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5 Best Bars to Prefunc Marymoor Park Concerts

By Mark

July 17, 2017

Summer Camp is nearly upon us, and I hope you are as stoked as I am for two killer days of music that is about to fill our ear holes.

QUIZ:Which Summer Camp band are you?

The question is, what is there to do before the gates open at Marymoor Park? Well, you’ve come to the right place. I am sitting here writing this at my favorite watering hole, Flatstick Pub in Kirkland, and for each free beer I get, they move up a spot. (Just kidding, no collusion here)!

I have lived on the Eastside for most of my adult life and have a few recommendations of my favorite spots out in Redmond. So come on out early, grab a cold beverage and some food before you park yourself on the lawn at Marymoor.

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Tipsy Cow Burger Bar
This place has one my absolute favorite burgers on the Eastside. They serve them to you on a metal tray, with a hefty helping of fries - either regular or (my favorite) sweet potato. There are a whole bunch of burger options, all with fresh ingredients and delicious melty cheese. "The Arsonist" is my go-to, with pepper jack, fire roasted jalapeños, and a harissa pepper aioli. It always leaves me sweating. Another fave is the Beast Mode with blue cheese, bacon jalapeño relish, and the house Tipsy sauce. Of course, you can’t have a burger without a good shake, and Tipsy Cow has some really good ones. And as a bonus, you can make them “tipsy” by adding a crafted liquor to it. And who doesn’t love a boozy milkshake? This is also a great spot to bring the little ones or if you are under age. They open at 11:00 a.m.

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Woodblock
Redmond has undergone a drastic change with new buildings, and one of the bright sides is Woodblock. They have a weekend brunch that starts at 10:00 a.m., and it is definitely a foodie hotspot with some fancy names for delicious food. My favorites are the Croque Madame, Chicken & Biscuits, and Breakfast Tacos. What better way to start a day than breakfast tacos? They also have great a Bloody Mary, Bloody Maria, and for the Clamato lovers, a Bloody Caesar. My go to breakfast beverage is the Michelada, basically a Bloody Mary with beer, an acquired taste from too many trips to Mexico. Woodblock prides themselves on being a neighborhood type spot, where friends go to meet up to get the weekend started.

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La Isla Cuisine
This is a newer discovery for me, and man is it good. Open for brunch at 11:00 a.m., La Isla serves Puerto Rican food and cocktails. Start off with a Don Q Mimoso and add a flavor of your choice. Empanadillas de Huevo has been my favorite so far, but I am going to have to try the Portoricain French Toast on my next visit. Wash it down with one of their scratch-crafted cocktails like the Flamenco Beach made with two types of rum, cilantro (sorry Gregr), lime, mango, and coconut. This is a fun spot with a great staff.

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Palmers East
What prefunc would be complete without a dive bar? Palmers is as close to a dive bar as it comes near Marymoor. I have spent many a night here and always have a good time. They open at 10:00 a.m., so that gives you plenty of time to get the juices flowing, or shake off that hangover with the hair of the dog. When I grab a morning meal here, I always get Raul’s Breakfast Burrito. It is loaded with eggs, hash browns, and your choice of three fillings. Lot’s of standard beers on tap, plus three rotating handles. If you’re really looking to turn it up, they have Jello shots as well. Great staff and you’ll have a blast, just don’t forget you have tickets to Summer Camp.

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The Matador
Looking for something more south of the border, then you’ve got to check out The Matador. While it is part of a small family of restaurants, it still has that unique feel. They open at 11:00 a.m., but the cocktails are strong, so you only need a couple. The margaritas are fantastic, I always get the house version, but with mezcal instead of tequila. Matador has one of my favorite tacos, the Chile-Rubbed Mahi Mahi. They also have street tacos which is five of their favorite tacos for $12. Always a great atmosphere and a great way to kick off the day,

I hope you get a chance to check out some of my favorite spots, and maybe you’ll even run into me. If not, I’ll see you at Summer Camp and we can have a high five and a Rainier!

Bonus Shouts!
If you’re looking for something to do after the show, there are a couple great breweries just North of the downtown area. Black Raven Brewing, Hi-Fi Brewing, and Bushnell Craft Brewery are all great. Or you can come join me at Flatstick in Kirkland and we can play a round of mini-golf and talk about all the great bands we just saw.

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