Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Bad Dog

I’m a little disappointed in the recent changes that have occurred at Red Dog Cafe, a staple in my regular rotation of Silver Spring restaurants. I've already lamented in a previous post the reduction in dried cherries in their mixed greens salads.

On a recent evening, I went to Red Dog Cafe with a craving for their usual selection of classic comfort food (Mac & Cheese, etc.). To my horror, I saw that they had replaced their old options with a fancy dinner menu consisting of $20+ entrées. They still have the Mac & Cheese, but it’s only available as a smaller side dish. To add insult to injury, I ordered my baby mixed green salad and found out that it was half the size of what it used to be. According to the waiter, they made them smaller because people didn’t finish them. (I was not one of those people.) Of course, the price wasn't prorated. Personally, I liked the salad big because I would always split it and another dish with my wife. I ended up ordering a pizza, and while it was really good, it too was smaller than the pizzas they used to serve.

I am sad because this used to be a nice, reasonably-priced place to grab dinner, but now it’s all fancy-pants with its high-falutin' tablecloths and what not. Maybe it's just a little too close to the Chevy Chase border...

Also in restaurants: So the Alberto's Pizza in Dupont Circle that was damaged by fire has been re-opened. Now maybe they can get in gear and open the Georgia Avenue location.



15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow - quite the change in menu. I haven't been to this place in a while because of a drop in quality, which saddens me because it was a great go-to neighborhood place. Glad to hear the pizza was good, it hasn't been in my last few experiences. BTW, the price for that salad is lower than before. It used to be around $10.

HelloSS said...

I never really went to Red Dog, but I always liked the idea of a nice, local, clean, friendly place, a bit off the beaten path.. Too bad they're moving in the wrong direction.

Terry said...

I stopped going because of the crummy service. Breakfast and dinner time, I've been completely forgotten by waitstaff, received the wrong order, and had to hear about the issues between members of the waitstaff.

Sligo said...

I wish we had a place like Tonic in Mount Pleasant.

Anonymous said...

Glad I wasn't the only one disappointed with the new changes to Red Dog. If I'm spending $20+ on an entree, I expect much better service. And they've got to do something about their silverware--it's so heavy! Though the food is delicious, I probably won't be coming back; just not worth it.

rb said...

Red Dog used to be overflowing with patrons. Two months ago we were disappointed in the deterioration in the quality of the dishes. Having heard Kirsten, the new owner, was advertising a new menu, we tried again last weekend. On Friday night only six tables were filled, half with families with kids. The young adult population of patrons was missing. Maybe they were all at Nicaros.
The dinner salad we usually split was now a side salad that was half the size but more than half the price. Scallops were mediocre and the pumpkin risotto had no pumpkin. Sad! The increased prices were not warranted, but my husband still liked the pizza.

BR said...

I go to Red Dog literally once a week. I don't mind the tablecloths and new server uniforms etc etc, but the menu changes have been disappointing. Personally, I get the half-size mac & cheese every single time, but my boyfriend's favorite dish, the Pork Ripieghi, disappeared off the dinner menu about 2 months ago.

However, at the suggestion of a server, we e-mailed Kirsten and expressed our dissapointment. Apparently others have too because as of last week, the Ripieghi is back on the menu.

Seeing as how Red Dog is not a chain, customers have the advantage here. If it's important enough to you, send Kirsten an e-mail (info@reddogcafe.com) and tell her what you think. It certainly can't hurt!

Anonymous said...

Kirsten's is the closest cafe to my home. In my opinion, it has sucked since it opened, so I am not at all surprised at Red Dog going south when Kirsten purchased it. My wife and I have stopped going as soon as we heard of the change in ownership. I mean, why verify something you already know? When we are going out for grub on Grubb, it is now Parkway or 'to go' from the Co-op. We hope that Kirsten's folly will speed a change in ownership of both places. Be a good dog and rollover... soon!

Anonymous said...

Don't you all know that, precisely because Red Dog is not a chanin, you're supposed to be loyal to it? It is independent, therefore it is good. Just as all chains (except Ben & Jerry's) are bad. Case closed.

BTW, now that Kirsten herself is a "chain" (owning more than one outlet) I understand she is in danger of running afoul of the beloved Montgomery County liquor laws, which limit the number of alcoholic beverage licenses and, in turn, the spread of mass-market restaurants. Does anybody have other facts on this? From what I heard, she might be able to work out something but it's tough.

Anonymous said...

I'd love a Tonic too. One of the owners is a local - drop him a line to encourage it!

Anonymous said...

Not to mention the Pizza Margherita which is billed as FRESH Mozzarella, Tomatoes & Basil. While it used to be all FRESH MOZZARELLA, it is now processed mozz with miniscule specks of the white fresh mozz. This should not be - change the pizza to the way it was, or change the description on the menu. ciao.

Anonymous said...

BTW, the salad price is less b/c it is now more of a side salad, rather than the entree salad it previously was. At least on the dinner menu.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Kirsten's is the closest cafe to my home. In my opinion, it has sucked since it opened, so I am not at all surprised at Red Dog going south when Kirsten purchased it. My wife and I have stopped going as soon as we heard of the change in ownership. I mean, why verify something you already know? When we are going out for grub on Grubb, it is now Parkway or 'to go' from the Co-op. We hope that Kirsten's folly will speed a change in ownership of both places. Be a good dog and rollover... soon!

12/20/2007 5:07 PM

what an awful, mean and horrible thing to say, we are supposed to support local businesses not wish them to "roll over" as you put it. Have you ever owned a restaurant? I guess not you just visit them and then shower your crap on them. If you aren't happy with the food, menu changes or service just tell Kirsten or email her, she is very responsive. I emailed her about the ripeghi's and she responded within hours that they were going to be returned to the menu. I have been a regular for a year or so and find the red Dog Cafe a great place to "hang".

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