shirt invited us to sit with the alumni group (she was literally about the 5th person to offer) as we left, but B, J, K and I bolted for the Space Needle. At a couple different points along the way, we literally ran.

We got to Sport and they were super busy (Final Four + MLB Opening Weekend = BUSY Sports Bar), but as usual, they were amazingly hospitable and helped us find a table before the 2nd half even started. We all needed food since we never had a chance to eat at Buckley’s. The photos aren’t from last night since the food wasn’t the focus, but between us, we had 2 orders of Buffalo Chicken bits, an order of shoestring fries, an order of Garlic fries and an order of soft pretzels.

Buffalo Chicken Bits

A Whole Pound of Garlic Fries

And that’s where Saturday night’s story ends. Sadly, the magic of Sport wasn’t enough to pull us through, but B and I are super grateful for their awesome staff and their classy fans. We won’t make the mistake of going elsewhere for our game watching again. We’re also very happy for the fantastic company we had with us at both Buckley’s and Sport. J and K are both awesome and the kind of people who are just so easy to be around that you forget you haven’t known them forever. Not to mention that it’s very cool to meet another couple who makes all the basketball craziness feel normal… or at least who shares the insanity. I know we’ll see them again come next season, but I really hope it happens long before that.

Like the morning after any heartbreak, it didn’t feel any better than the night before. We needed a distraction. Of course, there was all the usual Sunday stuff to do before the work week starts in the morning, but for a little while we just needed comfort. Nothing fancy, nothing elaborate, nothing healthy. Comfort food. We don’t eat at a lot of chain restaurants. We don’t have anything against them, there just really isn’t much reason in a city like Seattle with so many amazing local options. After  considering a few of those options, though, we settled on something totally different. Red Robin. So in one sitting, we pretty much blew our calorie budget for the day. It was totally worth it. We each had a Rookie Magic shake (B’s with chocolate sauce, mine without), I had the bunless bacon avocado burger and B had the Prime Chophouse Burger without mushrooms. The staff was super friendly and we had a nice view of the Argosy cruises departing from the pier. Plus they sat us in a booth in the bar area, so no screaming children.

Rookie Magic (without chocolate sauce)

Bunless Bacon Avocado Burger

Prime Chophouse Burger (no mushrooms)

Our burgers and shakes didn’t make everything better, but they did put a little bit of a calorie-bomb bandaid on the weekend. We’ll take it. It was a great season, we’ve solidified our sports bar loyalty, made awesome new friends and more memories.

Buckley's In Belltown on Urbanspoon

Sport Restaurant & Bar on Urbanspoon

Red Robin on Urbanspoon

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