McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood & Steaks

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McCormick & Schmick’s is a chain restaurant serving fresh seafood, steaks, poultry, and pasta. They have been around since the 1970s, and are committed to freshness. McCormick & Schmick’s is well-known for their famous happy hours, which places emphasis on their hand-crafted, blender-free cocktails, which consist of freshly squeezed juices.

 

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Happy hours are Monday through Wednesday (4 PM through 6 PM), Thursday through Friday (4 PM through 6 PM and 9:30 PM through 11 PM), Saturdays (3 PM through 5 PM and 9:30 PM through 11 PM), and Sundays (3 PM through 5 PM).

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What we love about their menu is that their food items range from $3 to $9, including such items as the seared ahi tuna, coconut shrimp, buffalo wings, ahi tuna poke, calamari, truffle fries, and hummus. It’s nice that they have such a large variety available for customers to choose from.

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Their alcoholic items include domestic drafts starting at $3.50. They also offer well drinks for $4, wines and specialty cocktails for $6 dollars, and martinis (our favorite!) for $7. They have so many choices, making McCormick & Schmick’s a great option for happy hours.

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TERI’S THOUGHTS:
 Overall Experience

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Atmosphere

Inviting, classic, and comfortable!

Food

They had an excellent selection of food at an affordable price point. The food was eclectic and included some great seafood options. We had seared ahi and fish tacos which were huge! The seared ahi was great!

Drinks

I wish the martini was chilled a bit more!

Pricing

Good prices, large portions!

Service

Our server was nice, informative and helpful.

CAMI’S CORNER:
Overall Experience

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Atmosphere

I love the decor! It was a very modern look–warm and inviting with a lot of eye-catching designs!

Food

There was tons of food. I ordered the fish tacos and ahi poke (both gluten free) and they were very tasty. The tacos usually come fried but due to my allergy, they made them gluten free. The fish was a bit rubbery but still tasted good. The tacos were huge!

Drinks

I tried really hard to only order from the happy hour menu. I got a gin martini which was a classic, nothing too special.

Pricing

Very good. Great value for the amount of food and the tasty, fresh selections that were offered.
Service

Our server Mackenzie was very attentive and knew the menu well. She was polite, friendly, and we never had to ask for anything. Top-notch service!

 

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Final thoughts: McCormick & Schmick’s has a fantastic happy hour. Something that might add an extra touch and enhance the atmosphere would be some music. Overall though, we were pleased by the great portions, delicious food, and decent prices!

Click here to read our full Happy Hour Seekers profile on McCormick & Schmick’s

Purple

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Purple is a classy cafe and wine bar with locations in Bellevue, Kirkland, Seattle, and Woodinville. We must admit, we did not know much about Purple prior to our visit. We had driven by their Downtown Bellevue location so many times that we decided it was finally time to check it out for ourselves.

Purple is located at the Bellevue Towers on the corner of NE 4th Street and  106th Ave.

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Happy Hour Seeker Cami

They offer a daily Happy Hour from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m during weekdays and their menu includes a variety of American food as well as wine, beer, and cocktails.

We went to Purple on Sunday night, but didn’t realize that Happy Hour is not offered on the weekends. Even though we had food and drinks at their regular price, it still turned out to be a great evening with delicious food and drinks with a trendy, modern atmosphere. Purple offers an eclectic Northwest food menu and a wonderful wine list. The seating is comfortable and inviting and the staff is knowledgeable and helpful. They have a selection of food which includes calamari, salads, burgers, fish and chips, and ahi. It’s a great place to try different wines to find out which wines pair with different kinds of food.

Click here to read our full Happy Hour Seekers profile on Purple!

TERI’S THOUGHTS:
 Parking

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There are a couple of different garages you can choose from so parking was a bit confusing. Once I navigated to the correct garage, it was easy to find the restaurant. Some additional direction signs would help.

Atmosphere

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I loved the interior and design of Purple. It was modern, industrial, and comfortable. We sat next to a wall of windows facing south.

Food

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I ordered the ahi and tartare and it was very good. I also ordered the beet salad and it was probably the best beet dish I have ever tasted. There was an eclectic selection.

Drinks

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Their wine list is extensive. I ordered a Malbec for $11 and it was excellent. Our waitress let us all try a taste of champagne and it was also excellent. They even have champagne flights, wine flights, and some awesome cocktails and beers to choose from.

