Gems on The Boulevard series: Tiger! Tiger!

This sign is above the door as you walk in, right above the address

This sign is above the door as you walk in, right above the address

For a couple years, we’d been going all the way up to Normal Heights to bask in the goodness that is Blind Lady Ale House.  But if you want a solid quattro fromaggio, something tasty out of Crow’s Pass or Suzie’s Farm or an honest pour in a place passionate for craft beer, it’s one of the best.  Then, as though seeking to answer two of my prayers at once–dropped into my lap to provide nearby craft beer AND community enhancement, up pops Tiger!Tiger!  On the heels of their contribution to protect abused children (third time this year, by the way) and homeless women in December, I wanted to share the love and tell you about this place.  As part of my Gems on The Boulevard series (read Coffee & Tea Collective and El Borrego posts), here’s a bit about Tiger!Tiger!…

Wife and I went down for a quick bite and a pint proper pour over the weekend.  I learned, in my short visit that one of the co-owners used to work in social services with battered women.  I knew I liked her.  Yup, bet you didn’t know that two of the owners of Blind Lady and Tiger Tiger are women.  I point this out mostly to encourage female entrepreneurs to take the plunge.  Go talk to them if you like, I bet if you catch them at a slow moment they’ll share some tips.  I digress, this is a post about FOOD.  So here, this is what we started with

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Yep, that’s a salad, I swear.  Those life-size lardons and the egg were as delicious in real life as they look in that photo.  Go order it, you won’t regret it, and you’ll help a neighborhood joint keep supporting neighborhood endeavors.  You’ll notice the large amount of wood in the background of my photos.  This is because one of the other co-owners got a wild hair and decided to build a big ol’ rear patio.  Now, any good capitalist will be able to tell you that more seating area means more drinking area and more drinking area means, well, more drinking…and eating…and chilling.  But it also means something else that’s important to the community.  It means the alley that used to be a haven for people to engage in less than savory affairs is now generally free of such things.  It means that the landlord behind the bar suddenly can’t stop a growing waiting list of tenants who can’t wait to live close to a very cool spot that is not too far from several other very cool spots.  I’ve been picking up trash and wiping down graffiti on The Boulevard since before there was a ‘Bike the Boulevard’ or a Boulevard Nights or even a start of a renovation at The Lafayette.  And with all these cool social endeavors, the biggest thing to shift the corner of 30th and El Cajon wasn’t the Redevelopment project across the street it was a handful of small business owners committed to doing something they love and doing it well.  *good thing I got a sturdier soapbox to climb down off this time* Speaking of what they love, I had one of these

This is a glass of delicious local light manufacturing

This is a glass of delicious local light manufacturing

Yep, one of the co-owners is also a brewer.  In fact, word on the street is he had a hand in creating this.  I spend enough time enjoying Stone produck, so I decided to dabble in something a bit different.  I suppose Stone is kind of like an old shirt that fits well or a good rerun of Diff’rent Strokes–reliable and there when you need something safe and good.  Kind of like a security blanket for beer drinkers.  Of course, with Alesmith and Societe and Green Flash and Hess and Lost Abbey, security blankets aren’t usually needed around here.  But good to have just in case that horrible Nurse Pepper beer ever shows up again. Bleh.

Back to the food.  In addition to being beer people who buy their stuff from local farms, at least a couple of the co-owners don’t eat meat.  I know, seems shocking, but there you have it.  Turns out, lots of people in these parts don’t eat meat.  I keep thinking about trying that whole vegan thing again…and then I see the pig on the roof and the dream is deferred. Kidding, that was just my excuse to drop a Langston Hughes reference.  Let’s get back to the food, it’s an important part of the story.  I started to talk about the whole vegan thing, which mattered because we ordered this

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I’m almost scared to write the name for fear that you will immediately turn off your mind to the possibilities.  To quote the estimable Chris Tucker–eh, nevermind.  Actually, in Chris Tucker’s defense, after having children he decided to stop making movies about excessive drug use.  Good for you, Chris.  He also uses his good fortune to give–ALOT.  So sometimes good can come of some iffy beginnings.  Well, while we were polishing off the squash sandy, this also made it’s way

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This was a little Tiger-style bruschetta with broccoli raab and sausage.  Very tasty, too.  Well, that’s a wrap on a large bit of deliciousness Wife and I were able to share at a place we adore because the owners support the neighborhood, and support bikes, and support health, and social good…and very, very, very good craft beer.  Thanks Jeff, Clea, Lee and Jen, your compassion inspires me to do more.

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