Friday, June 8, 2012

Guest Review- House Of Dog

(Editor Note: This is the first guest review I have had on the site and I wanted to thank Jason Pear for taking the time to write it.  If you are interested in doing a guest review please get in touch.)

By Jason Pear

Initially, I want to take a moment to thank Dave for giving me the opportunity to guest post on his blog. In addition, I want to apologize for my delay in getting him my review. I hope to have opportunities to post in the future and to submit my next post more timely.

A few months ago I went with my girlfriend to House of Dog, ‘Dogs n’ Beer’, a restaurant which appears to be attempting to corner the gourmet kosher hot dog restaurant in the so-called mid-Beach area of Miami Beach. As you may know there are a number of kosher restaurants in this area, serving the kosher community. This is particularly important to note as they are closed Friday night, Saturday during the day, and on all significant Jewish holidays (e.g., Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur). Also, during Passover they are unlikely to be open as neither beer nor bread is kosher for Passover. I recommend calling them before making a trip to the Beach. Because of the restaurant’s limited hours, we went on a Sunday at approximately 6 p.m.

We parked at one of the public parking lots south of 41st and did not have trouble finding a metered spot. I recommend making sure that you have change (or at least cash), even though the machines will accept credit cards. Also, as a resident of Miami Beach, I know full well that the police officers are more than happy to give out tickets – in Miami Beach always make sure that you have enough money in the meter.

Outside there were one or two plastic tables with chairs, unfortunately they were taken so we were forced to sit inside. Inside, the décor was dark with stained wood and barely enough light for me to see my notepad. There was a large family with crying children, which detracted from our enjoyment – other than that family the restaurant was basically empty. There were two televisions, which were playing basketball. Also, there were hookahs lining the walls, suggesting that they may attract large numbers of teenagers and people in their early to mid twenties. Based on my experience, the busy nights for the younger crowd is likely Thursday and Saturday nights (Thursday they are open until 2 a.m., on Saturday they stay upon until 3 a.m.). There was also a very odd disco ball in the middle of the restaurant; it was unclear what possible use this could have.

The restaurant does not maintain taps – they have approximately 30 bottled beers including Cigar City Jai Alai, Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA, and other craft beer staples. The beers were less expensive than you might expect at under $6.00 for all but the most expensive beers – like Arrogant Bastard and The Bruery's Saison Rue Belgian Saison. I did not find the beer selection very impressive, but it was better than you are likely to find at any other hotdog shop. I had a Cigar City Jai Alai which was great, as always. Unfortunately, they did not carry any ciders – which is my girlfriend’s alcoholic drink of choice.

I was really excited about eating a “beer infused dog” – I believe that they use Pabst – but unfortunately I was stymied and limited to fries because they didn’t have any of the meatless hotdogs that are on their menu (and I am a vegetarian). My girlfriend had a Rueben (or something like that) and said that it was very good. My fries were of the Belgian variety, and were quite good.

Overall, House of Dog is a welcomed addition to burgeoning (but highly limited) beer scene on the Beach – and I’m sure will be highly attractive for kosher consumers. The beer selection is better than what you would expect, but certainly not as extensive as at DRB or Abraxas. Hopefully, as the restaurant gets its feet wet they will carry more (and more unusual) beers and get a tap. I would consider going there again, but would make sure to call first and ask if they have any vegetarian hotdogs in stock. If you are looking for a good (albeit expensive) hotdog and want a good beer, I suggest you consider House of Dog.

House of Dog, ‘Dogs n’ Beer’
456 41st St,
Miami Beach, FL 33140
(305) 397-8733

Sun-Wed: 11:30am-12am (Lunch and Dinner)
Thu: 11:30am-2am (Lunch, Dinner, and Late Night)
Fri: 11:30am-3pm (Lunch only)
Sat: 7:30pm-3am (Dinner and Late Night)


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