My favorite butterfly.

Common Tiger

I can’t step up to the plate and claim gastronomic knowledge and a palate boasting Michelin Star experience. I mean, I could exist on McDonald’s cheeseburgers, Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, Taco Bell five layer burritos, Papa John’s pizza, Monster Munch, and Gregg’s Chicken Bakes in a dream world. And while there are plenty of delicious spots in the city ranging from basic, good but cheap sushi (The Sushi Bar), innovative, massive, and tasty burgers that drip all over your hands (Meat & Drink), tasty chilled ramen noodles doused in tahini with an Americanized spin (Sesame Noodle Bar), and muy muy fantastico Mexicana (ALMA Café)- I will always have a soft spot in my heart (and a big place in my belly) for The Common Tiger.

I initially walked through the big, glass doors and into the coolly lit yet welcoming space of The Common Tiger when I was working at Ladies Magazine and wanted to do a story on the place after hearing rave reviews since it first opened. I found out that The Common Tiger is the name of a butterfly, not just a sly and interesting name and was intrigued from there; it’s now become my favorite dining spot in the city. And drinking spot. And lounging spot. And even sometimes working and writing spot. Not only all of those wonderful things- the owners, Christina and Tim, are as warm as the pork ribs- ribs so tender they fall off the bone and seasoned so well you may as well just cry- and as the owners are even more delightful, if anyone thought it was possible for anything to be better than the pork ribs!

I wrote up a little post about them last year, impressed and thoroughly pleased with my experiences there. My photos can attest to the gorgeous displays of each meal, but not only are they pretty- they have substance. While the dish may look small on the plate to some- each bite is meant to be savored and enjoyed, not wolfed down like a Big Mac and a large fries (and there’s nothing wrong with that either). Even when you slowly dine and have a full on sensory experience at the table, you’ll find yourself content- not too full, not in want- after your meal.

So before people begin to judge: Yes, size does matter- but not in this case. The chef, Tim, takes utter care in presenting each course and he and the wait staff explain the dishes to guests, another added charm given by The Common Tiger. Since my first time writing about the culinary delights offered there, many a celebration has occurred within its doors and under the softly lit mango tree- birthdays, goodbye feasts, Thanksgiving, congratulatory dinners, toasts, cheers, and tears. It’s become more of my dining room as I’ve shared more experiences there with friends and family than in my own actual dining room!

Since they’ve been nominated for Best Happy Hour and Best Restaurant for The Advisor‘s yearly “Best Of” edition- I highly recommend you a) vote for The Common Tiger if you’ve had a similar experience as I have (and I’m quite sure you would!) or b) try it- and then go and vote. After that? Treat yourself to a Ms. Mischke and a big plate of their delicious tuna with banana leaf and some sauce that I can’t quite remember the name of but my tastebuds won’t forget.

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