Critic's Notebook

What’s the Deal at Quality Athletics?

Apparently there’s some sort of football game in Pioneer Square this Sunday. You may be interested in the sports bar down the street.

By Kathryn Robinson December 11, 2014

Just look at that Astroturf.

Its charms are many: Astroturf carpets, 20 flat screens, wood-fired grill, outdoor fire pits. The endeavor of prodigious restauratrepreneur Josh Henderson (founder of Hollywood Tavern and Skillet, owner of Westward), Quality Athletics was in important ways scripted to please, from the sno-cone and slushie machines to the 60-ounce pitchers on game days. The room is bright and loaded with sporty motifs. Someone throwing, kicking, or catching something—most likely a ball—is sure to be on one of the screens at all times.

Then again, Quality Athletics is a pretty unlikely sports bar. “We celebrate sport,” simpers the website, like a British schoolboy with a shuttlecock, and it doesn’t take long in here to realize it may be the least macho place you’ve ever been.

The menu features the sorts of food your typical sports bar denizens have never heard of. On my visits I sampled smoked salmon wings, potato croquettes with cheddar crisps and green onion crème fraiche, and a peanut butter ice cream sundae with chile and seaweed.

“You’ve got to have some familiar dishes,” says Henderson. “But I also think that just because you’re a sports bar doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy shaved ham and mustard and pickled vegetables.”

So how is that unlikely food? Read my review of Quality Athletics in the December Seattle Met.



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