There are many activities that should not be performed on an empty stomach, including swimming, surgery, and swimming 30 minutes after having your appendix removed. Acquire activity fuel with today's Groupon: for $20, you get $40 worth of American cuisine and drinks at Gallagher's in downtown Waterloo, Illinois.
Housed in a beautifully restored three-story building from the 1870s, Gallagher's offers a sumptuous menu of fine American cuisine in an unmatched space complete with original exposed brickwork and a centenarian oak bar. Hunger pangs face ruthless assault from a selection of flavorful appetizers, including the crispy risotto cakes, with asiago cheese, asparagus, and arborio rice ($8.95), and the crab cakes, crafted from Maryland jumbo lump blue-crab meat and served with red bell pepper and dijon mustard sauce ($10.95). With tummy rumblings quieted, patrons can dig into entrees such as the New York strip steak ($26) or the grill-glazed salmon fillet ($17.95), farm raised and hand painted in a tangy Asian barbecue sauce. The extensive wine list complements fish with crisp whites and meat with rustic reds, giving pink-hued zinfandels free rein over snack times and sleep eating. A bite of bread pudding ($4.95) to finish your meal is as sweet as a gingerbread man's sneeze.
Six distinct dining areas covering three floors showcase the woodworking talent of the Gallagher family, whose modern renovation mixes time-period furnishings with converted bowling-lane tables to produce a novel yet timeless effect.
Gallagher’s Restaurant is awash in Waterloo and St. Louis history from its foundation on up to its newly opened third floor. Situated in a building built in 1870 with its original bar intact, the eatery is full of artifacts collected by owners John and Susie Gallagher over two decades. The balcony and bar feature original railings from the 1908 McKinley Bridge, the booths are made out of pocket doors from the Chase Park-Plaza Hotel, and the tables are repurposed bowling lanes from the old Bee Hive Bowl. To construct their masterpiece, the Gallagher family poured their own efforts into the building, doing almost all the physical labor themselves with help from their nephews, five sons, and other family members.
Inside that history-laden interior, servers bustle around with plates of hearty American fare and juicy eight-ounce burgers. Smoke-cured pork chops claim myriad state fair accolades for their glaze of sweet and sour peach sauce, and the chefs carefully stacks burgers with shiitake mushroom sauce and brie or an enchanting combo of cayenne candied bacon with cheddar or blue cheese. Every Sunday, the restaurant serves fried chicken dinners that were judged the best in the area by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, which noted the flavorful blend of spices in the batter.
114 W Mill St.
Waterloo, Illinois 62298-1205