Everyone knows that The Hungry Tiger, which features live music every night of the week, is the best live music venue in the area. But not everyone knows that the food at The Hungry Tiger is as great as it is, and that’s a shame. The fact is that the father of Don (the current chef/owner) was a local chef who ran restaurants in Manchester from the 1950’s until he retired in 1999. It was in 1982 that he opened The Hungry Tiger and brought Don in to work with him. Don took over upon his father’s retirement, and this month the place celebrates its 32nd anniversary. And in the restaurant world, that’s quite a feat.
So, let’s talk about the food. Long before there were gourmet burger bars with their ginormous burgers and gazillions of toppings, The Hungry Tiger was serving the 8-ounce “Tiger Burger,” a burger that received an honorable mention in the 2012 Hartford Magazine’s Best Burgers of Hartford County. And here, the meat is fresh (never frozen!) hand-formed Black Angus, and the fries are hand-cut. Need further examples of the quality of food at this place? They roast the turkey breast and brisket for their sandwiches, and cut their own “Cowboy” steaks, all in what may be the smallest kitchen in town.
The menu includes appetizers, soups, salads, sandwiches, those amazing burgers, comfort-food-style dinner entrees and even Sunday breakfast. Tuesdays feature a Burger & Brew special for $10, served from noon to 10. There’s also Wing Night on Thursday, Happy Hour Friday, and half-price apps on Saturday afternoons.
We loved the steak fajitas we had on a recent visit. The steak was tender and had a sweet-spicy flavor that balanced nicely with the grilled peppers and onions it was mixed with. They were served with fresh soft tortillas, shredded lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, salsa and sour cream. We’re excited to say that The Hungry Tiger will be sharing samples of these, as well as their signature “Mac-Ham ‘n Cheese,” during the Taste of Manchester event. Speaking of fajitas, when it's Monday night at The Hungry Tiger, that means it's Fajita Night, when all fajita platters ordered between 5 and 10 p.m. are only $9.95.
So while The Hungry Tiger is certainly the Manchester mainstay for live music, there’s no reason why it should only be for music. They are open for lunch and dinner daily and are located at 120 Charter Oak Street. There's a small deck in front with tables, and a large patio and bar in back which is awesome for the block parties they throw in the summer and early fall. The phone number is 860.649.1195 and information about the menu, specials, and of course, the live music schedule, can be found on their website.