Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Vault Martini Bar

226 NW 12th Ave
Happy Hour: 4 - 7 PM


I've been to Vault so many times that I consider it to be a bit embarrassing. I remember thinking the first time I walked in that this is SO not the place for me. Don't get me wrong, the servers are great and all. It's the clientele that make me think I just don't fit in. It's probably a great place to meet someone (if you're looking to meet someone at a bar) but when I go out with my girlfriends...I'm going out with my girlfriends to have a few drinks and talk and laugh and have a good time. I'm not going out to have some random man walk up to the table or attempt to strike up a conversation while I'm waiting to get another drink at the bar. For me, it's the drink menu that keeps me returning. More specifically, it's the Shazam that keeps me coming back for more. I've tried to recreate it at home and have had somewhat success. It's a yummy drink with vanilla vodka, cranberry, fresh lime juice and HONEY. That's the part I love. It's a teeny amount...but enough to give this drink great flavor. Too bad the Shazam's not listed on the happy hour menu.


Vault has a ridiculously long drink menu. It's a martini bar...so they've got about a million martinis to choose from. The menu is thick and organized into sections. I usually stick to sweets, but have taken my time looking through the savory, bubbly, and coffee listings, too. Even the happy hour menu has a lot to choose from (and without description...so be ready to reference the main menu, too). I had three drinks in mind and asked our server for some advice. Based on her recommendation, my first drink of the night was the Wicked Gimlet. This was a lot like the gimlet I tried at Equinox but had muddled mint mixed in as well. It was yummy and something that I will try again. The mint was a bit strong at first but mellowed out with each sip.


Just before happy hour ended, I placed an order for a second drink. On a Wednesday evening, this place was fairly busy...but the servers took their time to hit every table to allow customers to get in that last discounted drink order before the end of happy hour. (How accommodating is that? Great service, I say.) My second drink was called the Bali High. It was a mix of rums (including malibu) and cranberry juice. It was super sweet and most definitely one of those drinks that could cause trouble as the alcohol was barely noticeable through all that sweetness. Yikes! Don't order more than one.

Both of my drinks were just four dollars each, making this happy hour a pretty good deal. The only bad thing is that they don't have any food specials. (They do offer cheap eats late at night...but then there's no discount on drinks.) There are a few things listed in their regular menu (olives, mixed nuts, and bread) that are under five dollars each...but nothing special for happy hour. Too bad!

Food: n/a
Drinks: Exceeds
Service: Exceeds
Ambiance: Meets (but not to my preference)
Value: Meets

-b

Vault Martini Bar

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