(Visited on October 22, 2011)
Pete's Club Grill and Pub
Pete's Club Grill & Pub in Carnation has, according to a sign posted on their wall, been serving it up for 100 years or so. One look at the well worn planks that are the floor and you'll believe it's true. Carnation is an old dairy farming community, and like most every other town in the Pacific Northwest, it's an old logging community as well. It's easy to see where Pete's would be a working man's establishment catering to farmers, loggers and everyone in between. Now days that "everyone in between" also includes motorcycle enthusiasts. That's not to say it's a "Biker Bar" frequented by outlaw biker clubs, but it is a stop for those who take their "hogs" out in the spring and go touring on the highways and byways with other like-minded folks through the summer and into early fall.
Behind the bar
What drew me to Pete's? Well, I grew up in the next town down the road and graduated from the high school in town, back when it was still the area high school and not the middle school it is today. I've been to Pete's Club before and quaffed a beer or (insert large number here), but not in many years. Many, many years. This was back in the days when Pete's was "Pete's Club Tavern" and not the "Pete's Club Grill and Pub" it is today. Back then no one under the age of 21 was allowed to cross the threshold. Now you can bring your kids in to the partitioned dining area and they can scarf down the bar food just like mom and dad. I've driven by Pete's many times over the years but had not been inside in the aforementioned many years, so I was curious to see what it had become.
We walked in and selected a table under the row of black and white portraits of a good number of the area's more experienced (older) residents. It's kind of a nice touch, actually. This being a burger blog, we pretty much knew what we were going to have, so we didn't need much time to peruse the menu. My wife selected the Bacon Burger; a 1/3 pound patty with lettuce, onion, tomato, mayo, cheddar cheese and two slices of bacon on your garden variety bun. I ordered the Double Pete; this is everything the Bacon Burger is, but with a second patty and a slice of Swiss cheese between them. She ordered a Stella Artois and I had a Sam Adams Oktoberfest, both on tap.
The burgers came and we were impressed with what we saw; they were some good looking, well crafted burgers. The bacon was nice and thick and bacony, the cheese was cheesy, the garnish was fresh and the bun didn't disintegrate as we ate our burgers. The meat, however, was somewhat of a disappointment...it didn't have a lot of flavor. I was adding salt after every bite. I'm guessing what we were served was mass produced and frozen store-bought patties.
My burger wasn't "bad", but neither did it live up to expectations. I'd eat there again, and even order the same thing, but on my three tier scale of "Worth A Trip", "Worth A Stop" and "Drive On By", I rate my burger as "Worth A Stop". My wife though, being perhaps a bit more discerning than me, gave her burger a "Drive On By".
Pete's Club Grill and Pub is located on the main drag in Carnation, WA at 4640 Tolt Avenue; their phone number is (425) 333-4300.