The Tug's veteran bartender Arthur prepares his favorite drink, beloved by "Sex and the City" fans and Cuban expatriates everywhere!
The Watering Hole: The Tug,


The Tug: Where Las Vegas Is for Retards, the Tacos Are Mythical, and the Jello Shots Are Irresistible

The Tug's veteran bartender Arthur prepares his favorite drink, beloved by "Sex and the City" fans and Cuban expatriates everywhere!
The Watering Hole: The Tug, located at 2216 Southwest 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 They've been replaced by prancing elves, a ladybug who knits and a frog in a vest who smokes a pipe (outside, of course, and 25 feet from the Tug's doorway).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 cinderblock. 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 '90's butt-rock?" he asked me once. Because, Arthur, someone has to teach you that Amon Amarth is neither butt-rock, nor is it from the '90's--and it might as well be me.

The Drink: A Mojito. Yes, I know, this is the infamous drink which turns straight men gay and turns gay men as gay as that kid on that TV show about high school. 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 Hindenberg disaster, and involves a similar amount of dangerous gas.

Arthur's Mojito, all things considered, was good: It was refreshing, minty, and not overpowered by lime, and didn't taste nearly as alcoholic as it actually was. That having been said, the Tug also sells jello shots. These cost only $1. I think the choice is clear.

The food: It's typical prefab bar food. $4.50 gets you an order of deep fried mac & cheese. For this price you get seven small wedges, greasy and golden on the outside, filled with a wiggledy stuffing of buccatini 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, well done of course. They're dressed with an orange vinyl square of melted processed cheese, iceberg lettuce, tomato, and huge thick slices of red onion so big they could be worn, like those 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 which have been molded into fry- shaped planks, complete 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; but sadly I have never been to the Tug on a Tuesday so I didn't get to taste these mythical unicorn tacos.

The Verdict: The Tug is, of course, 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. I'd stay away from the food though. Eat jello shots instead!

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