Doggie Dining

June 6, 2008 9:22:59 PM PDT
Lots of people pamper their pets, especially their dogs; they buy them designer clothes, special beds; they even carry them in their purses. Now some restaurants are catering to pooches with canine cuisine.

This is the time of year when you take advantage of the warm weather and move your dining experience outside. Friends, couples and families all enjoy a meal together.

But one Montgomery County establishment wants you to bring your 4-legged loved ones as well.

"Here we go sir; this is your chicken and vegetables. Enjoy."

The Gypsy Saloon in Conshohocken offers an extra menu designed specifically with canine cuisine.

"It's all healthy no salt, no herbs, nothing in it, it's plain and very healthy for the dogs," said co-owner Kim Strengari.

As dog parents themselves, the owners saw a unique opportunity to expand their clientele.

"They love that they can bring their dog, they don't have to leave them at home," Kim said.

Some of the tasty treats on the $2.00 menu include: hot dogs, chicken with vegetables and for dessert ice cream cups and sandwiches made just for your pooch. And of course there's unlimited water.

"It's nice that they have a menu here that's fit for dogs and you know it won't make them sick," said dog owner Sarah Blumenthal of Conshohocken, Montgomery County.

Tavern 17 in Rittenhouse Square also offers doggie dining. But its menu goes a step further offering a vegetarian dish and one for those canines watching their waistlines.

"We have a low cal which is a ground turkey dish," said Ben Young, Executive Chef of Tavern 17.

Chef Ben said the idea of serving dogs at his restaurant didn't exactly thrill him at first.

"When I was first presented with the idea to develop a canine menu, I kind of grimaced about it, as far as bringing dog food into the kitchen. I didn't want to go that route. So I did some more research and developed a menu based around people food."

Now Ben admits he feels a twinge of pride when a dog licks his chops after one of his meals.

"It still makes you feel kind of good cause you look at its master and you see a little smile on their faces and you know you did a good job."

But at Gypsy Saloon we did see that some dogs can be picky eaters.

"Some of the dogs do leave vegetables in the bottom of the bowl," Kim said.

And for those that fill up fast, "doggie" bags are always available.

Dog friendly restaurants that offer water and treats:

Spring Mill Cafe
164 Barren Hill Road Conshohocken

Baja Fresh
340 W DeKalb Pike King of Prussia

140 West DeKalb Pike King of Prussia

Astral Plane Restaurant
1708 Lombard Street Philadelphia

Azure Restaurant
931 N Second Street Philadelphia

Brasserie Perrier
1619 Walnut St Philadelphia

Bucks County Coffee Co.
4311 Main Street Philadelphia

Cafe Zesty
4382 Main St Philadelphia

Caribou Cafe
1126 Walnut St Philadelphia

Devon's Seafood
225 18th St F1 1 Philadelphia

Fork Restaurant
306 Market Street Philadelphia

Garden Gate Cafe
8139 Germantown Ave Philadelphia

Le Bus
4266 Main St Philadelphia

Pat's King of Steaks
1237 E Passyunk Ave Philadelphia

Peacock on the Parkway
1700 Benjamin Franklin Parkway Philadelphia

Philadelphia Fish & Co.
207 Chestnut Street Philadelphia

Philadelphia Java Company
518 4th St Philadelphia

227 South 18th St Philadelphia

Society Hill Hotel Rest
301 Chestnut St Philadelphia

Standard Tap
901 N 2nd St Philadelphia

The Abbaye
637 N 3rd Street Philadelphia

201 S 18th St, Philadelphia

The Continental
134 Market Street Philadelphia

Valley Green Inn
Springfield Ave and Wissahickon Philadelphia

Bar Ferdinand
1030 N 2nd St (Liberties Walk)

1040 N. 2nd St., Philadelphia