Why: Owner John Stone opened up Tiger Lily Restaurant and Bar on Dec. 18. His goal is to provide "a place for everyone to feel welcomed" as well as hosting events and fundraisers for organizations. His hope is to create a community-center feel where friends can meet and have fun and enjoy gourmet burgers, homemade desserts and fine drinks.
Atmosphere: Upon entry to the restaurant, diners are greeted with various event posters mounted above the cash register, such as "RuPaul's Drag Race," which takes place every Monday night, Amateur Night hosted by Lady Onalicious on the first Friday of every month, and Games People Play with Bettie Monroe.
Off to the side is a case that displays items of adornment, with various levels of show business bling.
Beyond this, the space is divided into two distinct dining areas. The main dining room is flanked by an interior wall that has windows topped with grass canopies. It is equipped with a karaoke stage at one end, and tables and chairs fill in the open space atop a tiled floor.
The lounge isn't quite as large. It has a similar seating configuration and carpet, offering a cozier experience. The bar, dressed with a grass hut-style roof, occupies the far end of the room around the corner from the kitchen. An eclectic display of paintings and photos dot the walls and add interest, and large screen TVs provide entertainment in the lounge.
What I tried: I decided on the Black and Blue burger and my dining companions settled on the fish and chips and a BLT. We had Tiger Petals with our entrees and we also tried a dinner salad. For dessert, we sampled the Orange Crush cake, made with citron, and a slice of the chocolate cake and carrot cake.
The Black and Blue burger starts with a blackened beef patty that has been mixed with bleu cheese. It is then topped with applewood-smoked bacon, more bleu cheese, and standard burger fixings. It was slightly more blackened than what I'm fond of and the bun had a small amount of burn marks from over-toasting. If not for these two factors, I believe it would have been much better because the ingredients were fresh and it did present a pungent blue cheese character.
The fish that came with the fish and chips entrée were quality pieces of cod pleasantly void of fishy dark meat and deep fried to a dark golden finish. A medley of lightly steamed vegetables that included cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, and zucchini was served alongside the fish and chips.
The BLT reminded me of those that I make at home to satisfy the craving for this traditional sandwich. It had a liberal amount of bacon and lettuce, just the right amount of tomato, and not too much mayonnaise.
Tiger Petals are thick, round potato slices that are deep fried and seasoned. These are served in lieu of french fries. The other option for a potato accompaniment is Tater Bombs, which are tater tots.
The single-serving dinner salad had fresh mixed greens, cucumber, carrots, and tomatoes. It was topped with a half a hard-boiled egg and the portion was large.
Of the desserts, we found the chocolate cake the most appealing and the carrot cake the least impressive. Although the slices were extremely generous, all three cakes could use some refining.
Menu highlights beyond what I tried: The Reuben-esque Pastrami Delight on marble rye sounded delicious.
Among the vegetarian options is the Portobello Burger topped with roasted red peppers, arugula and sun-dried tomatoes.
Chicken Marsala and Stuffed Pork Chops are among the dinner options.
Other observations: Gluten-free and low-carb options are on the menu.
I advise checking out the restaurant's website and/or Facebook page for upcoming events of interest.
Karaoke enthusiasts will likely be impressed with Tiger Lily's stage and set-up.
I found the waitstaff very courteous and attentive.
Cost: Gourmet burgers are $7 to $12. Dinner entrees are $12 to $15. Sandwiches are $8 to $12. Salads cost $7 to $9. Sides run $2 to $5.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Saturday. 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Sunday.
Where: 1109 Washington St., Vancouver. www.tigerlilyrestaurantandbar.com
Health score: Tiger Lily Restaurant and Bar has received a pre-opening inspection and is scheduled for a routine inspection in the near future. Zero is a perfect score, and Clark County Public Health closes restaurants with a score of 100 or higher. For information, call 360-397-8428.