July 19, 2008

Dog-friendly Barley and Hops Tavern

The town of Occidental, just down the Bohemian Highway from the Russian River Valley, has a dog-friendly watering hole: Barley and Hops Tavern. It's the tall yellow house with dogs and humans on the porch.

Chloe and Squirt loved the porch. From their bench they kept an eye on the bar.

Chloe collie/shepherd and Squirt blue heeler
Chloe, Border Collie/Shepherd/Greyhound mix, is a rescue dog from Placerville. Her buddy and housemate Squirt is a Blue Heeler who does canine karaoke.

Chloe dog watches Squirt sing
From our porch pawspective, we could see people sitting inside downing craft beer and food.

Chloe dog looks longingly in the window
My dog-ma looked blissful with her Lagunitas Farmhouse Saison draught in hand as she surveyed the bottled brew list.

Tavern owners Noah and Mir are very nice. Also extremely efficient, smart, and friendly. . . . I'm talking highest paw rating. They're so spot-on that they're putting up leash hooks for dogs to sit-stay on the porch.

Dog-ma sez she couldn't help drooling over a grass-fed beef Occidental Burger. A customer was devouring one and praising it wildly. Noah was behind the bar. He finally quipped, "Yes, our food is every bit as good as our beer, and our beer is fantastic." Dog-ma raised her glass to Noah's summation.

Mir appeared with a tray of Lata's vegetarian samosas and mint chutney. Dog-ma and dining companion ordered quickly. I soon overheard dog-ma telling Noah they're the best samosas ever, and a perfect pairing with Saison ale. I wonder what they meant by "synergy" and "grassy" qualities. Woof?

Such juicy, on-the-dogspot, mouth-watering foods and beers. If only I'd been beneath the bar, catching scraps. Imagine the scraps that Porter the cat (seen on the tavern logo) must get.

Read Noah's lively blog. There you'll find Tavernmistress's lunch and dinner menus. Plus a brilliant beer menu and eclectic little wine list.

Shouldn't I go back right now for some Porter Walnut Pie and Guinness Mousse?

winecountrydog Tilin thinking about going back to tavern
Credit for photos: Pat (PR Petsitting, Napa) and Tina (Chloe and Squirt's dog mom, Placerville)

Credit for tip about this dogstination: Henry Ehlers (The Midglen Studio, architects & builders)

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