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Mar 15, 2009 06:10 AM

Dogfish Head Ale House over Tap and Vine

Now don't get me wrong, this place is no gourmet foodie hangout, but I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of its food for a microbrew restaurant. The beer is good, the food tasted fresh. Has some basic American favorites with some nice twists. I had a very nice Shrimp and Chicken Club sandwich. It is also very kid friendly, but has a nice vibe (it is loud, though) I would choose this place over Tap and Vine. I have eaten at Tap and Vine twice and had very inconsistent meals. If you were more into wine than beer, however, Tap and Vine might be more for you.

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  1. I drove by the future Dogfish Head in Chantilly yesterday. The sign says "Opening Soon."

    I just hope the food at this location is better than what we've gotten at the mothership in Rehoboth recently. We're talking really subpar.

    Since DH is so kid friendly, average food would be good enough.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Bob W

      just to clarify, I was talking about the Dogfish in 7 Corners. It is actually a lot less divey than the one in Rehoboth.

      1. re: Bob W

        I have eaten recently at the Gaithersburg location.The beer available and the food were both quite good

        1. re: lcool

          The Dogfist in 7 Corners has a great pubfood menu. Pretty decent overall for a brew house place. The location is very suburby-typical restaurant location. It's in a seperate building in a parking lot of a Shoppers.

          1. re: Smiles2008

            I have not eaten at Tap and Vine. I have eaten at Dogfish Head in Seven Corners (burgers and sandwiches). Those burgers and sandwiches are a cut above most places that (aside from the beer) might otherwise compete with them. Assuming that you are not looking for haute cuisine, and you like any of the Dogfish Head beer offerings, you will not be disappointed.

            Tap and Vine has, I think, 12 taps, and makes more out of those 12 taps than many would imagine. And yes, for the beer, if you are not a huge fan of Dogfish Head, they might just have something for you.

            I have been there only three times, twice the bar was comfortably crowded, once I was nearly alone. But make no mistake about it, their beer offerings are top notch--a couple of hoppy IPA types, a Belgian, a German Weisse, a European Pilsner, and more. I think there is a separate thread here that has mixed reviews of the food. The menu looks like they try to stretch further than Dogfish Head, and I hope to find time to get in there to eat sometime soon.

            1. re: SoxFan1

              Last night, we had dinner at Tap and Vine, our third visit to the restaurant. Foodwise, this was our most successful meal, although, on a Friday night, it was also our loudest and least relaxing. My husband ordered the short rib sliders and I ordered the flank steak. (He had a draft beer and I had a glass of wine.) We each liked our choice. I didn't care for the stewed/pulled texture of the meat of the short ribs, but this is nothing new or unique to Tap and Vine's cooking. My flank steak had a wonderful char taste while still hitting the rare degree of doneness I had ordered, and the chimichurri sauce tasted great. The fries were crispy, although they cool off fast since they're julienne cut. My husband's cole slaw wasn't overly sweet, a huge plus in my opinion.

              And now the noise... Since this thread went off into an angry tangent (now deleted) about misbehaving children and other diner's expectations at a restaurant, I paid particular attention to folks' behavior and noise. Bottom line: Friday night, the noise had little if anything to do with the many families. No children were running around. Occasionally one child might get out of his/her seat to stand next to the family's table, but that's hardly offensive. The noise is the result of a packed house, hard surfaces everywhere, and lots of couples and groups dining out together and enjoying one another's company.

              1. re: Indy 67

                you're thinking of the other thread on t&v. and the two-post "angry tangent" remains. surely you don't object to tangents on chowhound? ;-).
                and...i'd call it "instructive interchange" -- not "angry." <double ;-).>

      2. I've been to Dogfish (Seven Corners) and had a great burger and not so great fish and chips, not bad, just not something I would go out of my way for. On the other hand the burger was worth a trip.

        Their big claim to fame however is their beer and I am singularly unimpressed. How people can get excited about this flat, uninspired brew is beyond me.

        Atmosphere is typical chain, Fridays, you've been there kinda' place.

        But the beer, bleech.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Tyrone Slothrop

          Dogfish Head brews many different types of beer. To call it all flat and uninspired is ridiculous. The World Wide Stout rates highly among extremely dedicated beer tasters. But it is very expensive.

          Personally, I'm not an expert, but the fact is that it has its devotees even among the serious types out there.

          Both Dogfish and Tap and Vine are well different enough that I'm happy I have both within easy driving distance.

          1. re: Tyrone Slothrop

            Agreed. What beers did you have that you found "flat and uninspired"? Im not a fan of all their beers but their 60 minute is great. Their 90 minute is sublime. And they have some other worthy beers like the chickory stout and the 120. And really Dogfish Head is about the last brewery I would ever qualify with the word "uninspired". I mean Sam comes up with some of the most cerebral, extreme, interesting beers in the world. As Steve said their World Wide Stout ranks with the best stouts in the country and is quite a task to brew. And how can you call someone who researches and brings to life obscure Mayan chocolate based brews, spends an obscene amount of money to hand build a Paraguayan Palo Santo wood brewing tank AND has a chemist analyze 2,700 year old drinking vessels from King Midas’s tomb to recreate what may be the oldest known fermented beverage in the world uninspired? Sam may be a lot of things but hes certainly not “uninspired”. And most of his beers are very good. Some I wouldn’t buy twice but as a body of work DFH is easily one of the best breweries in the country. Which beers did you find flat exactly?

            1. re: Tyrone Slothrop

              I haven't tried all of Dogfish's brews, but I really like their 60 minute IPA, and recently enjoyed Palo Santo ale. If you think Dogfish is uninspired, what beer do you think is really good and inspiring? What do you recommend instead?

            2. Well, this topic seems to have elicited quite a bit of discussion as to the quality of the beer at DogfishHead. While there are definitely beers that one may have a problem with, it is hard for me to see not at least liking one or two beers on their menu. Overall, DogfishHead is a high quality brew house as long as you enjoy beer.