Pricing

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My wine was $11 but most were higher. However, we found out there is no Happy Hour on the weekends and so the prices are probably lower during weekdays. I ordered my food from the starter menu. It was a little on the higher side, but the prices seemed average.

Service

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Our waitress was one of the best waitresses I’ve had so far since I’ve been writing happy hour reviews. She was friendly, professional, and really knew the menus for both food and drinks.

Overall Experience

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I loved the atmosphere, service, and drinks menu. It seems like a perfect place for lunch, meeting friends, dates, and special occasions. I’m so glad I tried it!

CAMI’S CORNER:
Parking

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Even as a Bellevue native, I am still not used to parking garages. However, I thought this garage was fairly easy to navigate.

Atmosphere

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The decor is so beautiful and amazing. I love the spiral staircases, iron work, and modern open space. I could go here everyday!

Food

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There were a few gluten free choices, although they were not designated on the menu. I ordered a half of the chicken cranberry salad. It was very fresh and tasty with a beautiful presentation. Even the half-order was a lot for me!

Drinks

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I ordered the French Champagne–yum!!! (It’s not just for breakfast!)

Pricing

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My salad was $12 but my champagne was more expensive. I chose my libation knowing the price in advance.

Service

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Our server was attentive, knowledgeable, and adorable with super cool hair!!!

Overall Experience

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Even though we messed up and didn’t actually make it to Purple for happy hour (although their website says “happy hour daily”), I would highly recommend Purple cafe in Bellevue.

13 Coins

If you are a native of Seattle, it’s very likely that you have frequented or heard of 13 Coins.  Everyone who has been there can probably recount a special memory or perhaps has even memorized their favorite menu item.

13 Coins is a Seattle institution in the restaurant scene that has been around since 1967.   Best known for their traditional cuisine, upscale bar and dimly lit, classy atmosphere, 13 Coins has roomy interior with high-back leather booths, which offers some privacy while you eat.

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Happy Hour Seeker Cami!

The full bar, with seats that overlook the kitchen, has a 24 hour menu. They frequently have live music performances on the weekends.

There is a story behind 13 Coins’ unique name originating in Peru, one of love, care, and concern. Once, a young man wished to marry a wealthy man’s daughter. When the father of the daughter asked the young man what he had to offer for his daughter’s hand in marriage, the young man reached into his pocket and handed the father the only change he had: 13 Coins.

17121879_10212736237582651_1128805774_oEastsiders were thrilled with the opening of 13 Coins in Downtown Bellevue at the Hyatt Regency.  Happy hours are 7 days a week, 4:00 to 6:00 pm & 10:00 pm to last call, and Sunday from 4:00 p.m. to last call.

We had a great experience at 13 Coins the other night (as we always do!) and are thrilled to share it with you!

Click here to read our full Happy Hour Seekers profile on 13 Coins!

TERI’S THOUGHTS:
 Parking

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Garage parking is clearly marked and free with validation. There is valet parking available as well.

Atmosphere

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There was classy, dimly lit, and comfortable seating in the bar and throughout the restaurant. I love the leather high-back booths and chairs, as well as the couches and the lounge!

Food

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There is no designated happy hour menu. They offer $2 off on the drinks and appetizer menu. The selection of food choices is good, but the seared ahi I had was chewy and fatty. I tried it here several times and had hopes that it would be better this time. It sure looked pretty though!

Drinks

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Some great cocktails choices and a variety of wine and beers.

Pricing

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The prices are high for happy hour, even with the $2 reduction.

Service

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Okay, but having been to the Sea-tac 13 Coins a few days prior where the staff knew the drinks and menu very well and presented it with enthusiasm, I was a little let down.

Overall Experience

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I’ve grown up going to the 13 Coins, so my expectations are always high. I definitely miss the quality of food and service 13 Coins is known for. I hope they get back to the standards most of us remember. However, I love the atmosphere and will probably continue to frequent the 13 Coins.

CAMI’S CORNER:
Parking

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At 4:45 on a normal weekday, the parking is really easy before the Bellevue dinner crowd arrives!
Atmosphere
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The decor is so nice and the couches are so comfy–more so than what we normally see in the lounge when we go to watch bands.

