Seattle sports bar features farm-to-table experience

SEATTLE -- A restaurant in Pioneer Square has found a new take on "fresh ingredients" by growing produce on its roof, and then serving it to diners below.

Quality Athletics is Seattle's newest restaurant, and it's already finding ways to stand out. It starts with the ingredients chefs put together in the kitchen. Everything from entrees to mixed drinks feature produce grown on a rooftop garden. That includes the Korean barbeque salad David Geller shared with co-workers.

"It had kale in it," Geller said. "I presume fresh kale. It was very good."

Five floors above this Pioneer Square restaurant is where these key ingredients are nurtured. Quality Athletics works with Seattle Urban Farm Company to raise the crops and give diners that farm to table experience.

"The quality of the produce that you get off your own roof or on site in a garden, you'll taste the difference," said Jessica Roundy with Seattle Urban Farm Company. "The sugar qualities are really high. You'll taste how fresh things are."

The garden features three rows of crops, which include herbs, beans, rooted vegetables and more. However, it is limited in size and can't meet all the produce needs at Quality Athletics. The owner has plans for the future.

"We're hoping to put a greenhouse next to it and expand the program a bit," said Josh Henderson, the owner. "I'm pushing to get bees up there and i'd love to get chickens."

Henderson said he designed Quality Athletics as a sports bar that can still appeal to the fine diner.

"You've got to have wings on the menu, but wings that we have, we have a skate wing with curry," he said.

Henderson also said herbs from the rooftop garden make his mixed drinks pop, and the fresh ingredients change the face of game day cuisine.

"It sort of opens up in my mind what really is game day appropriate, or sports bar appropriate," Henderson said.

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