Tiger Mountain Grill: Drinking's Always Been Better Than Heavy Lifting

Patio, cheese, and agreeable weather push Grill toward nirvana.

Top three moments during a recent afternoon happy hour (3–6 p.m. and 8–10 p.m. Mon.–Sat., all day Sunday) on the affable bar deck at Tiger Mountain Grill: (1) watching a beaver wrestle to submerge the formidable branch in its mouth in Issaquah Creek as I swigged Leavenworth Pilsner—a good visible reminder of how much more I prefer drinking to working hard. (2) Spotting a man in sunglasses with a white, waist-length beard exactly as "Gimme all Your Lovin'" came on the radio. (3) Discovering that the chef's winning combination of layering and using what must have been 2 pounds of cheese assured that every millimeter of my trough of nachos was touched by melted cheddar and mozzarella. In fact, on a hot day after work, the Grill's petite outdoor patio is close to perfection: a summer breeze off water that's so close a sign warns, "Please no fishing from deck"; a no-nonsense waitress who hustles you through your beer order, then compliments your shoes; well drinks ($3.50), wine ($3.95), and a good selection of draft beer ($2.75–$3.25) on special; and half-off appetizers you'll be digesting until lunch the next day. No sissy food here: There are thick, golden-battered onion rings, potato skins loaded with bacon and sour cream, and spicy wings. Inside, the dark wood bar feels like it's only a moose head away from a tavern in a small mining community (aka Issaquah several decades ago), but a seat by the big glass windows overlooking the creek is still a prize. What could be better? Oh yeah, the $5.99 price tag on the full range of colossal burgers on Monday. Belch. 385 N.W. Gilman Blvd., 425-392-0808, www.tmgrill.com. ISSAQUAH

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