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Good mall eatin'
Tilapia sandwich at Dillinger's

Dillinger’s Steaks and Seafood brings a mom–and–pop feel to what is typically a venue overrun by hyper–themed restaurants – the mall.

In this case, Oglethorpe Mall. Those of you with mallphobia will be glad to know it has a private entrance just off the parking lot near the food court entrance.

There are plenty of reasons to check it out. First, a big, inviting bar with plenty of big–screen sports action, beer by the bucket and bar food specials is designed to keep you and your rowdy sports fan friends outta the house.

And if your palate is more attuned to those fancy–schmancy cocktails and martinis, Dillinger’s fills the bill. Finally, a reason to go to the mall!

Perennial favorites, the acoustic duo of Bucky and Barry, bring their act to Dillinger’s most Saturday nights – and some Friday nights as well.

But what about the food? I’m happy to report that it’s pretty darned good. I had a special — a fried Tilapia sandwich dressed with lettuce and tomato. The fish portion was big and thick, with nice breading that was well seasoned and fried crispy. The hoagie bun was fresh and right sized — I had fish poking out all around.

The special, $9.95, was accompanied by two sides. I chose French fries — standard bagged fare – and a side salad.

My server had already ’fessed up: it was only her second day on the job. The owner and manager had already out–scooped her on refilling my iced tea glass — twice.

Bottom line: The salad never arrived. I like to play these things out to see if the error is discovered, and then to assess how it’s handled. When I had settled my check, I asked my server, who was now training someone less experienced than her, what was missing from my table. She didn’t know.

I did some training of my own: Always check your order against the plate and if it’s not right YOU send it back — don’t wait for the customer to complain.

I also addressed the issue with the manager and we determined it may have actually been a breakdown in the process employed by the kitchen. Regardless, no salad, but a heartfelt offer to bring me one.

No need, my sandwich and fries were plenty good and filling. On a previous visit, my burger and my companion’s meat–n–three were both nicely prepared and good values.

It’s versatile space with plenty of room for large parties and lots of little nooks suitable for some quiet, private dining. The wine list is bargain driven (happy hour is two–for–one) and the beer list holds a handful of well–chosen craft brews.

7804 Abercorn St./912–355–3730