By Patrick St. Jean, Contributor
I was invited down to the Lazy Dog in Addison to check out the Cali-based restaurant’s fall/winter menu offerings at a media tasting.
Instead of ordering individual plates off the menu, we were able to try a little bit of everything that they had to offer.
I started out by trying one of Lazy Dog’s Huckleberry Basil Bourbon Shrubs. The shrub is made with the reserved apple cider vinegar used to pickle their strawberries. It was slightly tart, but with a good blend of basil and berries that kept the bourbon from becoming overpowering. And it went really well with the spicy caramel popcorn on the table (both pictured at right).
Lazy Dog has four new appetizers: bacon candy, street carrots, buffalo cauliflower and onion ring poutine.
The bacon candy was a sweet, spicy hunk of bacon wonderfulness. It wasn’t undercooked but was crisp without being crumbly. I could munch on this and the spicy popcorn while enjoying a couple beers at the bar.
The street carrots, made with organic, locally sourced carrots, were fantastic. They were well roasted, with a nice soft texture without being burned or crispy. The sauce they’re served with, though, was the star of the show. It’s a queso blanco-based ladle of heaven, just tangy enough, but with a nice citrus flavor to balance out the creaminess of the cheese.
I’ve got to disclaim my comments on the buffalo cauliflower (above), as I’m not the biggest cauliflower fan. These were their take on vegetarian buffalo wings, using lightly battered cauliflower instead of chicken. Interestingly, they’re wok-fried instead of deep-fried, which made them tender, and just crispy enough. The buffalo sauce was spicy, but not overpowering.
[Disclosure: Lazy Dog provided complimentary food and drink to The Dallas Diva. The opinions here are the writer’s own.]
And finally, there was the onion ring poutine (below). This was an interesting take on the Quebecois comfort food. It was quite an umami bomb, with a rich gravy, tender pot roast, a sunny side-up egg, and onion rings and French fries … not to mention the cheese and some roasted veggies. I was a little unsure about this one, having grown up around French-Canadians, but while it might offend some traditionalists, it was a very good spin on a classic.
I had finished off my first cocktail, and ordered one of the maple bacon Old-Fashioneds (above). It’s made with bacon-washed whiskey, maple syrup, amaro and bitters, and is topped with a strip of Lazy Dog’s bacon candy. My suggestion is to stir the drink with the bacon candy, because I thought it was missing a little something, and doing that woke it up nicely. The maple flavor was present, but not overwhelming, complementing the bacon and bourbon well, and with that little extra stir, it’s a fantastic cocktail.
We had three entrees to sample; a mushroom bacon crisp, Alaskan halibut and a Berkshire pork shank.
The mushroom bacon crisp, while technically an entree, really could be another appetizer. The flatbread was crispy, not soggy, and the mushroom and bacon topping, along with the balsamic and blue cheese came together to make a very nice dish. Even people who don’t usually care for blue cheese were complimenting this one.
The Alaskan halibut came out surrounded by mixed vegetables and dressed with a lemon vinaigrette. The veggies with it were tasty, including the Brussels sprouts. The fish was lightly breaded and light and flaky without any texture defects. This dish would pair well with the Huckleberry Bourbon Shrub or a hefeweizen.
Last on the list for the main courses was the Berkshire pork shank (above). This was a bone-in slab of pork perfection. It was served with kimchi rice, which definitely had a bit of a kick, but also had very good flavor. The pork shank was tender and juicy, having been braised in a sauce of tangerine juice, honey, soy sauce and more. Out of the three mains, this was my favorite, and I’ll probably order it the next time we’re at Lazy Dog.
And, finally, there were the two new desserts to try out. The first was an apple huckleberry open-face pie, served a la mode (above). It had a wonderfully light and flaky crust that I could have eaten all by itself. The filling was sweet without being cloying, with a mix of apples and huckleberries. The apples were still crisp, not mushy, and the huckleberries hadn’t been cooked to the point of being boring. The fruit pieces could have been a little smaller, but the flavor was great.
The second sweet was a pumpkin cheesecake. The filling had a light and fluffy, almost mousse-like consistency with a pleasant, but not overpowering, pumpkin pie spice flavor. The graham cracker crust was crisp and held together well. And the walnut crumble topping complemented everything with a nice bit of sweetness.
You really should head down to Lazy Dog and try some of these out — you won’t be disappointed. And bring your dogs, there’s treats and water waiting for them on the patio!
Lazy Dog Addison, 5100 Belt Line Road, #500, Dallas. 469-754-1300. Locations also in Euless and Plano.