Beat the Dog Days of Summer at the Blue Dog Family Tavern

Fun is what the Blue Dog Family Tavern is all about. From the large pictures hanging on every wall of the tavern’s mascot, blue dog, set in various local spots to the dog-themed dining (with some meals even being served out of stainless steel dog bowls).

The traditional tavern atmosphere is complemented by chic d�cor. There’s no stuffiness or pretense here. You seat yourself and can choose from two dining rooms or a large welcoming bar area. One dining room is bright and airy, with a wall booth and tables, while the other is intimate, with subtle lighting and private booths. All feature a rich d�cor of gold painted walls and deep wood trim.

Kids can have fun coloring with a dog bowl full of crayons and everyone can pass the time playing video games, shooting pool or darts, or just watching any of the five large plasma televisions.

Beers connoisseurs will enjoy the selection of over 250 domestic, microbrews, Belgians and imports. There is a huge variety of drinks to choose from, including brews such as Brooklyn Chocolate Stout ($5.79), Lindeman’s Pomme ($6.49), O’Hara’s Celtic Stout ($4.79) and mixed drinks like the Blue Dog Fruit Bowl (Ketel One and Sour Apple Pucker) or the Chocolate Lab (Stoli Vanilla, Godiva White and Dark with Frangelico). A LaGunitas beer-tasting event will be held in the tavern on June 20 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

But just because the tavern carries such an extensive drink menu, doesn’t mean they neglect the food. There is a huge lunch and dinner menu, with a variety of unusual dishes. The beer-battered onion rings ($4.99) are light are crisp, with a rich subtle beer flavor complimented by a creamy horseradish sauce.

The grilled vegetable quesadillas ($5.99) is on the appetizer list, but can serve as a hearty dinner. The tortillas are stuffed with Monterey Jack cheese, Spanish onion, diced tomato, broccoli and peppers and served with salsa, sour cream and ranch dressing. The portobello grinder ($5.99) is one of the highlights of the tavern’s casual cuisine. Grilled portobello, provolone cheese, red onions, lettuce and tomatoes are topped with a delicious balsamic herb mayo.

An extensive “puppy menu” for children is also provided featuring novel meals such as tasty mini pierogies ($3.29) and cheese sticks ($4.49). The tavern also throws kids a bone with a special puppy treat- a brownie bone served with whipped cream ($1.99).

So if you’re in the mood for casual fun and great food, the Blue Dog Family Tavern is a doggone good spot.

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