First Call: Jell-O-Boy!

No mojito can trump the Tug's shots.

The Watering Hole: The Tug Inn, at 2216 S.W. Orchard St. in West Seattle. The Tug's website would like to inform you that this fine drinking establishment is no longer full of violent and crazy drunks. They've been replaced by prancing elves, a ladybug who knits, and a frog in a vest who smokes a pipe (outside, of course, and 25 feet from the Tug's doorway). The Atmosphere: The walls are cinder block. The stained carpet looks like the floor of a hotel that just hosted a bukkake contest. There's a broken grandfather clock and a decrepit desktop computer which has had at least three generations of porn downloaded onto its hard drive. The wall behind the bar is stacked with pull tabs; their garish, cartoony posters, which advertise the odds of winning, make the place look like an alternate-universe Las Vegas, populated by retards. The Barkeep: Arthur, my nemesis, frequently turns down the volume on my jukebox selections. "Why do you always play '90s butt rock?" he asked me once. Because, Arthur, someone has to teach you that Amon Amarth is neither butt rock nor from the '90s, and it might as well be me. The Drink: A mojito. Yes, I know, the infamous drink which turns straight men gay. But rules are rules, and since mojitos are Arthur's favorite drink to make, I had to drink it. But why would a seemingly normal man want to make the drink most bartenders dread? "Because," says Arthur, "I'm half-Cuban." Sadly, Arthur is also allergic to beans. This fact is as tragic as the Hindenburg disaster, and involves a similar amount of dangerous gas. Arthur's mojito, all things considered, was good: It was refreshing, minty, not overpowered by lime, and didn't taste nearly as alcoholic as it actually was. That having been said, the Tug also sells Jell-O shots. These cost only $1. I think the choice is clear. The Food: Typical prefab bar food. An order of deep-fried mac & cheese is $4.50. For this price you get seven small wedges, greasy and golden on the outside, filled with a stuffing of bucatini in an orange sauce the color of a traffic cone. And as if these things weren't already the Deepwater Horizon of LDL cholesterol, they're served with a cup of ranch dressing. Cheeseburgers are $7.50. The patties are deep-fried (yes, really) to a crusty mahogany and dressed with an orange vinyl square of melted processed cheese, iceberg lettuce, tomato, and huge slices of red onion so big they could be worn like clunky wooden bracelets on the wrist of a chain-smoking old lady in Carrie Donovan glasses. The French fries are less like actual fries and more like mashed potatoes that have been molded into fry-shaped planks with a machine-made "wavy cut," then deep-fried. The food isn't bad, but it certainly isn't what I would call good—unless I was really high. On "Taco Tuesdays," you can get two hard tacos or one soft taco for $3. The beef is freshly ground and comes from West Seattle's famous burger cubicle, Zippy's Giant Burgers. The Verdict: The Tug is one of my favorite bars in Seattle. It's a marriage of convenience, however, since I live nearby. Still, the drinks are cheap (a pitcher of PBR sets you back $7.50) and the jukebox is good, provided Arthur actually lets you hear your selection! food@seattleweekly.com

 
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