“We’re cheers without the alcohol,” grins Mark Russell of Tiger Bulls, a casual shake-and-burger hub in Lake Highlands.

“We have very loyal patrons – it’s staggering to me how many of our customers come in at least three times a week.”

Little did Russell know seven years ago that the “For Lease” sign in the old bank space at Forest and Abrams would spell out his future. He had been thinking about opening Tiger Bulls for several years when, driving home one day, he saw his opportunity.

“This is exactly the kind of mom-dad-kids place I wanted,” Russell says. “I feel blessed to have it. The neighborhood…without Lake Highlands, we wouldn’t be here today.”

The simple fare at the eatery works, thanks to some extra care in preparation. Burgers and hot dogs are grilled over hickory wood to pump up the taste and tone down the fat. Dogs are probably Tiger Bull’s signature dish – butterflied and grilled, laid out on a hamburger bun and doused with hickory sauce.

“Number Seven is a big favorite,” Russell says. “That’s a dog/burger combo.”

Top that with one of Tiger Bull’s extra thick and creamy shakes, and you have a new definition of comfort food.

TIGER BULL’S GRILLED CHICKEN SALAD

362 ABRAMS FOREST SHOPPING CENTER

214-343-2855

One of the more guilt-free items on the menu still ranks high on taste – the key is the marinade. Also, try to wood grill the meat if at all possible.

5 oz. boneless, trimmed chicken breast

¼ c. almonds

iceberg and romaine lettuce

Sliced tomatoes

Red cabbage

MARINADE

¼ c. soy sauce

1/8 c. sugar

1 tsp. ginger

1 tsp. garlic salt

Marinate the chicken thoroughly – at least five to 10 minutes. Grill until no longer pink in the center and slice into strips. Tear the lettuce into bite-sized pieces and toss with “a hint of chopped red cabbage” and almonds. Dribble your dressing of choice over the greens, and top with the chicken and tomato slices.