Dave Zimmerman and Keith Mourer, the guys behind Brix Wine Café near Juanita Beach in Kirkland, opened Tipsy Cow in Redmond last fall. What a great name for a burger restaurant. “It has whimsical and fun elements to it, and everyone smiles when they hear it. But also, the Elan apartment building that TC resides in is built on the same spot where the old Redmond T and D Feed Store originally was that served local farmers and ranchers for 75 years. So kinda cool history and it ties in our old-school-new-school mentality,” Zimmerman said.
Before the opening, the duo described Tipsy Cow as a high-end burger bar concept, but you’re not going to find opulent Wagyu burgers laced with expensive sliced black truffles and gold-flecked jarlsberg, or anything similarly over-the-top. But you will find a dedication to artisan flavors with a focus on fresh and local ingredients, including grass-fed beef, Kennebec potatoes (ideal for french fries, a must-try) and Macrina bakery buns that hold up well to any matter of burger toppings.
Burger joints can conjure visions of dingy diners or cafés, greasy meat patties and an eating experience that leaves you feeling unpleasantly full. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. A quick stop at Triple XXX Root Beer Drive-In in Issaquah or a midnight visit to Seattle favorite Dick’s Drive-In fulfills a certain need. Tipsy Cow offers a different experience from your typical burger stop. The interior is bright, modern and fun (servers sport “Tip Servers Not Cows” t-shirts and clever signs explain how the restaurant’s “Milkshakes Bring all the Cows to the Yard”). The burgers are well made, incredibly flavorful and clean tasting.
If you like your burgers basic, opt for the Tipsy Burger (grass-fed Long Valley Ranch custom beef, Beecher’s Flagship white cheddar, bibb lettuce, tomato, onion and Tipsy Sauce). But the folks behind Tipsy Cow recognize that variety is the spice of life, so oblige in a flavorful adventure by ordering one of the restaurant’s many special burgers such as the Zeus (fresh ground lamb, feta cheese, olive tapenade, red onion, English cucumber and dill yogurt); the Experience (grass-fed LVR beef, portobello mushrooms, herbed chevre, bibb lettuce, tomato and tipsy sauce); or the Winemaker (grass-fed LVR beef, triple cream brie, alfalfa sprouts, caramelized sweet onions and white truffle aioli).
The non-beef burgers at Tipsy Cow are fantastic. The Big Eye is a tuna sandwich done right — a gigantic, seared rare ahi tuna steak stacked between oven-toasted nori (seaweed), wasabi aioli and purple cabbage sweet Asian slaw. Vegetarians can enjoy the Black Magic burger (house-made black bean and portobello mushroom patty, red onion, alfalfa sprouts, and harissa pepper aioli) or substitute a portobello mushroom for beef.
Tipsy Cow also offers nearly 30 local beers on tap at any given time, with favorites form Black Raven Brewing Co., Snoqualmie Brewing, Mac & Jack’s and more. A local beer sounds like the perfect beverage to wash down a delicious burger on a hot summer day, but little kids and big kids alike shouldn’t miss Tipsy Cow’s delectable milkshakes. You can go plain with the standard vanilla, chocolate or strawberry, or opt for a specialty flavor such as the orange creamsicle (mandarin and tangerine puree and whipped cream) or the Northwest Berry (marionberries, strawberries and blueberries topped with whipped cream). And yes, all of these shakes can be made into adult beverages.
Tipsy Cow is located at 16345 Cleveland St. in Redmond.
More Creative and Flavorful Burgers
1. Lunchbox Laboratory — Voted Best Burger in the 2014 Best of 425. Check out the Dork Burger (house-blended duck & pork patty, Monterey jack cheese, onions, garlic mayo).
2. John Howie Steak — The steakhouse serves a delicious burger called the 60/40 Juicy Lucy Prime. It features ground USDA prime chuck mixed with ground Kurobuta bacon stuffed with sharp New York cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses. It’s served on a house sweet roll with caramelized onion jam mayonnaise, crispy fried onions, lettuce and tomato.
3. Facing East — Don’t expect a traditional burger, or any American food really, from this popular Taiwanese restaurant in downtown Bellevue. The Taiwainese Pork Burger is a steamed bun stuffed with braised pork belly, pickled mustard greens, sweet chili sauce, house-roasted peanut powder and fresh cilantro leaves.
4. Skillet Food Truck — Skillet now has a few Seattle restaurants, but it’s the food truck with “The Burger” that started the bacon-everything craze on Seattle-area menus. The Burger features grass-fed beef, arugula, bacon jam and cambozola on a soft roll for $12. You can add french fries or poutine.
5. Teddy’s Bigger Burgers — This chain that originated in Hawaii now has locations in Bothell, Woodinville and the Greenlake neighborhood of Seattle. Topping choices are plentiful (standards like bacon and avocado, or more exotic selections like peanut butter or pastrami are available), but what makes Teddy’s special is that you can order your burgers bigger (hence the name) — up to an 18 ounce patty!
6. Katsu Burger — This Seattle hot spot is a Japanese specialty burger restaurant featuring protein that is breaded and fried (hamburger, pork, chicken or tofu). Try the Ninja Deluxe (natural pork cutlet, cheddar, bacon, Japanese mayonnaise and tonkatsu sauce) or, for a spicy treat, order the Godzilla Attack (natural beef patty, pepper jack, 12 spice blend, jalapeños, spicy mayonnaise and tonkatsu sauce).
7. Herfy’s Burgers — Herfy’s originated in the Puget Sound and now boasts more than 170 locations throughout the region. The chain offers a variety of standard drive-thru type burgers, but the oyster burger is a unique offering.
8. The Hard Rock Cafe — This restaurant achieved international success with its burgers. Did you know that each Hard Rock Café has a burger called the Local Legend that is created specifically to mirror the food culture of its city? Seattle’s location has the Java Lava, which includes a ground coffee rub in its patty and in the batter for the fried onions that it’s topped with.
9. The Commons — Heavy Restaurant Group’s (Purple Café and Wine Bar, Barrio and Lot No. 3) latest restaurant offers a delicious burger with a special local ingredient. The Woodinville Whiskey burger features an 8-ounce Painted Hills beef patty with fried onions, butter pickles, coleslaw and house-made Woodinville Whiskey barbecue sauce.
10. Local Burger — Local 360 has made a name for itself in Seattle as a favorite dining destination. Local 360’s owners decided to open a sister restaurant in Bellevue called Local Burger at 10134 Main St. Expect artisan burgers, local craft beers and brunch on weekends.