Sherman's Food Adventures: The Spotted Dog

The Spotted Dog

After several hikes in the heat at Zion National Park, we were both tired and hangry.   So after the shuttle took us back to our hotel at stop 3, we just got off and entered the first restaurant we saw.  Now it wasn't completely random as The Spotted Dog was one of the choices on our original list.  Compared to the Whiptail across the street, the Spotted Dog is fancier with a more extensive menu.  Interestingly, it wasn't incredibly more expensive though.  Once again, we sat outside and enjoyed the fairly comfortable evening temperature.

Whenever there is a soup on the menu, my daughter secretly wants to order it, but bless her heart, she keeps quiet.  Seeing that, I ordered the Baked Potato Chowder with bacon bits, green onion and sour cream.  This was fairly heavy and rich especially with the sour cream mixed in.  However, the flavors were classic and yes, it ate like a baked potato.  We were also served some complimentary flatbread with a balsamic dip.  Hey, it was no extra charge, so even though it wasn't that great, it didn't matter.  For her main, she went big (unlike her lunch) with the Smoked Beef Shortrib smothered in BBQ sauce and accompanied by fingerling potatoes and string beans.  It was tender and gelatinous while sweet from the BBQ sauce.  Since they removed it from the bone, it was pretty easy to eat.  Beans were crunchy and vibrant.

I took a page out of my daughter's ordering book by selecting the Braised Lamb Shank.  Hey, our lunches were too light...  Well, this lamb shank was huge and braised perfectly.  Falling off the bone, the meat was uniformly tender and moist without any dry portions (even on the outside).  What brought everything together was the Bordelaise sauce with mushroom, fingerling potatoes and green beans.  Silky and buttery rich, the sauce added depth and body to the already luxurious lamb.  Viv went with the pepita encrusted Red Trout with wild and brown rice, wilted greens and berries.  Although not medium-rare as we like our trout, this was still fairly moist and tender.  Normally, fruit and fish don't really go, but the mildly sweet berries was okay.

One of the more basic entrees was the Spaghetti and Meatballs.  This was probably our least favorite not because it was bad per se.  Rather, it was not unlike many other versions that we would find at any other restaurant.  Even though the sauce was tangy and we could taste some basil, it was fairly flat and one note.  The pasta was not al dente either.  On the other hand, the 2 large meatballs were okay though.  Not exactly super tender, they were not dry either.  For dessert, my daughter had the Molten Lava Cake which was meh.  It was pretty sweet while mushy and deflated.  Furthermore, it was only lukewarm, which was not appealing at all.  Despite the last 2 dishes, the food was pretty good for a small town.  Also, the prices were reasonable with all things considered.

The Good:
- Fair portions
- Above average
- Solid service

The Bad:
- Spaghetti and cake were not good


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