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Old Dog Tavern

March 4, 2019

  • 402 E. Kalamazoo Avenue
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49007
  • (269) 381-5677
  • Website
  • Menu

About four years ago, we discovered a great Saturday morning brunch spot.  They had music for the kids and a delicious breakfast and drinks for the adults.

We went almost every week for a while then, as it usually does, life gets in the way.  Summer happened and we had other things going on.  We would still go occasionally but not like we used to.

We’ve been doing swimming lessons at Gabel Natatorium for the past several months early on Saturday mornings.  When we get done, there’s always an idea to get food but it was only 10:00 and places weren’t open for lunch yet.  One week, L said, “Let’s go to Old Dog.”

Yes, Old Dog Tavern was our Saturday brunch spot for the longest time.  The old Star Paper Company building on Kalamazoo Avenue right at the train tracks was transformed in to one heck of a bar in 2010.  A few years later, Benjammin started playing weekly concerts and brunch was offered and it’s been happened almost every Saturday since.

Things  have changed quite a bit since we first started coming to shows here.  In the beginning, parents would get there well before 9:30 to claim a table long before the staff was ready to open.  Then they tried keeping the door locked until 10:00 but that just created a long line of people with kids waiting outside in the cold.  After that, they started brunch a little earlier so people could get there and they could make a little more money.  Now, they’re sitting people instead of the free-for-all it used to be.

There were only high tops left by the time we got there which was fine.  Our kids are old enough they’re not going to fall off.  B still needs help getting up and down but we’re not worried about him hurting himself anymore.

The space at Old Dog is really hard to explain but it’s really great.  There’s a great old L-shaped bar with solid wood bar stools along one of the brick walls that is now lined with liquor bottles and and old advertisements.

The tables in the front dining room are packed in pretty tightly on top of an original wood floor that creaks when you walk.  There are paintings, taxidermies, and vintage ads all over the walls.  Up front is a small stage.  On Saturday mornings, it’s filled with kids and Benjammin invites them to “be part of the band.”

The place was packed as it almost always is for the 10:00 on Saturday’s.  We’re not in a hurry so we didn’t really put too much thought in to a waitress not getting to us for almost 25 minutes after we sat down.  In fact, it wasn’t the waitress who finally came out.  There was another woman I assume was a manager.  She took our drink orders then came back ten minutes later and realized we still hadn’t seen a waitress so she took our food order as well.

We decided to go to Old Dog this morning because J was craving their food.  It’s always been a little pricey but it was always so good so we never thought twice about it.

She ordered the Egg Combo.  This plate is two eggs (she chose scrambled), multi-grain toast, home fries and bacon.  The thing she always loved about Old Dog was the toast and the potatoes.  Unfortunately, both have changed from what we remembered.  They were out of the multi-grain toast so we just got Texas Toast.  She loved the bread they used in the past and was disappointed but also understands sometimes restaurants run out of things.  The potatoes, however, were totally different.  They used to be greasy cubes of potatoes almost swimming in olive oil, salt, pepper, and other seasonings.  These had more of a Cajun seasoning on them and while they were tasty, they were cold.  J likes her bacon a pretty specific way and she forgot to tell the waitress she wanted the bacon really well done.  It came out pretty limp.  To me, it was fine and it was delicious, but she really likes the bacon nice and crispy.

I got the most expensive thing on the menu with the Steak and Eggs.  This plate is two eggs, steak, home fries, and toast and comes in at $18.  The steak was perfect.  It was a small but thick piece of meat with perfect grill marks all the way around but it was pink and juicy in the middle.  There was a little bit of a salty crust which would give steak like this a seat at the dinner table.  My home fries, unfortunately, were also really cold.  I still ate them but I really would have liked to have tried them hot because I think the seasoning could be pretty good but I was distracted by the texture of the potatoes.

B got the 1 slice of French Toast off the kids menu.  I honestly don’t know how many times he’s actually eaten French toast but we told him it was a pancake and he ate almost all of it.  The 1 slice is actually 1 slice cut in to triangles so it’s two pieces on the plate covered with powdered sugar.  It comes with warm maple syrup but neither of our kids have been introduced to the sticky deliciousness of syrup yet.  His plate also came with bacon that was cooked a little longer than J’s but still not where she’d like it to be.

L is pretty simple when it comes to breakfast.   Toast and bacon.  She actually really liked the Texas Toast and I’m guessing she liked it a lot more than she would have the multi-grain.  She ate quite a bit of that and got a plate of bacon on the side.  Again, it could have been cooked longer but we didn’t specify that when we ordered so it’s partially on us as well.  She ate a couple pieces but I got a couple pieces off her plate too.

Our bill for brunch was just under $50 but mine alone was almost $20 so we were expecting that.

We have always loved Old Dog’s brunch and I’m actually quite sad I never blogged about it in the past so I could compare.  I decided to do it this weekend because it had been so long since we’ve been there and the only other time I’ve blogged about the place was in 2012 when my Mother-in-Law and I went there for a drink after J went to bed.

I still enjoyed my breakfast but the cold potatoes were a problem.  J was not a fan.  She was a huge fan of the potatoes and the toast we used to get there.  The toast was a temporary thing but it looks like they’ve changed the potatoes.  I will say, these are less salty and less greasy but those were the two things we really liked about the potatoes before.

Nevertheless, Old Dog Tavern is still a great place to brunch with kids on Saturday morning.  They have a Bloody Mary bar if that’s you’re thing and it’s great for the kids. Benjammin has so much fun playing every week and the kids love him.  Both our kids were up on stage playing instruments and given the chance, both chose to sing a song…solo…in front of the whole bar.  It’s such a great confidence builder for the kids and it’s such a great setting for the adults.  We’ve done so many Saturday mornings at this place over the years and I expect we’ll continue to go back when we have the time.  Even as she’s getting a little older, L loves going for the music and B never turns down an opportunity to dance.

Old Dog Tavern Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

One Comment leave one →
  1. March 4, 2019 9:18 pm

    Thanks for the tip. We will have to check it out.

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