Sunday, January 25, 2015

Thunder and Lightning

Lightning Tavern is designed to get you wasted


Yes, you should be proud of your fancy new palette of Pisco and Mezcal.

But some nights call not for sipping, but for shameless double-fisting. Which is why you should thank Thor and Zeus for Lightning Tavern, now open on Union Street. If the thunder gods got hammered, this is where they'd do it.

There's no need to start by ordering a round of drinks; the guys behind Bullitt, Tonic and Mayhem are pouring well drinks by the pitcher. Literally. So you can safely return from the bar with 60 ounces of Jack n' Coke or Redbull Vodka without spilling, regardless of how packed it is.

Double fist with one of five classic $10 shot-and-a-beer combinations, including the Evil Knievel, which dares you to chase a shot of Bulleit Bourbon -- served on tap -- with a can of Dale's Pale Ale.

Repeat until thoroughly tipsy, then order tots. Or totchos. Or a $28 bucket of 50 East Coast-style chicken wings, served with the sauce of your choice.

While the entire menu is designed to turn the stand-stumble ratio in your favor, in true SF style it's all fresh, organic, and good enough to order when stone cold sober.

Like anyone hanging out on Union Street is sober.

Lightning Tavern
1875 Union St. (Laguna St.), Cow Hollow

Price: 2 (out of 4) Noise: 3 (out of 4)
Parking: Metered street
Scene: Exactly what you'd expect -- girls who complain that the burgers are too big, and guys keeping one eye on the high heels and the other on the big screen.
Best bets: East Coast-style wings; El Guapo; Luchadoro chicken sandwich
The early word on brunch: Expect boozy, fan-friendly morning options to appear on the greenhouse-like enclosed back patio in time for football season.
Hot seat: Bar, or the communal tables facing it.
Nearby: Brixton; Cafe Des Amis; Brickyard

Rundown's restaurant reviews are based on anonymous visits by reporters, not press releases.

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