It sits on a bustling stretch of Ballard Avenue. The Gerald, a bright, airy cocktail bar that attracts a crowd.
"I like it because it's a really great, quiet, casual spot," one guest told me.
"The cocktails! There's something for everybody. And the staff is one of the best is Ballard," added another.
"We pride ourselves on making craft cocktails," said owner Wes Yoo. "We have a wonderful selection of over 500 spirits and over 50 [types] of bitters that we like to work with. But we like to do it in an environment without any pretense. We want folks to be comfortable here."
At The Gerald the cocktail program stands on its own with house favorites like the Ballard Old Fashioned and the Tea Time, which is made with house-infused earl grey vodka. But when Wes bought the place he wanted to make sure the food was as good as the drinks.
"We revamped the whole menu in October...We wanted it to be fun first and foremost. And we wanted [the menu] to be something that's approachable for people. And we look for ways to make it more sophisticated while staying in that area," Wes explained.
And there's nothing more approachable than grilled cheese.
It's a comfort food classic. But, sophisticated isn't usually a word that comes to mind, unless you're talking about The Gerald's PJ&B. Just to be clear, you won't find peanut butter anywhere near this sandwich.
"I just really liked the idea of having a grilled cheese on the menu, but I wanted to push the boundaries a little bit and said 'what can we do to lift this up?'," said Wes. "PJ&B stands for pancetta jam and brie. So we have pancetta jam that we make in-house, and we have brie cheese on there. We have swiss cheese on there, caramelized onions, arugula, tomato, balsamic reduction. It's a fantastic, fantastic sandwich."
Check out the video above to see for yourself how the PJ&B is made. My verdict after tasting it? It's like your classic grilled cheese grown up, and it's downright delicious!