Friday, June 17, 2011

The Family Dog - Media Tasting

I was invited to a media preview event at The Family Dog, the new bar concept by Ron Eyester. The bar is located directly across the street from Eyester's flagship restaurant, Rosebud, which I have enjoyed several times for lunch and brunch. Although I am not typically a bar person I really like the atmosphere of The Family Dog. The long bar, dark tones and fun art as well as a patio play positively into the mix.

Unfortunately I found the food mostly mediocre and although I find the "Angry Chef" bit that Eyester has become infamous for mildly amusing, as a customer it doesn't make a lot of sense. For example, the burger comes only one way. No exceptions. Of course this is Eyester's choice and I understand the dilemma he faces regarding preparation time and speed of orders, but this is a bit excessive. I'd rather see fewer toppings on the burger and/or have toppings come on the side. Another option: a topping bar.

I did really enjoy the playfulness of much of the menu, including lobster spaghetti egg rolls and house made Cheetohs. I was really excited about tasting the Cheetohs as well as the duck fat chips and onion dip. However, unfortunately I saw very little lobster meat in the egg rolls and in my humble opinion neither the Cheetohs nor the chips and onion dip tasted as good as upper-end store-bought varieties.

My favorite menu items that we sampled included the steamed mussels and the crab dip. The mussels, plump and juicy after being steamed in beer with serrano peppers and leeks, really took on the flavor of their cooking stock. I wanted to lap up the remaining broth but restrained myself since we were sharing plates! The crab dip is rich and creamy, served with tasty bread sticks. The burger (served its one way) was also good - I personally am fine with the way it is served. I also like the nostalgic tint of the fried bologna sandwich with cheese and crushed Fritos. It is definitely flavorful although that flavor screams unhealthy! The crispy rock shrimp with maple-sambal glaze had a great flavor, but the breading was so think I could barely taste the shrimp.

Crab dip.

Spaghetti lobster egg rolls.

House made Cheetohs.

We also sampled some of the tasty drinks including the Morningsider (gin, fresh squeezed lemon and maraschino juice) and the Angry Elk (adult fruit punch in a Mason jar) - both quite delicious. There is a huge selection of liquor including an especially impressive list of whisky. In addition, there are six other custom cocktails made using fresh ingredients, around ten draught beers and several wine options. I also really appreciate the selection of non-alcoholic options, including Mexican Coke (no corn syrup) and Cheerwine, the beloved soda from my home state.

7 Spice Duck Fat Potato Chips and Onion Dip.

Joe's Fried Mozzarella.


Fried Bologna and Cheese with crushed Fritos.

Disco fries with marrow gravy and fried egg.

Overall I think The Family Dog is a neat addition to the neighborhood since it is open late, which is hard to find, and it provides an atmosphere not previously available in Morningside proper. Those seeking out good drinks and a fun atmosphere will really enjoy it and the food will satisfy their need to eat something after inhaling all those drinks. I would like to try some of the other options we were not given, including the wings, fried oyster sandwich, pimento cheese and crab-stuffed shrooms.

The Family Dog on Urbanspoon

1 Comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting pictures, the food looks downright.....gross. It looks fried, meaty, fried and meaty, saucy and dippy. It's not appetizing at all. We are starting to go overboard on the"creative" fare in this city.