The new Capitol Hill outpost of Rachel's Ginger Beer blends some of the best aspect of the Pike Place Market flagship (an airy space, soft-serve floats) and RGB's divey half siblings Montana and Nacho Borracho (fortifying food, even more booze).
But the really important thing to know: RGB 12th Ave serves a boatload of french fries. They're thick—but not steak fry thick—skin on, and fried twice for optimal crunch.
There's the pile of cheddar fries with a big bowl of housemade ranch for dipping. And the Belgian fry roll, essentially a soft roll where fries and mayo serve as sandwich filling. Order a regular plate of fries, and you'll still have a choice of nearly 20 dipping sauces, from straightforward tartar sauce and buttermilk ranch to more gonzo mayo variations like thai chili, pho, or maple. Vegans have several sauce options too.
Monica Dimas, who runs her Neon Taco popup over at Nacho Borracho, masterminded the fry menu, plus a few nonstarchy options like fried green tomatoes and a plate of tempura veggies.
But obviously the ginger beer is a big draw here. It flows from taps both by itself and in cocktails and churns in the slushy machines in frozen drinks like a coconut dark and stormy and pink guava moscow mule. Soft serve from Edaleen Dairy turns any RGB flavor into an ice cream float–type situation (yes, this can include booze). Molly Moon's is working on a vegan coconut soft serve that should join the rotation later this summer.
Marshall says she wanted to give Capitol Hill's army of work-from-home folk another daytime destination for meetings or productivity with a beverage. The shop also gives ginger beer fans another place to fill their growlers. Marshall's still shocked by how many people make their way to the Pike Place Market store every day in search of a fill. RGB's location in the 12th Ave Arts building also ensures pretheater crowds.
The space itself has enough plants to comfortably furnish a greenhouse and, like RGB Pike Place Market, a fantastic mural by artist Stacey Rozich, who came up from LA for a week to paint it. And, awww...her dad, John, lettered the chalkboard menu. There's a great patio out front being strung with white lights plus indoor seating that includes a few hefty booths, one of which seats 15 people. That sounds far more convivial than a communal table.
RGB 12th Ave is all ages and will be open noon till midnight seven days a week.