Trail Head BBQ Bar Priority Pass Restaurant Seattle
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) has been going through a lot of renovations in its main/central terminal over the past year or so. While those renovations continue as of this writing, a number of new establishments have opened recently. Of particular interest to Priority Pass cardholders (other than Amex cardholders) is the brand new Trail Head BBQ Bar, which opened in the past week. It becomes SEA’s second non-lounge Priority Pass option, joining Bambuza in the North Terminal.
Trail Head BBQ SEA – Location and Hours
Trail Head BBQ Bar has a great location, just past the airport’s main TSA security checkpoint in the Central Terminal. It is hard to miss, with it’s big signage, located just south of the entrance to the C gates (specifically closest to gate C1). Hours of service are from 5am to midnight.
Priority Pass Terms & Entry Requirements
As is the case with most, but not all, Priority Pass restaurant locations, Trail Head BBQ Bar requires a same-day boarding pass. Since it does not specify for departures only, it is an option for both departing and arriving passengers. Priority Pass cardholders get $28 per person (including guests, per the terms of your specific membership) to spend at the restaurant, which covers all menu items, but not gratuity. It is important to note that the terms specifically state that to-go orders and “grab & go” items are NOT allowed. Thus, you should plan to have enough time to sit down and order.
Note that the server mentioned that they like to be notified of your intent to pay with Priority Pass when you sit down, which is probably a good idea at all restaurant locations.
Trail Head BBQ SEA – Menu and Food
The menu is fairly small (see two-sided menu in photo gallery below), but has a nice selection of appetizers, sandwiches, salads, and importantly for a BBQ restaurant, combo plates with meats and sides. The three meat choices are pulled chicken, pulled pork, and beef brisket, while the sides are potato salad, cowboy caviar (described by the server as a combination of fresh pico de gallo and black beans), and cole slaw. They also have breakfast items, and then the back side of the menu is a nice selection of beer (including a few on tap), wines, and cocktails.
I was alone, so wanted to focus my sampling on the most important items – the meat! I got a combo plate with all three meats, along with potato salad and a bag of chips for the road. The pulled pork was the clear winner, in that it was solidly average in quality, and I think anyone would enjoy. The pulled chicken was also fine, but tough to do much ruin or make it really stand out. Sadly, the beef brisket did not have much flavor and didn’t even have the look of quality brisket. To be fair, these critiques could be made of most (not all!) mall/airport sort of BBQ restaurants, and I think a casual BBQ fan would at least enjoy the pork and chicken. Some of the other menu items looked good, but will have to be sampled another day.
Service and Comfort
All four of the employees I interacted with seemed very friendly and helpful, and had a good handle on things especially for being a brand new restaurant. Staffing levels seemed appropriate. The server estimated the food would take 5-10 minutes to arrive, and it was delivered in that range. I let her know that I was in a hurry to make a flight, so I’d be wanting a to-go box. That was provided with no problems, allowing me to pretty much immediately pack up my order and head to my plane. While maybe a bit slower than placing a to-go order, it was easy to pull off and I happily left a gratuity. In total, the “Colchuck Lake” meat combo platter (with one extra meat item), plus tax, set me back just slightly over the allotted $28 Priority Pass amount. Thus, I put a small amount on a credit card, which made adding a tip easy.
The restaurant is not big by any means, with three small tables along the outer rail, seating for roughly eight people at the bar, and then a main table seating area with probably 10 to 12 tables. I imagine seating and service time could be more of an issue at busy times, so a good to plan accordingly.
Trail Head BBQ Priority Pass Restaurant Seattle – Bottom Line
It is always good to have more Priority Pass restaurant options, and specifically one with such a good location at SEA. While the food isn’t anything to write home about, based upon a very limited sample size, there’s certainly nothing wrong with it (other than brisket being a notoriously tough item to pull off for BBQ enthusiasts). The menu seems to have a good selection of both food and drinks, and the bar looked well stocked with good choices.
Please let us know what you think in the comments, as you are able to try out Trail Head BBQ Bar.