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Dining Out: This tavern serves more than burgers and beer


The Blue Dog Family Tavern in New Britain bills itself as “craft beer’s best friend,” and 27 taps and a large variety of cans and bottles can attest to that.

But the Blue Dog has another claim to fame that you won’t find elsewhere: the traditional menu of meaty and cheesy pub foods is supplemented by a sizable variety of vegan and vegetarian options.

Owners Chris and Teri Staub are a vegan and a vegetarian, respectively, and have been for years. But that didn’t stop them from offering traditional burgers on the menu of the Blue Dog Tavern and its sister Blue Dog Pub in Lansdale. As an added bonus, their preferences have resulted in more vegetarian options than you might expect to find at a tavern.

Traditional burgers at the tavern are made using quality beef and come with a variety of toppings including bourbon barrel-aged stout barbecue sauce, bacon, blue and cheddar cheeses, onions, lettuce, tomato, peppers, spinach and mushrooms.

But while meat-eaters are reaching for those burgers, vegetarians can order the Beyond Burger, a soy-free protein patty with a texture like beef. Or they can try the vegan Impossible Burger made using soy protein and heme, which is responsible or its beefy taste and smell.

Meat eaters also enjoy the fish and chips, sloppy joes, BLTs, Ruebens and turkey club sandwiches while vegetarians and vegans can opt for the ALT sandwich, a combination of avocado, lettuce, tomato and veganaise on vegan white or multigrain toast.

Diners also have a choice between beef or chicken cheesesteaks and a vegan Italian chicken steak sandwich; steak potato skins or vegan nacho potato skins.

Appetizers range from the unique ham nuggets inspired by Staub’s granddaughter Rosie to the roasted balsamic brussels sprouts served with dried cranberries and a balsamic drizzle.

Edamame in the pod and the hummus of the day also satisfy vegetarian appetites while meat-eaters reach for hoagie peppers stuffed with salami and provolone or chicken wings in a variety of sauces.

Most of the menu is made up of sandwiches and finger foods, with only a few entrée options. In winter, game meat often make their way onto the menu.

Living up to the “family” part of its name, there is a “puppy menu” for kids, and their meals are served in dog bowls.

Consideration for alternative dining choices goes beyond meat and vegetarian; there are gluten-free options and the kitchen had dedicated work spaces for meats, vegan/vegetarian and gluten-free.

The bar also has 19 specialty cocktails and taps devoted to hard ciders, which are often the choice of those in search of gluten-free alternatives.

The Blue Dog also hosts special events including beer tastings and dog rescue benefits.