Food

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Since the chain was sold, the food has not been as flavorful as it once was. They had no gluten free options on the HH menu. They did have a specific gluten free menu for the dining room, so I ended up ordering a frittata from there.

Drinks

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They offer $2 off their specialty drinks. I ordered the Brazilian Sun Spot, a cachaca-based drink  so I knew I was in for a surprise. Spicy and yummy!

Pricing

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This is not one of the less expensive Happy Hour places in Bellevue. My drink was $10.

Service

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Our waitress was mostly attentive. We ordered at different times depending on when we arrived. For those of us who did not order right away, we had to wait a bit for her to come back to our table even though she was nearby. All in all, she was one of the better bar servers we’ve had here!

Overall Experience

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I’m given it a 3.5 because there were no gluten-free choices on the happy hour menu. This will be only a cocktail place for me from now on, but I can live with that!

Experiencing El Gaucho

El Gaucho, an upscale restaurant in Downtown Bellevue, is known for their exquisite

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El Gaucho himself!

steaks and delectable seafood. El Gaucho is an elegant restaurant with attentive service and exceptional food, making it an all-around incredible dining experience. Sometimes happy hours only have limited selections that do not fully capture the true essence of a restaurant. However, in the case of El Gaucho, I’ll go as far as saying any expectations of what a true happy hour should be were exceeded!

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The Happy Hour Seekers and friends!

Upon first walking into El Gaucho, one might not expect the expansiveness and luxuriousness of this restaurant.   The bar is furnished with comfortable booths and chair seating. Although the lighting is dim, the restaurant is still bright due to the huge wall of windows.

If you’re looking to treat yourself, we strongly encourage checking out happy hours at El Gaucho for a luxurious dining experience!

Click here to read our full Happy Hour Seekers profile on El Gaucho!

 

TERI’S THOUGHTS:

 Parking

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I parked in the garage next to the elevator that went straight up to the restaurant. They do validate your ticket. They also have valet parking.

Atmosphere

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Loved the big windows and luxurious atmosphere!

Food

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Great happy hour menu items that represented their entire dinner and lunch menu. It was nice to be able to taste what they are known for. Exquisite food and ingredients. I had the wicked shrimp which was spicy, flavorful, and filling. I also had the calamari which was some of the best I’ve ever had.

Drinks

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Nice wine selection and great happy hour drinks. Very good!

Pricing

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Prices range from just a few dollars to $22. A good majority of the items are under $10. This is what happy hour should be–very reasonable and comfortable pricing.

Service

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This was the most attentive service I’ve ever had at any restaurant. I was given water immediately, the service was personable and the waiter was outstanding, I was given a list of wine choices right away.

Overall Experience

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I think this has been my favorite happy hour so far, mainly due to the service and food quality!

 

CAMI’S CORNER:

Parking

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I have the worst luck finding parking here. I ended up paying $14.
Atmosphere
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A beautiful, charming restaurant with a gorgeous view of the courtyard from the bar. The crowd looked fun with lots of attractive men.

Food

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No gluten free designation on the menu, but our server knew the selections well. I had tenderloin diablo and mixed green salad. Both were amazing and it was more than enough food!

Drinks

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I love mojitos and they offered a vodka-based version that was so good and refreshing–I had to have two!

Pricing

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Not the most expensive Happy Hour in Bellevue. Worth the prices!

Service

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Our server was very attentive, knew the menu well, and was adorable.

Overall Experience

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Even though I couldn’t seem to find the parking, all of my friends could, so I won’t hold that against them. El Gaucho offers a great happy hour with a comfortable and unique setting. It’s my favorite so far! A great option if you want to treat yourself or take someone special to a Happy Hour they will remember!

Kicking off 2017 at John Howie Steak

 

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Hello Happy Hour enthusiasts, it’s been a while! We haven’t posted since, well, since last year but the Happy Hour Seekers are back and we thought the best way to kick off the new year was a happy hour at John Howie Steak.

John Howie Steak is known for their delicious steak (of course!) but we have also been hearing people bragging about their daily happy hours. So, we decided to check them out for ourselves. John Howie is located at the Bravern in Downtown Bellevue, next to all kinds of swanky stores like Louis Vuitton, Jimmy Choo, Salvador Ferragamo, and Neiman Marcus. John Howie is regarded as one of the premier and classiest restaurants in Bellevue.

