Trails End Taphouse, Snohomish
511 Maple Ave Snohomish, WA 98290
Guess who is turning eight this March? That’s right, none other than Trails End Taphouse of Snohomish. That’s some serious staying power for a locally owned restaurant, and by that, I mean it’s a really, really, BIG DEAL. They weren’t always the taphouse and restaurant locals have come to love though.
Back when their story started in 2011, this local hot spot got its start as a small bottle shop known as Snohomish Beer & Wine. It was a place you could go, kick back, and indulge in your love of craft beers. If you’ve never had one at this point, you are probably living under a rock. I mean, even I’ve had one or two and I don’t even drink beer.
While they might have started out small, it didn’t take long for this little bottle shop that could to begin growing. Within six months, and with a lot of love from locals, it was able to not only increase the number of taps it had available, but start serving up panini sandwiches. They are amazing by the way, and can still be found as a signature dish on their menu today.
Fast forward another six months and the shop closed and re-opened as the Trails End Taphouse & Restaurant we all know and love today. It now features twenty-eight taps, over one hundred bottles of beer from all over the world, and a full size restaurant that serves up some best homemade style food in the city. Make that all of Snohomish County. Don’t believe me? The restaurant has been voted Best Lunch three years in a row by our followers as part of our annual Best of SnoCo Awards. Its an award I can personally say they are deserving of, especially since it is one of our top five spots to get lunch.
Enough about all of that though, lets get down to the food!
First and foremost, when dining at Trails End you absolutely have to get some of their homemade potato chips as an appetizer or to enjoy with your meal. These aren’t you’re average potato chips either. It is a massive plate of freshly made Yukon Gold goodness. The chips come as is, with garlic and Parmesan, or loaded with cheese, bacon, and chives. No matter how you have them, they are sooooooo much better than fries, especially with some ranch. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.
Don’t get too full on chips though, because their lunch and dinner entrees are definitely worth some room in your belly. Their dishes are all beautifully served, in just the right portions, and feature high quality and fresh ingredients. It is a locally owned restaurant after all It’s probably not what you’d expect from a taphouse. Nope, what they offer is above and beyond the ordinary.
The SnoCo Kid and I are a huge fan of their pastas. That’s probably no surprise though considering the fact that, if we aren’t eating burgers at a local restaurant, we most definitely are eating pasta at one. Or maybe pizza, but I’m getting off track. Honestly, we usually order one of both dish types and switch halfway through so we can each have some of both. Genius! Trails End is an exception to that though, in that we both order the pasta each and every time.
For me, I go with the Build Your Own Linguine dish. My choices, the white whine cream sauce and blackened chicken. The sauce is perfect, just the right amount of creamy and not too oily (unlike another Snohomish restaurant we’ve featured). I’m just now realizing that bacon is an option while looking at the menu for this review. Why have I not ordered bacon with it yet? I love bacon. Next time, definitely next time.
As for the kid, she of course opted for Macaroni & Cheese. Don’t let the name mislead you though, this is not your everyday Mac & Cheese. It has a three cheese blend of cheddar, fontina, and the ever difficult to cook with, Gouda (P.S. LJ’s in Lake Stevens has an awesome Gouda based Mac & Cheese too). Add to that shallots, white wine, and your choice of meat, and you will be in Mac & Cheese heaven. She opted to add bacon, cause she apparently pays attention to the menu, unlike me. Maybe she’s just more committed to bacon than I am. We will have to have a debate on that one.
Given that we both opted for pasta dishes, we of course had to bring along a third person with us for this review. We wouldn’t want you thinking pasta and beer is all that Trails End has to offer after all. Although, it would still be an amazing place to eat if it was.
Our third partner in crime opted to select from their sandwich offerings and was not disappointed. His sandwich of choice, the Chicken Bacon Ranch which is served burger style on a Hawaiian sweet bun. As with my pasta, the chicken was once again blackened and cooked to perfection. You may not realize it, but that is not easy to do. I know that because I’m not a fan of blackened chicken in general. I’ve had it done wrong more times than I can count. Trails End getting it right is one of the many reasons we return for lunch time and time again.
As for the rest of their entrees, Trails End offers an array of paninis and pizza, as well as some more meaty options that are perfect for dinner. That includes steak with your choice of toppings, chicken, pork, and even seafood. All of it is delicious and worth a try if you have never been before. I’m making a note to go back and try out the ribeye steak with cracked pepper crust and homemade steak butter.
I’m not done yet though. No SnoCo Gal restaurant review is complete without dabbling in a bit of dessert. I mean we have to try a bit of everything, you know, to be thorough. My choice may not look like much, but it is one seriously sinful Chocolate Mousse. I don’t even know if there are words to describe it, it was that good. If I really had to, I’d go with rich and decadent. Okay, maybe I could find the words, it just took a minute thanks to memories of how good it was. According the kid, the ice cream sundae isn’t too shabby either.
Okay, no more food talk. There is more to Trails End than food after all. It is a taphouse, and that means lots and lots of beer. While offering a wide array of craft beers, what stands out the most, and sets Trails End apart from other restaurants, is their support of local PNW breweries. That includes frequent appearances by Snohomish County breweries like Diamond Knot of Mukilteo and Skookum of Arlington. There is nothing I love more than local businesses supporting other local businesses. They get bonus points with me just for that.
If you are like me, more of a wine person, then not to worry. Trails End has you covered with options from Washington, California, and across the world. I’m partial to the Rosé that hails from the Columbia River Valley myself.
Whatever you decide to eat or drink, you will not be disappointed. Trails End Taphouse & Restaurant is an amazing spot for both lunch and dinner. We especially love it during the warmer months when their outdoor seating area is open. Not only do we get to eat amazing food under the sun, but our adventure dog gets to tag along (not many places you can do that).
If you’ve given Trails End Taphouse a try, let us know what you think of it in the comments below, and if you haven’t, what are you waiting for? Find out more about this local restaurant and their menu online HERE.
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