That '70s Showoff

At Gallagher's in Waterloo, everything old is still old

The modiga isn't the only evidence that Perry and Kitterman have pitched their creative tent somewhere in the culinary nadir that was St. Louis in the 1970s. Gallagher's roster of outdated preparations also includes blackened snapper and (at lunch) the Prosperity Sandwich, a St. Louis invention that takes a distant back seat to the St. Paul Sandwich in the pantheon of local cuisine, and with good reason: It consists of grilled ham, turkey, bacon and cheese served on an English muffin — a McBreakfast, if you will, with the addition of lettuce, tomato and pickle placed on top.

The brief appetizer menu is three-fourths fried. Crab cakes were nice, prepared with lump crab meat and plated on leaves of romaine, a much-appreciated shot of color. "Strawberry Shrimp," touted as a "critically acclaimed dish" dating back to Perry's halcyon days, featured black tiger shrimp, beer battered and served with a "sweet and sour strawberry sauce." All I tasted was fried shrimp and jelly, blunt as you'd imagine it to be, utterly without nuance. As for the batter, they may as well have been cloaked in freezer burn. The same could have been said for breaded zucchini strips. (What can one say about breaded zucchini strips? These retained their heat well but were paired with a ramekin of ice-cold roasted-red-pepper dip that evaporated on the tongue with a whiff of what tasted like rubbing alcohol.)

For dessert we got a crème brûlée that had hardly any crust to it, negating more than half the fun of ordering crème brûlée; an unmemorable cheesecake; and a strawberry something-or-other that reminded me far too much of Toaster Strudel.

Gallagher's looks lovely, but the food consistently disappoints.
Jennifer Silverberg
Gallagher's looks lovely, but the food consistently disappoints.

Location Info



114 W. Mill St.
Waterloo, IL 62298

Category: Bars and Clubs

Region: Outstate IL


114 West Mill Street, Waterloo, Illinois; 618-939 -9933. Hours: Lunch 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Tue.-Fri. Dinner 5-9 p.m. Tue.-Thu., 5-10 p.m. Fri.-Sat. Family-style chicken dinner served 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun.

Delmonico steak $23
Chicken modiga $15.95
Strawberry shrimp $7
Crab cake $10

Speaking of dessert, during a lunch visit each member of our party was given a complimentary chocolate-chunk cookie. The cookies were chewy and delicious — and the gesture was the kind of thoughtful, cute touch that's the hallmark of a restaurant aspiring to homespun goodness. Sad to say, it was just about the only evidence that Gallagher's is such a place.

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