Finding ourselves on Capitol Hill on a warm and sunny afternoon, I excitedly pressed the idea of grabbing a happy hour to my folks. After weighing nearly twenty different options (seriously), they chose Von Trapp’s. This decision made sense: my parents frequent the same three restaurants in the Seattle area: German, Italian, and American. And although Von Trapp’s was not what I had in mind, I was pleasantly surprised by their menu and atmosphere… at least on a Wednesday late afternoon. Large windows, wooden tables, multiple bocce ball courts, and a large stone fireplace all contribute to the German-gone-American fare. We shared the Tyrolean “falmmkuchen” (pizza-like flatbread), cheese plate, spicy brat, and my mom happily ventured from the happy hour menu in order to try the horseradish pretzel. I found that the falmmkuchen required cutlery (it was served to us like pizza, so I initially attempted to be hands-on; this was a hot, floppy mistake), but we enjoyed everything we ordered.
My second visit was on a Saturday evening around 8pm with one of my close friends. The upstairs was reserved for a party and the bocce courts in the back were booked up for hours, but we managed to snag the last window booth as we entered. The communal seating in the bar allows for laid back, casual drinking and snacking, with the possibility of perhaps striking up a conversation with another visitor while watching a Mariners game (this social occurrence has been known to happen in Seattle, albeit rarely).
Our food and drinks came quickly, and as we ate, we noticed a line of people slowly stretching into the driveway and nearly past the building next door. And though there was a wait to get in, we never felt rushed by the staff to finish up and close our tab. Since they limit the number of people who can come in (fire code reasons mostly, I would assume), it meant for a less packed house as well as the ability to get food service, which we appreciated since we were ordering outside of the bar area.
Overall, I would go again. I am a sucker for pretzel buns, tasty beer, and good service. All were found here, even if we weren’t able to venture upstairs or play bocce. Perhaps that’s what the other 5 nights of the week are for.
Grapefruit radler; Aged King of the Alps cocktail
Leberkäse sliders with curry ketchup