A piece of counterintuitive advice: Don't order the fish and chips — at least not on a Friday during Lent. I'm not Catholic, so when I visited Tigín on a Lenten Friday and saw how many orders of fish and chips the servers were hustling out of the kitchen, I figured the dish might be popular based on merit, not convenience.

The fish is cod, two medium-size fillets in a jacket of golden-brown batter. These are served atop a pile of short, plump chips, with coleslaw, tartar sauce and a lemon wedge on the side. The chips were crisp and hot, the interiors soft but not mushy. But despite its appealing color, the batter on the fish was soft and doughy, with only a slight crispness to the exterior. The fillets needed more time in the fryer. The flaw highlighted the relative blandness of the cod itself.

Was the kitchen overwhelmed by the number of fish-and-chip orders that day? I hope so: If nothing else, an Irish pub should get fish and chips right. Then again, on an earlier visit, when the kitchen was absolutely slammed by the simultaneous arrival of dozens of conventioneers, it still managed to turn out a decent bacon cheeseburger.

Just Irish enough: Tigín straddles the line between a pub and an old familiar chain.
JENNIFER SILVERBERG
Just Irish enough: Tigín straddles the line between a pub and an old familiar chain.

Location Info

Map

Tigin Irish Pub & Restaurant

333 Washington Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63102

Category: Bars and Clubs

Region: St. Louis - Downtown

Details

Tigín
Bacon cheeseburger...$9.95
Bangers and mash...$10.95
Fish and chips..$12.95
333 Washington Avenue; 314-241-8666.
Hours: 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. daily (Bar open till 2 a.m. Sun.-Thu., till 3 a.m. Fri.-Sat.)

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There is a long list of sandwiches, more American than Irish: grilled chicken breast (again with the Guinness barbecue sauce), grilled salmon, a cheese steak. The bacon cheeseburger I ordered was excellent, the patty served between medium-rare and medium even though I didn't specify a temperature, the bacon slices thick, crisp and very flavorful.

Tigín's "signature" dish is the chicken boxty quesadilla. This consists of pepper jack cheese and grilled chicken between two boxties, with red chile aioli squirted atop each wedge. The boxties weren't especially crisp, so you couldn't pick up the wedges as you would with a quesadilla. The flavor of the cheese dominated: tangy, but not very distinctive. The aioli tasted like generic mayo more than anything else.

The mock-Irish boxty quesadilla is a dispiriting concession to American appetites, the sort of thing you'd find at Applebee's.

So what are residents of the Euclid Avenue corridor worried about? The Central West End already has an Applebee's.

Correction published 2/28/08: In the original version of this story, we erroneously stated that Fado, Inc. had targeted "the former Golden Grocers space" in the Central West End. In fact, the company had taken aim at a space next door to Golden Grocer, which once housed a restaurant operated by the grocery. Golden Grocer remains very much in business -- and continues to operate without the "s" we pointlessly tacked on to its name. The above version reflects this correction.

Have a suggestion for a restaurant the Riverfront Times should review? E-mail ian.froeb@riverfronttimes.com.

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