So, I’ve lived in my neighborhood on the north edge of Ballard for almost 4 years now, and I’m ashamed to say that I’ve never been to the Barking Dog Alehouse; an establishment located exactly 8 blocks due south. I’ve run countless laps around the neighborhood, passing by 70th, and have yet to stop in. But tonight, as I had no food in the house, and needed something to eat, I finished my run, packed up my computer, and headed down to the Barking Dog. And you know what, I’m glad I did.
The Barking Dog is a pretty nice place, aesthetically pleasing from the outside, and fitting in nicely amongst the homes in this neighborhood. There is a small patio outside, and plenty of seating inside. It’s an unassuming place where you walk in and seat yourself, but in typical Seattle fashion, it’s a place where pulling out a laptop to work while consuming a beer is not out of place. The decor is simple, but nice. And there are flat screen televisions strategically positioned to show a variety of sports.
When I walked in, I grabbed a table along the side so I would have some space to get a little bit of work done while I was eating (this was actually the impetus for me not cooking for myself this evening). After getting settled, I perused a nice beer list with a blend of local brews on tap, Belgium imports, and some unique beer options. I settled on a Silver City Red Ale, and then turned my attention to the food menu which was only a couple of pages. Everything appeared to be simple bar food, but taken up just a notch. I was trying to figure out what I was in the mood for, and almost narrowed it down to the burger until a part of me just couldn’t do it being that I’m still on burger overload from my personal Juicy Lucy Challenge (read about it here). So, I ended up going with the Halibut and Chips; a fairly safe choice.
After responding to just a couple of e-mails, my dinner arrived. The halibut was nice and brown, and served over the top of some waffle potato fries. I’m a malt vinegar guy, so I put a bit on the halibut, dipped it in the tartar sauce and took a bite. Much to my pleasure, the halibut was cooked very well. The breading was nice and crunchy with a very subtle flavor, and no greasiness. The halibut was incredibly moist and was definitely the star of the show as it should be. The tartar and the malt vinegar accented it very nicely. I quickly put down that first piece of halibut before I even got into the fries, which were ok, but I’m guessing frozen, not fresh, and lacked just a bit of salt (which I just added myself).
All in all, I made pretty quick work of the halibut, and finished off the fries. Then I ordered another beer and got some work done. The meal itself was pretty simple, which is exactly what I was looking for. And while fish and chips is not a real stretch, and probably not the best indicator of overall performance, I do have to give credit for not overcooking the halibut. There is nothing worse to me than a dry, ruined piece of halibut. And the atmosphere was great as well. I can definitely see myself taking the Heel-Toe Express down to the Barking Dog Alehouse on more occasions to get some work done on nights when it is just me, while trying the more “adventurous” fare such as the grilled pork chop or the bleu cheese and fig ravioli.
Semi-Final Verdict (pending expected trips) – 3.5 Stars