Lucky for us, we had a pretty great time! We were a bit disappointed with some of the pricing and that John Howie didn’t clearly designate gluten free options on the menu. Maybe that’s something they could consider in the future. However, the atmosphere was sleek and inviting, our servers were friendly, and the food we ended up with had a good taste. Check out our ratings below. Also, be sure to leave a comment and let us know what places you think we should check out in 2017!

Click here to read our full Happy Hour Seekers profile on John Howie Steak!

TERI’S THOUGHTS:
 Parking

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Parking at the Bravern can be a challenge–and I’m not a fan! The garage is too confusing. They offer valet parking which is a great option.

Atmosphere

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There have comfortable chairs, TVs, and a nice sized bar. The lighting is great, nothing too fancy, just cozy.

Food

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They offered good choices that showcased the best of their meats, fish, and extras. I ordered off the bar menu instead of the happy hour menu. I had the Ahi Bowl which was excellent!

Drinks

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There was a nice choice of drinks. I had a delicious vodka martini. However, I did not see a lot of wine options on the happy hour menu–though there were plenty to choose from on the regular bar menu.

Pricing

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Pricing was reasonable for the quality and food choices. The average price was between $8 and $16.

Service

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Attentive, personable, and respectful. We had a server who was able to answer all of our questions. Very nice.

Overall Experience

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I would definitely go back. My favorite part was the comfortable seating. I had a nice experience overall!

CAMI’S CORNER:
Parking

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Parking on a Sunday was a breeze!
Atmosphere
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It was very cozy! They had a small bar and a nice layout.

Food

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The menu has no designated gluten free options. I really wanted the steak bites but they weren’t gluten free. I had the spicy habanero butter shrimp which was very good. The deviled eggs were okay but a little bland for my taste and didn’t pair well with the shrimp.

Drinks

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I had the spicy basil lemon drop which I really enjoyed!

Pricing

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I have not dined here for Happy Hour in a few years but the prices have increased dramatically!

Service

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Our waiter was very nice but didn’t seem well-versed with people like me who have food allergies. I realize it’s hard to keep up with everyone’s different allergies/preferences. I just wish John Howie had better prepared their staff or designated gluten free options.

Overall Experience

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I used to rave about John Howie’s Happy Hour. However, this time, I spent over $60 with the tip and didn’t have the food experience I was hoping for. Probably an off night. I would try again sometime with different expectations.

Fiesta at Azteca!

If you’ve grown up in south Seattle, specifically Burien, then you probably have been to or heard about Azteca before. It’s a Mexican restaurant that has been around for years and is definitely on our list of go-to places.

Tonight, Azteca offered a variety of food and, as always, a great atmosphere. Surprisingly, there were not a lot of people there, especially for a Saturday night, but it was still fun. The happy hour menu had a lot of options, although there were no gluten-free options which was unfortunate.

Azteca is a chain restaurant that, although not perfect by any means, is a nice location to go if you’re searching for a more laid-back happy hour location.

Click here to read our full Happy Hour Seekers profile on Azteca!

TERI’S THOUGHTS:
 Parking

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There’s a big parking lot that’s easy to navigate.

Atmosphere

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Azteca is always festive with its traditional Mexican theme.

Food

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The food tasted good.

Drinks

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There was a great selection.

Pricing

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The happy hour prices are very affordable.

Service

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The servers are usually a lot more attentive.

Overall Experience

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Azteca is always a convenient place to stop by for happy hour.

CAMI’S CORNER:
Parking

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Even when it’s busy, it’s easy to find parking close to the building–something that’s becoming more rare in Bellevue!
Atmosphere
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Not a lot of people were there even though it was a Saturday night. However, there was lots of nice seating, mints at the hostess station, clean restrooms, and festive Mexican decor.

Food

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There were absolutely no gluten-free options on the HH menu. I ordered Camarones Monterey off of the regular menu which was okay but not as healthy as I would have liked and increased my bill.

Drinks

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I ordered the Ramos Rita on the rocks with salt (my go-to at Azteca). It packed its usual punch but the flavor was a bit off.

Pricing

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Happy hour prices are not bad, except I had to eat off the regular menu for gluten free food (medical necessity) which made my bill higher.

Service

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The bar was not busy at all. When Teri and I sat down, our drink order was taken in a timely manner but it took a long time for them to come take our food order.

Overall Experience

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Overall, we had a great time.