The weekend had been calling me since Thursday night when I thought it was Friday night and was sadly mistaken. But yesterday really was Friday night and the weekend is on!
Happy hour beckoned at Cal’s Classic American in South Lake Union for happy hour with Olivia, the birthday girl (officially on Sunday). The cocktail menu in general is unique with fun concoctions, and the happy hour prices are very reasonable ($6 for a normally $10 drink). I tried the Meeker which mixes vanilla-infused bourbon with walnut (oil? crushed? the menu didn’t say), carpano antica (a sweet vermouth I’ve read can be enjoyed straight up), cardamom, bitters, and lemon oil, into a slightly sweet, subtly spiced, earthy flavored drink. I liked the Meeker quite a bit, but wished I had waited until after eating to order as the flavor became too sweet against my savory salad and fried Beechers cheese curds (yum!). The second cocktail I tried was called Aviation, a blend of gin, maraschino, crème de violette, and lemon. Could you guess the crème de violette is what lured me in? I had never heard of this liqueur and was immediately drawn to the Aviation from the moment I scoped out the menu. The gray-violet hue of the drink was pretty and the flavor was almost that of a Sweet Tart but with an adult finish of bitter lemon. The perfect after dinner drink paired with Olivia’s birthday cupcakes from Cake Envy in Green Lake. Olivia said the Aviation smelled like the color gray; can’t say I noted that scent, but she’s the birthday gal so she gets to call the shots.
Cake Envy was fun to try too! I stopped there before heading to Cal’s to pick up some birthday treats. Turns out I arrived during happy hour at Cake Envy. I never knew cupcakes could be a happy hour special =) The bakery offers buy 2 get 1 free on any of their cupcakes (regular or special or gluten-free), and half off beer, wine and bubbly. And folks, this is a daily occurrence– pretty nice. The environment is very clean and bright, with quite a bit of seating space. There’s free wireless internet, gluten-free and vegan cupcake options, and I spied soup and sandwiches on the menu too. Needless to say, I went in wishing to buy only four cupcakes and came out with six for the price of four. I probably should have just bought three though, but I couldn’t resist getting a variety of flavors to sample with Olivia.
I had a minor snafu upon leaving the parking garage at Cal’s. Parking in the evenings (after 5pm) and weekends in the garage is only $2, which is much easier than driving around the surrounding blocks in traffic looking for a spot. However, I got confused as there’s 1- and 2-hr parking spots that you prepay for, and then there’s parking you pay for afterward. I had the pay for afterward kind and thought I had to prepay, and so I thought I would pay double for parking (I know, a whole $4 plus tax, but that was beside the point). When I pulled up to the unmanned gatehouse to leave I resigned to paying again, but saw a button to push for 24-hr help. For some reason, I still thought, “Oh why bother? Just pay twice.” Fortunately I stopped myself and pressed the button, and the very nice attendant let me out once I explained the situation. It was a SIMPLE solution, but I was afraid that trying to remedy my issue would be a hassle or that the attendant would be mean. Instead, I wound up being proud of myself for not taking the easy way out, and I was happy for the positive reinforcement. Oh silly me ♥
In all, a good evening of friends, cocktails, cupcakes, conversation, and a good customer service experience.