Grog, the New Back Bar with Charm


Grog, the new back bar of the Ballard Annex, has its roots in old fashioned drinks, but its clean lines and wood décor create a modern atmosphere to enjoy both drinks and a variety of tasty appetizers.

The private back bar of Grog highlights the spirits that are available. From the drinks to food everything seems to have a little bit of a kick. The cocktails are excellent. The Black Flag has a little bit of cayenne, but the drink is smooth and the subtle fruit flavors unfurl in your mouth. Twice the Equator is an aquavit based drink – one of three flavors they have in the bar – and it has the ability to feel just a little bit dangerous.

Of course Grog also features a number of varieties of its namesake. Typically grog was rum mixed with water, but these are a little more adventurous. They’re also available for groups of two, four or eight people. The bigger the group, the bigger the container; hot grog for two comes in a teapot. And you’ll certainly want to try the Brave Walla. It’s a hot mix of chai, lemon hart 151 and fruit flavors. It’s a perfect drink to warm you up after coming in from crisp Seattle evening.

The food menu at the Grog will change depending on available spices, but it’s designed with the same care and zings as the drinks. The salt and spice notes in each of the food items makes them excellent complements to the spirits coming from the bar. Our favorites were the sandwiches. The steam bun pork tacos are a steal at $5 for two and the Sichuan sandwich is a delicious and slightly less spicy option.

If you get the short ribs make sure to lather them in the peanut butter sauce. The peanut sauce is a combination of Jiffy peanut butter and other tasty notes. Feel free to use the tender meat to soak up the sauce.

If you’re looking for a food that makes a good beer pairing, try the popcorn chicken. You’ll definitely need to appreciate the fish sauce, but the salty, crunchy chicken goes perfectly with a bottle of brew.

If you want to finish the evening with desert definitely try the donuts. The cinnamon toast spice gives the fried dough, which comes hot out of the fryer, an irresistible flavor. When you’re done you might even want more than three little donuts that come on the plate.

The back bar gives you a variety of seating options as well. There are bar seats, booths – including particularly private circular booths for groups – and a long middle table. The table gives a nice middle spot to enjoy some drinks and food without being right on top of the bar. Give that a shot if you want to be in the action.

Overall, the Grog is an excellent addition to the Ballard Annex. The drinks and atmosphere give it an exclusive, almost secret feel, and the spicy notes in both the food and drinks keep the evening interesting.


Written by Charles Koh

Founded EatSeattle, and has continued to use his expertise as editor-in-chief to guide the website’s growth over the last five years. Koh’s experience focuses on digital marketing and social media, and has been a part of several companies, some of which he created, specializing in both areas over the course of his career. Koh was previously with Google and Zagat where he helped expand and grow communities worldwide.

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