Budweiser, burgers, and bowling go together like Larry, Curly, and Moe; red, white, and blue; or a mound of uncut blow, ten grand in poker chips, and Nomi Malone on ice in the Rain Man suite. So thick are the three Bs that Budweiser, for a good stretch of time, made bottles in the shape of a bowling pin specifically for bowling alleys to serve to thirsty customers. But recently, Budweiser stopped putting its beer in the bowling-pin bottles, a cessation as short-sighted as when Seattle, drunk on combustible engines, ripped the trolley tracks from its streets.
While it's true that the notion of the inner-city, 40-lane bowling center with a pro shop and conjoined restaurant is on the wane, the recession has reminded us that those which still exist have a durability their would-be yuppie dominatrixes can't quite muster. Nowhere is this dynamic more evident than at West Seattle Bowl, which lost its parking lot to a controversial Whole Foods-anchored mixed-use development in 2008. Except that what was supposed to have been a Whole Foods and an apartment tower is now a giant hole in the ground; locals have taken to dubbing the suspended project "Hole Foods." Meanwhile, West Seattle Bowl is thriving to the point where it recently replaced its shitty, separately owned Chinese restaurant with the perfectly conceived Highstrike Grill.
The Highstrike (get it?!) serves a fairly straightforward menu of quick American classics, or Americanized versions of Mexi-tinged staples, like grilled chicken tacos with pepper-jack cheese. Unfortunately, the cheese overpowered everything else in this concoction, but the namesake burger--a colossus featuring bacon, onions, tomatoes, pickles, and mushrooms--made for a wondrous tribute to the three Bs at the core of any heavy-balled outfit. There were also delicious homemade potato chips and bottled Bud, even if it couldn't come in a pin.
Used to be you paid to bowl by the game and kept score with pencil and paper. But the computerized age has placed a premium on speed, and holey rollers are now charged by the hour. Thankfully, most of West Seattle Bowl's patrons don't let cost-effectiveness get in the way of sippin' pitchers between frames, and for those of you whose friends have gotten a tad too cocky by virtue of a series of 280 scores on Wii, the real deal will get their heads hanging in a hurry.
Highstrike Grill, 4505 39th Ave. S.W., 932-3731, highstrikegrill.com