Although you may have heard that the Stone Street restaurant the Growler Bites and Brews is geared toward dog owners, don’t be surprised when man’s best friend isn’t allowed inside. Sure, you can tie Buddy up to a post outside and sit in the cold to eat with him, but it’s not as dog-friendly as the hype. What you will find, in place of furry four-leggers drinking beer and playing poker, is a canine-themed saloon.
This strip of the Financial District is known to lure tie-loosening bankers looking to soothe their sorrows over a beverage, or 10, and the Growler certainly caters to that crew. There are multiple beers on tap, including a Sixpoint specialty called Growler Darrrk, most available in growlers to-go; classy cocktails (try the root beer, Jameson, and orange Stone Street Sasparilla); and a menu of bar snacks with enough grease to rival Gordon Gekko’s hairdo.
Start with an order of fried pickles. The LES Pickle Guys’ slices are coated in a hush-puppy-type batter and served with a spicy mayo. Though they need a bit more pickle-y punch, they’re good in theory, and that’s about as good at it gets at this spot.
Fancified hot dogs get their own section at the top of the menu. Each wiener is sourced from a different local artisanal spot, like Mile End or Salumeria Biellese. Salt-less pretzel buns are stuffed with topping-heavy tube steaks, like a Hawaiian-type number with an über-sweet pineapple condiment or a “garden” topped Chicago-style. The top dog may be the merguez with a tzatziki-type sauce. The piquant lamb sausage is cooled down with the cucumber and yogurt.
From $10 to $12, the cocktail menu is more sophisticated than you’d expect for this fratty ‘hood. There’s a cocktail du jour on tap, though it’s unclear whether it’s barrel-aged or just plopped into the keg, and pup-themed quaffs like the Old Pal (rye whiskey, Campari, dry vermouth, grapefruit oil) or Irish Terrier (Jameson, Lagavulin scotch, pineapple, lemon, orgeat).
For a superb nightcap, try the Colorado Bulldog, a smooth White Russian-type blend of vodka, kahlua, milk, and root beer. While it may not be the coolest-looking drink, it will certainly make you feel like The Dude. Or His Dudeness … Duder … or El Duderino, if, you know, you’re not into the whole brevity thing.