Husband and wife duo Rik Filion and Malaty Lim would never have predicted the twists and turns their lives would take over the last year. Not only have the two opened a new restaurant in University Place, the Thirsty Hound Drinkery, fulfilling a lifetime dream for Lim, but they’ve also faced an even more daunting challenge — her recent diagnosis of Stage IV cancer.
The couple has enlisted the help of its entire family to run the day-to-day operations at this charming bar and restaurant so that Lim can recuperate from cancer treatments and still keep an eye on the kitchen. She and Filion have poured their hearts into the dishes featured on their eclectic menu, wisely keeping them simple, with fresh ingredients to enhance classic comfort foods.
Try the excellent Thirsty Hound Beer Cheese, served with two pillow-soft pretzel loaves. “We experimented for weeks with ingredients and finally landed on the smoky Gouda, provolone, and white cheddar, combined with a locally brewed lager that just is really delicious,” said Filion.
This talented couple augmented its shoestring budget with repurposed items to create the décor in this inviting space. There’s a fireplace in the rear of the restaurant, flanked with tables and couches, where families congregate to play board games or listen to music.
“Our goal was to stay as far away from the fryer as possible, creating food that people will recognize, but with our spin on them,” Filion explained. The Lemon Butter Shrimp is a must-try, with jumbo shrimp that have been sautéed in garlic and lemon butter. Don’t skip dessert here, either, as Lim’s Key Lime Pie is the real deal — incorporating just the right amount of limey goodness.
The Thirsty Hound moniker refers to the cozy bar, where Filion serves up gourmet craft brews and classic cocktails. Locals flock here for happy hour, too.
Lim struggles with her health issues but said that she stays positive by focusing on raising awareness about the lack of funding to assist patients with Stage IV cancer. “Of course, we look for a cure, but for those of us living with this disease, there needs to be more funding for treatments to help us live our best lives right now.”