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Originally published Friday, January 10, 2014 at 5:31 AM

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Lively grub at The Pine Box

The Pine Box, which occupies a former funeral parlor on Capitol Hill, has a well-curated food program and a slew of beers on tap.

Seattle Times staff reporter

The Pine Box

Pub food

1600 Melrose Ave., Seattle 206-588-0375

Hours: 3 p.m.-2 a.m. Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Saturday and Sunday

Etc: Credit cards accepted; wheelchair-accessible entrance in back; parking on street; full bar

Prices: $$

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The Pine Box is the most fun you’ll ever have at a (former) funeral parlor — with a festive crowd, pizzas and lots of alcohol including some you won’t see this side of formaldehyde.

This Capitol Hill bar boasts rare beers and imports that are the envy of other taverns. And last year, acclaimed chef Scott Carsberg (formerly of Lampreia and Bisato) served as a food consultant. It’s an underrated beer-pairing food menu, given that its kitchen consists of just a pizza oven.

The menu: Pub grub fancied up such as porcini-and-rosemary popcorn and a pizza topped with pulled pork, kimchee, jalapeños and roasted garlic. Sandwiches and pizzas run about $12-$14, along with salads and soups ($5-$8) and charcuterie plates and cheese-based dishes ($10-$12). Lots of whiskey but the main draw is its 33-rotating taps of lagers, ambers, porters, IPAs and Belgian-style ales.

What to write home about: Spread that creamy burrata cheese over the baguette ($12). It’s a rich ball of whole-milk burrata, served with a side of tomato jam. There’s a buttery, salty, pastry-like pretzel served with a side of hefeweizen mustard ($5). Its cheeseburger ($14, add a duck egg for $2.50), a patty of ground beef, veal and pork, tasted more like meatloaf done with a thick, charred crust. Served with side of salad or soup.

What to skip: The pizza topped with salami, a poached duck egg and arugula was too salty, but the real travesty was the overcooked egg without the runny yolk to spread over the pie.

The setting: The owners have a sense of humor, going with a funeral-home theme down to its name. The bar top and furniture are made from cabinets that were used to store urns. Booths are made from church pews. But it doesn’t feel dark or macabre. It’s crowded on most nights with beer geeks.

Summing up: Two bar snacks, pretzel and the burrata cheese with baguette, a cheeseburger and pizza came to $47.08, enough for two for dinner. Or just to snack on between beers, it’s enough food for three to four patrons.

Tan Vinh: 206-515-5656 or On Twitter @tanvinhseattle

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