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Bellingham
Tuesday, June 2, 2020

TASTE TESTERS: WHISKEY’S

Photo by Harrison Amelang
The entrance to Whiskey’s. // Photo by Harrison Amelang

If Ron Swanson wanted a hearty, food-coma inducing breakfast, he would make his way to a Cracker Barrel, where the wooden walls are always adorned with a trappers’ tools, creating a musky, earthy atmosphere. Then, if he was somehow still hungry for lunch, he would look no further than Whiskey’s.

Whiskey’s is still a baby in restaurant years, being only three weeks old, but the place feels like it’s been playing with the pros for decades. The service was quick and very approachable. The food came much faster than expected, and when it did come, I had to take a moment to appreciate just how much food there was.

Photo by Harrison Amelang
Whiskey’s appetizers, featuring onion rings and fried spring rolls. // Photo by Harrison Amelang

The restaurant itself looks and feels like a distant, yet modern relative of a Cracker Barrel. Whiskey’s is located in the Fairhaven district, just across from Mambo Italiano Cafe. Wooden walls hold up a replica of Evel Knievel’s bike, a U.S. soccer jersey, old comic book pages and a pair of massive mugs that looked like something out of “The Lord of the Rings.” In the dining area, two flat-screen TVs sit on a muraled wall; it was the perfect balance of comfortable dining with a spice of sport.

While it could be considered a sports bar, Whiskey’s felt much more family friendly than a Buffalo Wild Wings, but still sports bar enough to attract an enthusiastic fans for a big game. The majority of the restaurant is open to all ages with an open dining area designed specifically just for watching a game and eating. Toward the back is a slice out of game-time heaven. Across from the bar sits comfortable leather sofas in front of a gigantic 70-inch TV.

Whiskey’s calls itself a ‘burger bistro’ so I figured I would give their namesake a shot. I ordered onion rings as an appetizer and the Smokey Mountain burger, which unfortunately left a pretty big hole in my wallet. The entire meal cost me around $25, which made me a little skeptical about what the portion would look like. If I’m going to pay almost $30 for a meal, it should either sweep me off my feet and carry me off into the sunset or be so much food it requires four boxes for leftovers.

Whiskey's Smokey Mountain burger. // Photo by Harrison Amelang
Whiskey’s Smokey Mountain burger. // Photo by Harrison Amelang

I was not disappointed. My skepticism immediately vanished when the food arrived quickly. The onion rings came first, but ‘appetizer’ doesn’t quite do them justice. Just as I was taking in the amount of onion rings on my plate, the real food showed up.

When the burger arrived I was nervous I wouldn’t have enough room to taste everything I ordered. Luckily, the food was so tasty I forgot I was getting full and happily munched my way onward. The patty, like all of their burgers, was thick and hand pressed, which enhanced every other flavor the patty supported. Flavors like the bacon strips, Whiskey’s barbeque sauce, and another hidden onion ring complimented one another and made eating what felt like three times my weight in food fairly easy.

When I had finally cleared all the barbeque sauce from my face and finished off the last of the fries, I no longer felt too bad about the hit my wallet was going to take. All in all, Whiskey’s is a true treat yo’self place that won’t disappoint a burger enthusiast. As long as my paycheck and a big game coincide, you’ll find my friends and I cheering on our teams and wiping barbeque sauce off our smiling faces at Whiskey’s, not Buffalo Wild Wings.

Rating: 8.5

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