While traveling to St. Louis, MO we had the opportunity to try out one restaurant in the area. Although there were many options, after a busy day at a convention our energy and hunger levels drew us to the restaurant at our hotel — Tigín.
Located at the base of the Hampton Inn Downtown at the Arch location this Irish pub establishment is just a couple blocks away from the America’s Center Convention Complex and Edward Jones Dome.
To start off, we began with their Chips with Curry Sauce. This appetizer offering consists of a plate of thick-cut wedged potatoes/fries accompanied by a cup of a think curry sauce peppered with chunky veggie wedges. I had been a fan of the curry sauce at a local Nashville area pub that has been gone for several years now, so I was excited to see this offering on their menu. But unfortunately the sauce seemed to be lacking something. Although I couldn’t quiet figure out what would help, it simply fell flat in the taste area. Not liking the curry I requested a bit of their Marie Rose sauce which is the alternative choice on this appetizer and was underwhelmed again by this mayo type dip. Although the “chips” were tasty on their own or with ketchup I say save the $5 and just order fries with your meal if you’re craving them.
Now onto the main course. After reading past customer reviews there was no doubt that we needed to try their Boxty dishes. A boxty is a kind of potato pancake that I found to be similar in concept to a crepe but much heartier.
Not being able to decide between flavors, HG and I decided to split ours to give us both a little of each.
Their Corned Beef and Cabbage Boxty had nice, tender corned beef pieces blended with smooth buttery cabbage. Top-off with a creamy mustard sauce (that even HG enjoyed despite typically not liking mustard) every bite of this dish was a delight.
The Trinity Steak Boxty was stuffed with healthy portions of grilled steak, sautéed mushrooms, and onions then topped with a whiskey-garlic sauce. This boxty was also a delicious choice that was incredibly filling. All boxty dishes are served with a nice helping of seasonal vegetables. I would whole heartedly recommend trying one of their boxty choices. Although being worried after our curry sauce disappointment, were very happy with our entrée choices. Having a hard time determining which one you’d want, well If you’re looking for a lighter feel get the corned beef, but if you’re ok with a heavier meal go for the trinity steak. Either way you can’t go wrong. There are several other options for boxty but all fall within the teens price-wise, so it’s a nice choice for an affordable meal downtown.
Oh and we heard that their quesadilla boxty starter is a favorite so after trying the meal editions we’ve no doubt that’s the way to go to start off your meal.
Although we were stuffed and unable to partake of a dessert, I would have tried their Harvest Bread Pudding topped with Brown Bread Ice Cream as you can never go wrong with apples, cinnamon, sugar, walnuts, and caramel. So if you get the opportunity to try it you’ll have to let us know how it was.
The Atmosphere and Service
The Tigín (meaning small cottage) pub does offer a sense of charm. We were seated next to an artificial fireplace with homey little accents scattered upon a unique cupboard type mantel piece which offered a warm environment. The same decorating theme was carried throughout the pub.
If there’s one thing you’ll need to have at Tigín is patience. Although in the midst of March Madness, the crowd seemed more focused on the television screens than on demanding that their beer mugs be refilled. So although I would anticipate a busy room to have some slowness of table attention, I was surprised by how slow the place was to even acknowledge our existence. Strike one, especially when you’re starving, but when you have to seat yourself you can sometimes see that coming.
After about 10 minutes a waitress appeared and presented us with our menus and took our drink orders. We then waited another good while before we were able to place our order. Our water and diet didn’t come after ordering but just mere minutes before our appetizer arrived, and throughout the meal we had to ask for refills as they weren’t proactive about offering them, nor were they good about checking in at our table as we’ve grown accustomed to at other establishments.
When our appetizer arrived we had to request place settings and starter plates from another server as ours had not checked back. Then as I mentioned earlier I requested the Marie Rose sauce since the curry was disappointing, she didn’t bring that until our meal was presented. Again, not the best timing while your chips are cooling and no longer serving as a starter.
Once our entrees were served and we asked for refills we were left to simply enjoy our meals and were passed on our check. However, after completing our meal we were left waiting for our server to pick up our payment for some time, but at least we were content with full bellies at this point.
If you’re like us and appreciate discounts, be sure to ask if they are offering any specials. We were able to take advantage of a 20% discount being offered to attendees at the HAA show convention we were attending by simply showing our conference badge.
Overall our service left much to be desired, but we luckily landed on entrees that made the wait worth it as our pallets ended on a very good note. To follow are some tips I’d suggest for your visit to Tigín.
1) Go in expecting a little slower service so that you’re not frustrated during the meal.
2) Don’t be afraid to ask for your refills as that might be the only way to get them.
3) Avoid the chip appetizer unless you want overpriced fries.
4) Most importantly, try one of the boxty offerings and you’re sure to go home with a good food experience.