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Blue Dog Family Tavern
Taps: 22 / Bottles: -
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]
4275 County Line Rd
phone: (215) 997-9988
(Place added by: leeenglewood)
Ratings & Reviews
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| Reviews: 37 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by johnmichaelsen:
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3 | $$
Stopped by the other day for the second annual "embarrassment of riches" event.
Blue Dog is a pretty inconspicuous tavern located in a grocery store strip mall. I was initially concerned I had the wrong location, but as soon as I walked in, I knew I was in the right spot. As you walk in, you first notice a couple of cold boxes for off premise purchases (I assume) and a cash register. As you walk by that, you notice a good size bar area to your right that has to hold close to 40 seats. Given the selection and popularity of this event, it was completely full this day (at 11:20 in the morning), with some folks standing and drinking beer as well. There's also a pool table, as well as stacks of beer cases, which on this day were doubling as impromptu bar tables. Given that the bar area was full, I ordered a couple of glasses of KBS and CBS, gave the bartender my credit card (my first mistake), and proceeded to the open area dining room (there is also what appears to be a slightly more formal enclosed dining room). The place has sort of chilis/applebee's vibe, and atmosphere is not exactly this place's strong suit. Service was very prompt, though my server told me right off that I shouldn't have ordered beers at the bar if I intended to sit in the dining area. Apparently it's not possible to transfer one's tab from the bar area, which is why he was so put out. At this point I had the opportunity to meet Chris the owner, who struck me as very personable and pleasant. When I asked him how well his place did business-wise, given the unlikely location, he laughed and (quite rightly - stupid question on my part) pointed out that distributors don't sell kegs of KBS, CBS, younger and supplication to accounts that don't sell a lot of product. Anyway, it was enjoyable talking to him, and I appreciated him taking the time to stop by on what was obviously a very busy day for him.
Given the event I was here for, it goes without saying that the selection was incredible. On this particular day it included (in addition to KBS and CBS) two vintages of regular breakfast stout, sculpin, consecration, supplication, temptation, laguinitas fusion... and that's just what I can recall. All together there was something like 25 beers on tap, and it was apparent that the owner is committed to offering quality stuff on tap. They also have an impressives bottle selection, but I gave that no more than a passing glance given the draft selection.
Food consists of your pretty standard pub grub. I got the nachos, which consisted of olives, jalapenos, mild salsa, sour cream, guac and melted cheese wiz over a bunch of chips. While fine, I got the distinct impression that food is kind of an afterthought here (judging by some of the other items I saw ordered by other patrons).
Prices were pretty reasonable I thought. My KBS and CBS came in a 10 ounce tulip and were $5.79 a glass I believe.
As for service, it was just plain odd, and I gather the staff were a bit stressed by the crowd. I've noticed in the past that some places really shine when they're hit by a large crowd (after all, if nothing else the tips should be good), while at other places the service really suffers. At least on this day, I think the crowd really had an adverse impact on the quality of the service here (even though the place was well staffed). There was a problem ordering a sampler platter (not enough glasses), and my server told me I would need to go close out my tab at the bar and then pay him (still not sure why he couldn't have done that, but apparently he couldn't). When I went up to the bar to retrieve my credit card and bar tab, he came up to me with my check, pointing out that I'd forgotten to pay. I reminded him that my credit card was with the bartender, and I had to pay her first before I could pay my dining room tab. As for the bartender, initially she couldn't find my credit card, and it reached the point where I went back to my table to pay my check in cash, assuming I'd just have to report my card as missing. However, she finally found it, but then blamed me for not giving her my name correctly (she initially thought my last name was Patterson, even though I repeatedly told her my last name, and at one point she even repeated it correctly). My point is that the place was slammed, and the large crowd clearly had an adverse impact on service. At one point the staff started bickering with one another, after one server apparently grabbed some other server's drink order from the bar.
All that aside, I would certainly go back here again, as the beer selection is THAT good. Also, while the service was a bit off on the day stopped by, I'm more than willing to attribute that to a large crowd and attempts by the staff to get everyone's order to them very quickly (in this they succeeded; everything came very quickly). My problems aside, this is clearly an outstanding place.
09-27-2010 15:25:27 |
More by johnmichaelsen
More User Reviews:
11-18-2013 03:29:03 |
More by MrDave14
10-29-2013 00:56:32 |
More by EFR94
10-21-2013 19:58:36 |
More by GeoffreyM
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.25 | $$
This place knows craft beer. Good rotating selection on draft. However, I stop by for the take-out craft beers. For the space, there is good selection of high trending beers. Many of the single bottle available warm only, but decent selection of cold sixes & singles as well. defintiely stop by if in area. You'll probably be able to pick up something new & popular on craft end.
05-09-2013 03:20:00 |
More by TheBigBoy
vibe: 2 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | $$
Kind of hard to believe I never--until recently--stopped in this place, as it's about a mile away from Keystone Homebrew, which is where I get all my supplies.
Located in a strip mall, Blue Dog isn't the classiest of joints. I kind of got a bad feel as soon as I walked in and beheld some of the clientele, but oh well, it's Friday night and there's a game on...what can you do? The place is labeled as a "Family Tavern." Not sure exactly what that's supposed to mean, but all I know is, I don't need to be hearing kids screaming while I'm at the bar.
