Over the years, I'd been to a couple of Gastropubs but had always been disappointed in my visits one way (decent food, but way over-priced) or another (mediocre food, still way over-priced). A couple of months ago FOY Candice decided to prove that I was wrong and took a merry band of us to her two favorite gastropubs. Our first stop was a place I'd always wanted to check out, but never found the time, nor was I able to convince the Missus (if you think I'm a hard sell....) to take a chance and check them out.
I'm not a beer-o-phile; though I enjoy more than my fair share of Craft Brews. Here at Tiger Tiger, things seemed slanted more on the food end; whereas our second destination Blind Lady seemed to have a stronger focus on beer. Other than being owned by the same group, both locations are equipped with a wood fired oven, which is put to good use here.
We started off with the Sausage Poutine Fries.
Call me a purist; but I'd really like my poutine to have cheese curds and brown gravy. The sausage gravy made it taste too much like breakfast and the sausage seasonings kind of detracted from the dish.
I didn't care much for the Wood Fired Oysters as well.....just too much.
It was almost as if this dish was created to make one think they weren't eating oysters.
My opinion took a 180 when the Puerco entered the scene.
Sorry, not the best photographic representation of this lovely sandwich. The wood-fired pork had a mild smokiness to it; I like the pickles, they cut through any richness. The bread was nicely toasted.....good flavors, good combination.....by far my favorite item.
My friends understand that I view the "slap-anything-on-a-baguette-and-call-it-a-Banh Mi" syndrome with a cynical and somewhat jaundiced eye. By my definition, this really ain't a Banh Mi. It is however, a nicely put together sandwich. MrQ loved what the combination of cilantro and pickled onions brought to the party. The aioli had a nice kick that brought everything into focus for me.
Candice told me that there are always a couple of seasonal vegan offerings on the menu. Wood fired veggies sounded good. We started with the Spaghetti Squash, not my favorite thing in the world, but here it was really well done.
The pesto like sauce really gave the usually bland squash a nice boost in flavor.
The Wax Beans were really delicious.
The beans still had a bit of snap, good salt-acid in the flavor, along with olive oil to give it a bit of richness.
All in all, I enjoyed the food.....and the company of course! In fact, I ended up bringing the Missus here a couple of weeks later. But that's another post. On this day, we were off to our next stop; Blind Lady Ale House........
3025 El Cajon Blvd
San Diego, CA 92104