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Published: Friday, April 19, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Cocktail-focused H20 worth visiting after a tiptoe through Skagit tulips

Have you visited the Tulip Festival yet? If not, this would be a good weekend to head up there. Many of the fields should be in glorious color. And, while you're up there, you might as well make a day of it.
We did recently, and found ourselves in downtown Anacortes at dinner time. We visited H2O, a restaurant and club that has been open about a year.
We conveniently arrived during happy hour, which is quite generous at H20.
We started off ordering drinks. H2O infuses many of their own liquors. My husband tried to order the bacon and maple cocktail, which is made with H2O's bacon bourbon, maple syrup, sea salt and caramel. How can you not want to try something like that?
Sadly, they were out of maple syrup that evening, so he settled on an Anacortes IPA, which he said was very good.
I'm not usually a big IPA fan, but I liked that beer. It was smooth and fresh-tasting.
I ordered a juniper mango, with H2O's mango gin, lime, mango, orange liqueur and soda. It was refreshing and drinkable, but not particularly memorable.
We also tasted several other beers. H2O has 24 rotating beers on tap, and they're cheerful about letting you taste them before you order a whole beer. My favorite of the few I tasted was the Laughing Dog Scottish ale.
We were famished, so we ordered a good selection of appetizers. The happy hour appetizers are small and cheap, so you can enjoy a good number of them. We tried the pulled pork sliders (rich and tangy sauce on a nice, chewy bun, $3), fish and chips (good fries, fish was a pleasingly thick chunk, $3.99), calamari (tender and tasty with a generous portion for the price, $3.99), and a coconut prawn wrap (excellent, wish I'd ordered the full serving, $3.99).
We may have gotten carried away. I didn't realized that the sliders came with fries, too, so we ended up taking home a big box of fries to eat later.
You could easily make a meal out of many of the appetizers for an affordable price.
For a main course, I ordered the chicken tacos ($9.99). The meat is seasoned with cumin, chipotle and lime and topped with a yogurt sauce and corn succotash. The tortillas are grilled, giving them just the right amount of crunch. I especially enjoyed the sauce, which is similar to the tangy sauce you find on many fish tacos.
My husband ordered the beer candied bacon burger, which is served with caramelized onions, brie, H2O's beer-candied bacon, lettuce, tomato and mayo. The whole thing is served on a pretzel bun.
The bacon was, as is to be expected, gloriously flavorful and decadent. I loved the pretzel bun; it was a great texture. My husband, however, complained that it made it hard to eat the burger.
Throughout the entire meal, we had excellent service. The waitress was efficient and cheerful. This would be a good place to linger over a meal and drink with friends.
They also have live music often. We didn't stick around for the music. Instead, we headed out in time to watch the sun dip toward the horizon from the Deception Pass bridge. It made for an ideal day trip.

314 Commercial Ave., Anacortes; 360-755-3956;
Specialty: Pub food and drinks
Hours: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
Alcohol: Full bar
Vegetarian options: A few.
Story tags » DiningLeisure (general)Wine

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