Balloon Ride at Tippe and Drague Alehouse
Tippe and Drague looks like a crowded family potluck on a Friday night. The Beacon Hill bar and restaurant's menu, developed in a potluck-like fashion, is an evolving collection of the cooks' and owners' favorite dishes. The smoky provolone macaroni I tried was so dense with tasty cheese, each bite reminded me of those sponge dinosaurs that expand when you add water (in a good way). The menu, owner Melissa Cabal told me, changes continually, like their extensive selection of Northwest microbrews. My favorites were Terminal Gravity Breakfast Porter, whose chocolaty sweetness would go well with pancakes, and Hale's Ales Cascade Mist, which really was like a drinkable cloud.
"Tip and drag" is hot air balloon terminology—the other owner, Robert McConaughy, is a hot air balloon pilot, and he gave his first homemade beer that name. The extra letters were meant to give it a "ye olde" feel. Most of the bar's furnishings came from an old farmhouse in Cincinnati, including the creepiest-sounding grandfather clock I have ever heard. Melissa said, "A guy delivering beer asked if the name meant 'tip back your beer and drag your ass out.'" I certainly wasn't in such a hurry to leave, though if I'd had another Breakfast Porter, I might have felt like I was in a hot air balloon.