There isn’t anything fancy about Lottie’s Lounge, but being there for one recent happy hour did make me a little sad that I don’t live in Columbia City and thus probably won’t be making it my regular hangout. My neighborhood tour guide for the evening told me that Lottie’s had experienced a revamp not too long ago, and they seem to have struck the right balance of casual and accessible, while being warm and inviting. I'm a fan of the exposed brick wall juxtaposed with another that’s a sort of pumpkin orange, and black and white prints that echo the black and white checkerboard floor. The old timey fixtures over the bar and restaurant space and super-friendly bartender and server make it the kind of place that you want to hang out for a while.
Luckily, the price point at Lottie’s makes that entirely doable. And yes, that is a bloody mary you see in the photo, just the right thing to go along with their slightly upscale selection of sandwiches. That evening we sampled the B.A.T. with crispy smoked bacon, arugula, tomato and garlic-shallot-sage butter, and the Roast Beef Dip with melted provolone and grilled onions, served with mushroom au jus for dipping. You know how the wrong bread can really kill a sandwich? The good news is that the opposite is equally true, and it was the mini baguettes from neighbor Columbia City Bakery that really puts these over the top.
I’d heard about Full Tilt Ice Cream, that funky shop with locations in White Center, Columbia City and the U-District, for a little while now. But it wasn’t until I was at a friend’s party where one of the owners of Full Tilt also happened to be in attendance and happened to have brought some fantastic ice cream, that I really thought about making a trip there.
How fortuitous, then, that even after a bloody mary or two and a couple of great sandwiches, my CC tour guide was up for a walk down the street to Full Tilt. The salted caramel ice cream was fantastic -- dare I say maybe even better than Molly Moon’s -- but it’s the super-casual vibe of the place that makes it so fun. I mean, great ice cream and classic video games like Ms. Pac Man? Who wouldn’t love that?