Adjacent to the entrance is a little cubbie hole take-out shop, with a few fridges (get yer Pabsts here!), and several shelves of singles. I gotta say, for as small as this space is, they use it well, and keep it stocked with lots of good locals and crafts. Venturing further in, the bar appears like some kind of weird hybrid between a sports bar and the back room of a distributor warehouse. The "decor" consists mainly of empty beer boxes and cases lining the walls, with general tin tackers and sports bric-a-brac on the walls. The bar itself is fairly large and can seemingly accommodate a larger crowd, and there are two separate rooms with seating areas.
Tap list was fairly decent, with somewhere between 20-25 selections, maybe 5 of those macros, and the rest a decent selection of locals micros and standards of US and Euro fare: Palm, Stoudt's, Anchor, Yards, Sam Adams, Bud, etc. Glancing at the "Riches" event, it seems like they have some success at bringing in the usual "rarities," with promises of CBS and KBS on tap, so that's cool.
We weren't at the place for long, but the service seemed decent. The one beer I had was a stout that was supposed to be on nitro, but definitely didn't seem to be...do these guys know how to serve a beer correctly? Are the draught lines ok? Questions that warrant answering. Food menu appeared to be typical pub/grill grub, but we already ate, so didn't get to sample.
I'd like to come back here for an event to see how they handle it, maybe get a better feel for the service and try the food, but otherwise, this isn't the kind of place I'd frequent.
09-22-2012 03:35:28 |
More by Rifugium
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.75 | $$
Made my way to the Blue Dog for the first time today. When I saw that they were tapping Pliny the Younger, I made sure that I was there for it. We stood outside for about 45 minutes in a line waiting to get in before the place opened. The bar filled up quickly once we got there so we took a table instead. The service was very friendly and attentive. The hostess was very nice and introduced up to the owner who spoke with my friend and I for a moment about getting Pliny each year. The beer selection is incredible actually. MANY bottles to choose from, a lot of which I have not seen even in the state of PA before. Service was good considering the chaos of the event. The atmosphere was good, very relaxing and homely. Very family friendly. The only thing that I was worried about was when we first got in there was that the place smelled of stale beer or musty. My friend assured that it's probably their drainage system there. Either way once the food started coming out to the dining area that smell faded. I felt that the pricing was pretty good for what I had. I have no major complains at all about the Blue Dog, I look forward to going back sometime soon.
03-12-2012 03:51:12 |
More by Knapp85
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
The service here was excellent. I can not say enough good things about the service. I had a smoked pork chop sandwich that i thought was very good. I thought they had a very good selection on tap. This place is good to go to if you have kids. They have a kids menu. The place was clean i will be returning in the near future i really liked it. They have a small bottle shop for take out too. My wife had a crab cake sandwich and she said it was good also. The kids had mac and cheese in doggie bowls that they got a kick out of.
12-19-2011 18:37:02 |
More by mingo1968
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$
The Blue Dog is my go-to bar, yet I never gave it much thought to review it, until now. Although it's location might be out of reach for some, it's well worth it to go if you're ever in the area. Rob (general manager) and Chris (owner) are fantastic people who really know their beer. They hire a quality staff who always seem to make you feel at home. Even during peak hours, the service has always been timely, and I am always checked on every few minutes. The selection is unbelievable, along with the prices that go along with it. This isn't your typical wings, fries, and potato skins type place folks. Attached to their menu comes a sheet of paper listing the week's specials. During the fall/winter seasons last year, you were sure to find a "game" meat special, which always peaks eveyone's interest. However, I did stay away from the python, just couldn't do it... they're beer events are incomparable, everything from Philly Beer week to their Wealth of Riches gathering just a couple of weeks ago. I really can't say enough great things about this place, except be sure to go there and enjoy it. Oh yes, I almost forgot, they're beer selection besides the numerous amount on tap is impressive as well. Just to list a few: Speedway Stout, Deliverance, Supplication and the list goes on...
10-04-2011 17:45:22 |
More by rhong187
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
Figured it was time to update my review of this place.
Blue Dog Tavern is tucked away in a shopping center. If you didn't know it was there you would most likely never find it. When you walk in to the right is the bottle shop. They have a pretty decent selection and usually get most of the limited releases offered in PA. Prices are very competitive with other local establishments. To the left is the dining area and private room. To the right of the dining area is the bar area. Not a huge bar but not too small either. They have a pool table but in my honest opinion I think it should be removed. (what do i know tho!) Blue Dog usually has a good to great tap list. Beer is always served in the appropriate glassware. They always keep their beer lists updated which is completely awesome. In addition, they routinely update on facebook which is also great.
The food has gotten much better lately and I have definitely enjoyed whatever I have ordered recently. The owner is very generous and holds an event every one in a while in which he shares a lot of great bottles without asking anything in return. I really can't say enough about his generosity. All in all Blue Dog Tavern is a great place to come and enjoy great beer with your friends and pick up a few nice bottles to go as well.
08-15-2011 13:15:07 |
More by slentz
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Blue Dog Family Tavern in Chalfont, PA
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