What: Jose Gourmet Smoked Sardines, La Brújula Tuna Belly, “Egg White” (Vegan, Coconut Milk) Whisky Sour, Mikado, Fig and Pig Pizetta
Where: Little Tin Gods & Apothecary Cabinet – 5335 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA
Rating (1-5): 🌿🌿🌿🌿🌿
It’s not very often I end up in Ballard. This may be only my second time, actually. But I had an outing planned with a friend that led us here one afternoon, so while out, we decided to conclude the day with “tapas” and drinks. And that’s how we ended up at Little Tin.
Little Tin (a.k.a. “Little Tin Gods & Apothecary Cabinet”) is a vegan bar with a not-so-vegan menu. But for a vegetarian or pescetarian, it’s still perfecto. The menu has occasionally changing drinks and snacks. All of the food is easy to share. While there, I ordered two drinks and three items to share with my friend Savannah.
We did originally start out outside, but Savannah got just a smidge too chilly, so we relocated inside when a table opened up. When we actually went, it was still early enough in April that a little fake fireplace heater in a restaurant was perfect to keep us comfortable.
The outside had adorable garden tables and seating with a small fountain, a bench for patrons to wait and sit at, and a few hanging birdhouses with round lights everywhere. Inside, the establishment was a little more narrow, but there was still enough space between each table – partitioned off by garden-esque dividers – that you never felt cramped.
So let’s talk about the food. Between the two of us, Savannah and I ordered the Fig and Pig Pizetta, Jose Gourmet Smoked Sardines, and La Brújula Tuna Belly.
Both the sardines and the tuna belly came in – get ready for it- little tins, served on a wooden board with lemon, I think what was a butter and bread. One of these items also came with the side of chips, which I found kinda funny given the level of the rest of the food.
The Fig and Pig Pizetta was a little pizza with puff pastry crust, cheese, prosciutto, and fig. It was both savory and sweet and delicious. I honestly was caught so off guard by this part of the meal. I almost wished I had a big 8-slicer of this.
The fish were also wonderful. The sardines were an experience – much better than what I expected, to be honest. I’m a fan of sardines, but these had the fresh, smokiness that I had hoped for, without the overpowering saltiness you usually find.
The tuna was tasty and went well on top of the bread. It wasn’t the most spectacular tuna I’ve ever had, but it was very light and very easily went with everything. Overall, it was just a lovely set of snacks to fill our bellies.
My drinks Little Tin that evening: the Mikado and a whisky sour.
The Mikado is described as London dry gin, green tea matcha, rose, lavender and jasmine, house lemon lime shrub, coconut milk and lavender tincture.
This drink was so light and smooth. It didn’t have an overwhelming sweetness or bitterness. It just tasted refreshing, which might have been in part due to the lavender, rose and coconut milk. The texture and coloring made me think of an avocado-based drink – which if you haven’t had one before, you should!
(Nacho Barracho has a good one in Capitol Hill, if you’re interested.)
The most shocking part of my experience at Little Tin – that may be enough to bring me back to Ballard to explore it again – was the whisky sour. I’ve had the question before of what is a whisky sour. Once I get a good cocktail making kit, best believe I’ll be adding a beverages section to this blog. Until then, whisky sours are typically whisky, lemon juice, and a syrup. Occasionally you’ll get the bar that uses sugar instead of a simple syrup for a touch of sweetness, but it’s usually overwhelmingly whisky. Which is a husky drink I love.
There are two ways I love whisky sours: egg white, or with red wine (sometimes referred to as a redhead, or New York sour). Because Little Tin was a vegan bar, however, their “egg white” was coconut milk. I didn’t quite expect the amount of body, froth and evened sweetness the coconut milk added to the whisky sour. To be honest, it may be my favorite one.
If you want a small group to get drinks and snacks with, then take them to Little Tin! You won’t be disappointed. I also hear they have jazz acts come play sometimes.