Town of Union, N.Y. (WBNG Binghamton) Our maiden voyage -- for food at least -- to The Blind Tiger pub won't be our last.
And that's just what longtime manager Glenn Nichols is looking for.
"We've been very fortunate. Every year has been better than the last," Nichols said. "And sales, over the nine-year period, have quadrupled. I think it's a combination of the deck, the outside bar and brilliant service. Ha ha."
But whether it's the beer selection -- there's 36 on tap, by the way -- or the friendly atmosphere, the great food or the relaxing deck, Howard and I are not alone.
"We love this place. We've been here ever since they opened. Whenever we come, it's always 'hi friends,' said Karen Rifenburgh of Endwell. "They know all about us. They treat us very well here. The food is awesome. I always get what's on special. It's always a surprise, but it's never a bad surprise."
The Blind Tiger name comes from prohibition time in South Carolina, where Nichols has another joint. Apparently, during the 1870s, if you were thirsty, it was all about the name.
"It was like a speakeasy," Nichols said. "You paid a few bucks to go in and see the 'blind tiger' and that got you your booze."
It's not that hard in 2014.
Nichols has expanded his beer selection -- on draft, especially -- during the past few years.
"I think over the past few years, it's become much more important to have a variety, you're noticing a lot of the pubs around town that are getting more and more and more. And there's a lot of the micro brewery stuff around these days that's very, very good."
Whether it's the beer or the food, one -- likely both -- will keep you coming back.
We were treated to some amazing dishes, including a plate of fresh-sliced veggies and homemade hummus. The hummus, which comes in traditional chickpea and black bean, are so popular, people come in off the street to buy it.
Then it was off to the garlic parmesan wings. They're huge wings with equally huge flavor. The Blind Tiger also finished third for best tasting wing in last year's local wing cookoff.
We finished with two of the menu favorites: great New York-style pizza -- which uses Roma's bakery dough and the pub's own recipe for pizza sauce -- and the chicken-bacon-ranch sandwich, which needs no explanation.
As far as decisions go, the menu -- with all its great choices -- might give you 'paws'. But there's no doubt, you'll be back to the Tiger.
"You just want them to come back," Nichols said. "And that takes good food, good service and good beer."