Williamsburg took the best of England and made it American. Chef David Everett continues the trend with his unique take on the British Gastropub.
Gastropub – A bar and restaurant that serves quality food and beer without pretension. I’ve been hearing about different “gastropubs” popping up in various places across the globe. To be quite honest, I didn’t know what the word meant before going to DoG Street Pub, but I knew it meant something good. DoG Street Pub looks to be the only “gastropub” in Williamsburg and is run by the acclaimed Chef David Everett.
When I entered DoG Street Pub I was immediately impressed by the extremely high ceilings, striking light fixtures, tile floors, iron work and bar area. The building (built back in 1931) actually used to function as a bank for many, many years. You definitely see the charm and character from that time period in the decor. The original floor and fixtures are still there and the new additions blend right in with the old.
We began our meal with Black “Pudding” – “Warm Sausage with sautéed apples, onions, and a fried egg”. Black Pudding is code word for blood sausage. Sounds scary, right? Well, it was actually great. I really liked the combination of flavors with the sausage, egg and caramelized onions. It balanced together well and was not overpowering at all. So fear not. Next we tried the Welsh Rarebit – “Brown Ale horseradish cheese over English toasting bread”. I am not a huge fan of cheese (depending on the kind), nor am I a fan of beer (OK you can stop heckling me now), so I wasn’t sure how I would like this dish, but Eddie really wanted to order it. I surprised myself though…this was pretty good! Certainly a unique dish. After tasting a couple dishes I decided to peruse the drink menu. I’m a water drinker and don’t usually deviate from this except for rare occasions. However, DoG Street Pub offers an array of unique sodas and other drinks, so I decided this was a rare occasion. I went with the Butter Beer – “Mulled Cider and caramel topped with melted caramel butter”. It was served piping hot in a metal mug and was the best cider I have ever tasted. Eddie called it liquid butterscotch. Wishing a cup of it was in my hand right now. Our next two plates were our main entrees, which consisted of The Rail Sandwich and the Salmon Burger. Please give me a moment of silence as I mourn the fact that I no longer have the leftovers in my fridge. The Rail Sandwich was my favorite, with the Salmon Burger coming in at a close second. I’ll describe the Salmon Burger here since the Rail will be expounded upon below. It’s described in the menu as – “Blackened Salmon with sauerkraut and swiss cheese”. The DoG Street Pub starts with an entire salmon filet and then cuts it up into little pieces without adding any filler to the burger. It’s then coated heavily with their blackened flavoring and topped with sauerkraut and swiss cheese. You can barely taste the sauerkraut…just enough to give an extra dimension to the sandwich. The salmon is so moist it basically melts in your mouth. DoG Street Pub also makes a signature in-house sauce, which they call their “Pub Sauce”. They put this on the side of the salmon and in various other dishes across the menu. We dipped our burger and fries in there, but I really wanted to just dip my face in the sauce – it was so good. Some people come in the restaurant just to buy this Sauce. We ended our meal with a traditional English dessert called Eton Mess – “Fresh berry puree with home-made whipped cream and chunks of home-made crunchy meringue cookies”. There’s really no meal where you wouldn’t have room for this dessert. That’s how light and airy it was, yet still deliciously sweet.
The DoG Street Pub focuses on quality and makes everything “home-made”, including almost every sandwich bread they use. You can taste the care and creativity in every dish offered. I’m speaking on behalf of Eddie when I say the beer selection is, hands down, the best in Williamsburg. They have great variety on tap everyday and offer high quality locals and imports that you don’t see elsewhere. It’s not surprising that they won an award for the best beer menu.
Mindy’s Favorite Thing: The Rail Sandwich – “Pulled Pork, pickles, green leaf lettuce, red onion, swiss cheese and black pepper mayo on grilled sourdough”. On the menu, it sounded neat, but nothing that would make me stop in my tracks. But the taste did. I was so full when I was eating this, but I still wanted to keep eating and eating it. The combination of textures/flavors is just ridiculous.
What Mindy would like to try next time: Crab Rissole Sandwich – “An English style panko red potato cake with lump crab with ‘chips’”. I’m a sucker for a good crab cake sandwich and this panko red potato cake addition sounds really unique. I already know I love the other two sandwiches I tasted, so I have a good feeling about this one.