Monday, December 19, 2011
Pub Dog In Columbia -- Pizza, Beers And All The Drinks Come In Pairs; Is This How Bars Work Now?
Bars are so much better now than when I was a regular in younger days -- no smoke, better beer and much better food.
We re-engaged with bar life last weekend with dinner at Pub Dog in Columbia. They brew their own beers, and they serve a limited menu that plays to their strengths. By limited, I mean pizza. They serve pizzas, a few appetizers like hot pretzels, and a few salads as well.
That's good pizza. It's a thin crust with terrific toppings. We had a "Fox & Hound" that came with mozzarella and smoked gouda, then sliced red pepper, sausage, and mushrooms. No one scrimped on ingredients. Smoked gouda gave a unique flavor, and everything else had the taste and look of fresh food.
The pizzas run $8-10 for 10-inch pies. We actually split our pizza and an order of hot pretzels. Most people could probably finish off their own. I saw several that looked terrific -- two white pizzas, several with barbecued or grilled chicken, and the "Spinach Pizza" that sounds healthy but pairs the green stuff with mushrooms and bacon. Personally, I prefer the crust cooked crisp (even charred like Facci), but Pub Dog has a soft-crust style that works.
I also liked the beer. I laughed at myself when our waitress arrived with two beers. That would have seemed awesome in my volume-drinking days, but my first reaction was "Why?" Honestly, they're small mugs. A happy hour bargain at $3.50. But it's not two pints. Even I cheerfully drained two mugs of the hoppy IPA. Not the bitter revelation of my favorite Flying Dog Raging Bitch, but a refreshing craft beer that matched nicely with pizza and pretzels.
Pub Dog qualifies as a bar because of how it limits its menu and how it picks and dresses the waitresses. But this is a fun place to eat. The pizza is worth a drive. There is an entire run of booths, and they have outdoor seating -- which is dog friendly to go with the name. On a Friday night, I didn't see kids, but I assume it's fine to drop in for pizza with little ones earlier in the day. Even on a weekend evening, this was a placid, adult crowd.
Pub Dog isn't connected with the short-lived Dog House Pub & Grill that operated in Long Reach village center. The original location is actually on Federal Hill in Baltimore.
8865 Stanford Boulevard
Columbia, MD 21045
NEAR: Pub Dog is in a shopping center just off Dobbin Road south of Rte 175. This is the center with Noodles Corner and Hanamura Sushi. Mango Grove is renovating space a few doors down. From Rte 175, turn south on Dobbin Road. Turn left on Stanford Boulevard, then right into the shopping center.