An exercise in contradiction, Pause serves heartwarming comfort food in a strangely cold, hard-edged space. It's far from rowdy but can be deafening when crowded. It is decidedly a bar, but it's known as a hangout for parents and their kids. (Shorties are welcome until 8 pm.) But the good by far outweighs the uncomfortable; in fact, the kitchen's little cheddar sliders could do that by themselves. Established by the folks behind the Low Brow Lounge, it has that same casual attitude, but the food is a notch classier, the vibe more restrained and the focus is on beer over liquor. BECKY OHLSEN.
What to drink: The Everyday Special: two beef sliders (one cheddar, one blue cheese and bacon), awesome fries and a pint of pale ale.
Entertainment: Patio. Kid-friendly (12-and-unders get their own corner of the menu).