Cheat Sheet: Tipsy Cow Burger Bar
The gist: When owners of the popular Brix Wine Cafe launched Tipsy Cow Burger Bar in December, they didn't know it would be such a grand slam, packed at lunch and in the evening with the Microsoft crowd. The place is near the main campus in Redmond, an area starving for something beyond corporate chains.
The vibe: On the ground level of a new condo complex, the dining room and bar have lofty ceilings and exposed pipes, hitting the industrial-chic decor mark. TVs are tuned to sporting events and the lunch crowd seems to appreciate a mid-day dose of the Olympics. Servers are eager to please and offer informed opinions if you're stumped about what to order.
Eat this: Grass-fed beef burgers on Macrina Bakery buns are assigned funny names. We couldn't resist The Rockstar, pictured here, with its jaw-testing combo of brew-battered and deep-fried Daily's bacon, maple syrup drizzle, Beecher's Flagship White Cheddar, a perfectly sunnyside up organic egg, caramelized Walla Walla Sweets, bibb lettuce, tomato and the house Tipsy Sauce. The pile of fries on the side are made from Kennebec potatoes, a starchy variety that fries up extra crisp. The harissa aioli is the best house sauce dipping option.
Drink this: The lineup of 42 taps reads like the Who's Who in Northwest craft beer brewers, including Hale's, Chuckanut, Pike Brewing Company and Georgetown Brewing. A short, but well-chosen wine list shows off Washington state and Oregon producers and there's a full bar with a list of signature cocktails.
Skip this: A Bananas Foster milkshake tastes more like straight-up vanilla.
The damage: Burgers run between $10 and $15, so it's possible to get well-fed for under $20.
The verdict: Definitely worth the trip across Lake Washington for burger and beer fans.
16345 Cleveland St. Redmond; 425-896-8716