Alison Matas taste-tests honey barbecue wings, garlic Parmesan wings, boneless teriyaki wings, bacon cheddar fries, onion rings, jalapeño bites, spinach dip, potato skins, the Owens burger and Emerson steak chipotle flatbread at Tiger Town Grille & Pub.
The former Firehouse Grille and Pub in Massillon is now Tiger Town Grille & Pub—a similar style restaurant that’s dedicated to celebrating athletes and coaches from the city of champions.
I was pleasantly surprised by how good everything was and by how excellent a few things were. I don’t always expect much from a sports bar, but this is one of the better places Andrew and I have tried (and, let’s be honest, we have eaten at our share of sports bars and basically are experts).
The menu has a lot on it, so we did the heavy lifting for you and ordered so. much. food. I mean, really just a lot. We tried the restaurant twice and had pleasant experiences and yummy dinners both times.
Your choices are appetizers, wings, salads, burgers, flatbread sandwiches, subs, wraps and entrees.
As for the appetizers, the very best thing we had was spinach and artichoke dip ($9) served with homemade pita chips dusted with Parmesan. Unlike the version of this appetizer you find at most chain places, Tiger Town’s dip had big chunks of vegetables and was creamy and cheesy—not that thin, the-frozen-spinach-didn’t-thaw-all-the-way consistency you might be used to. This will be the first thing I order on my next trip.
Other appetizers we ate: javelin jalapeño bites ($7.59), fresh-fried potato chips ($4), Obie bacon cheddar fries ($8), Vrotsos potato skins ($7) and Letcavits beer-battered onion rings ($6.59).
The potato chips came out so hot I burned the tip of my tongue trying one, and they still were a little transparent because the grease from the fryer hadn’t dried yet. Once we let them sit for a few minutes, they were great. The fries had a special seasoning and were well-done, so they didn’t get soggy under the melted cheese. The jalapeño bites—chunks of pepper and cheddar cheese inside a potato breading—had a kick that the side of ranch helped offset.
One of the evenings we went in, a Thursday, there was a half-off appetizers deal from 4 p.m. until close, which made the night even better. It seemed to be a standing promotion along with 49-cent wings on Tuesdays.
We tried four kinds of wings: boneless teriyaki, traditional honey barbecue, traditional garlic Parmesan and traditional Erie Thai ($6 for 6). I liked that they weren’t super greasy and had a generous amount of meat and sauce.
The flip side of the menu features the meals, which come with a choice of kettle chips, fresh-cut fries, the seasoned fries that were underneath the appetizer we tried, baked potato, coleslaw or cottage cheese. There are seven kinds of burgers; sandwiches with gyro meat, fish, turkey, chicken, corned beef or salami; wraps with chicken or beef; and some flatbread sandwiches.
I had what I called the baby burger—the 1/4-pound Owens burger, named for football coach Lee Owens. It came with cheese, lettuce, tomato and pickles on top, seasoned steak fries on the side and a drink, all for $5. The burger was a little bun-heavy, but otherwise, it was enjoyable, and you can’t beat the price.
Andrew ordered the Emerson steak chipotle flatbread sandwich, with ribeye steak, mushrooms, onions, cheddar cheese and chipotle ranch dressing ($9.59) with fresh-cut fries. These fries were thinner than mine and crispier, which he loved, and the sandwich also was good.
The restaurant serves two steak dinners ($14 and $17), two chicken dinners ($10 and $12) and a grouper dinner ($12). We did not sample these, simply because they seem out-of-place on the menu, and I’m a little wary when sports bars also try to offer more upscale dining. I didn’t see any of these served the nights we were there; the appetizers and sandwiches appeared to be the popular picks.
The decor doesn’t feature much black and orange, and seating is wooden booths with built-in TVs. I am not a Massillon girl and technically am not even a Stark County girl, so someone with more Massillon ties than I have would be better suited to review the Massillon-ness of the restaurant’s menu and memorabilia. All in all, I enjoyed eating there and would go again.