Saturday, April 4, 2015

Blind Tiger

I was invited to Blind Tiger for a friend's birthday dinner, so I decided I might as well do a review. Seemed like as good a time as any, plus, I could judge other people's food without having to order it, that's always a plus.

In case you don't already know, Blind Tiger is Topeka's one and only local microbrewery. It opened in 1995, so it's not historic or anything, it's just the only brewery in town. The building seems old, though, and I'm pretty sure it was a restaurant for years before becoming the Blind Tiger. Inside it's all wood, and when you walk into the main dining areas you will see stairs leading up to more dining nooks and other little areas. Up at the top you will find a banquet area for larger groups and parties. We sat in an area located at the back of the restaurant on the south side. The entire south wall is made up of large windows that over look a smoking balcony and the parking lot.

Fried pickles
I ordered some fried pickles and a pulled pork sandwich with seasoned French fries. A girl I sat next to ordered a sirloin, (I'm not sure the size) and another girl ordered the bacon cheese fries.

My fried pickles were pretty good. Here, they use the spears, but not your typical spears. These seemed to be like the hamburger slices that are long and thin. The breading was a little different than most places, which have an almost beer-batter coating to them. This coating was crumbly and more like an actual breading than a batter. The pickles held up well and the coating didn't slide off, leaving you with a hot pickle. These I was able to eat easily. The flavor was good, too, but the pickle did seem a little mushy and lost in the batter. I do with they were a little thicker, or maybe done a little less time in the fryer. Overall, I would order them again some time.

Side note: The fried pickles are NOT on the menu. I had to ask the waitress about them. The only place they appear on the menu is in the description for the Carolina-style pulled pork sandwich.

The girls next to me ordered some bacon cheese fries. All I really need to say about this monster is only order this if you have a large group, or you're ready to eat five people's worth of bacon cheese fries. This order is humongous, shaped by a bundt cake pan and fried, covered with cheese and bacon and served with ranch, this isn't for the faint of stomach. I wish I would have gotten a picture, but alas, I didn't. (If you have photo, please share.)

My pulled pork sandwich was dry. It was flavorful, and I enjoyed the sweet sauce, but I felt like I
Pulled pork sandwich with seasoned French fries
needed to add a lot of sauce because the meat lacked any juiciness on its own. I also ditched the wheat bun and ate the meat alone, so next time I should remember that. The sauce was sweet and reminded me of Sweet Baby Ray's barbecue sauce -- that's my favorite bbq sauce, yum. I had to ask the waitress to bring me pickles and then all they had were the spears so I was a bit disappointed that I couldn't get dill pickle slices for my pulled pork sandwich. I lived, though, and settled for the spear. (It ended up working out because I didn't eat it like a sandwich after all.)

The French fries did not disappoint. Seasoned kind of like the curly fries from Hardee's only straight, they hit the spot. They were so crispy and tasty. I like dipping these kind in ranch dressing and they went well with the barbecue sauce, too. I was glad they brought two containers because I used a lot for my fries.

The service was pretty good. Our waitress took good care of all 15 of us, and was able to meet the demands of all of us, (at least from what I could tell, and I'm a pretty needy diner).  She got us refills when they were needed and she also turned my debit card in to the manager when I forgot it after signing my bill. She even promptly took back an undercooked sirloin for the girl I sat next to, although she ordered it well-done, it still came back around medium.

Blind Tiger is on the entire opposite side of town than I live, but if friends gather there I will return. I didn't have a real problem with any of my food, but none of it was out of the ordinary. I hear the beer is good, I'm just not much of a beer drinker. I do wish the pulled pork hadn't been so dry, but the pickles were pretty tasty.