Pine Lake Ale House offers up some fine pub grub
April 1, 2014
By David Hayes
Sometimes, when together with a group of co-workers, you just get a hankering for some pub grub. So, we trekked up to Pine Lake Ale House to check their offerings.
The first good sign was how packed it was. A successful restaurant needs to maintain a solid base of regulars while constantly attracting new diners.
I went right for their top item from their menu’s list of specialties — the fish and chips. Glancing around the pub, it appeared to be a popular order among the many other diners. It was easy to see why, as the combination of flaky Alaskan halibut, the Mac & Jacks beer batter and the chili tartar sauce combined for a satisfying whole.
The spiciness to the tartar was an especially nice touch, rather than the typical pickle juice aftertaste usually employed at other establishments. My only nitpicks are one piece was a little too greasy, and at $16.95, a third piece of fish would have been nice.
One of us ordered under specialty burgers the teriyaki chicken burger for $10.95. She found the marinated chicken breast had more sauce on it than marinade. While the greens were fresh, the tomato looked a little pale. She also felt the Swiss cheese was an odd choice to pair with teriyaki. Afterward, she realized asking for no pineapple may have been a mistake. At least the garlic aioli added a nice touch.
Seeking a little more roughage with her meal, another of our group ordered the taco salad. The very generous concoction arrived in a large, freshly fried tortilla shell. Warm black beans were layered with fresh, crisp lettuce, topped with a colorful array of chicken and other fresh vegetables and condiments. She was pleasantly surprised by the seasoned, grilled chicken’s vibrant, juicy flavor. The guacamole and salsa were nice additions.
Our fourth member eschewed the fries and went with the daily special soup with her spicy chicken sandwich. This day’s feature was potato soup. Although it could have been warmer, the serving size was just right and it was thick and hearty with a nice amount of potato.
If you go
The sandwich, which did have flavorful breading, could have been fried in the oil a little less. The portion is definitely for diners who enjoy a slab of chicken that exceeds the boundaries of the bun.
As for the pub’s aesthetics, the digital menu above the bar was eye-catching, drawing your attention to the featured ales in their rotating selection. Because the restaurant was packed, it was also very noisy. But don’t let the acoustics detour you from enjoying what the locals already know — the Pine Lake Ale House knows how to serve up satisfying pub grub.
Restaurant reviews are a regular feature of The Issaquah Press. Reviewers visit restaurants unannounced and pay in full for their meals.