There is nothing quite as exciting as the atmosphere in a really good sports bar. One walks in the door, and experiences a rush of electricity as people are gathered together to cheer on a favorite team, or just have a bite and a beer after a long day. The creation of atmosphere is everything. Some entrepreneurs get it absolutely right, creating an environment that is completely conducive to the best time possible. Well-laid out spaces with comfortable chairs and ample table space that allows room for both food and for kids to do the things kids can’t help but do. Spaces that contain televisions sufficiently large and plentiful, as to be easily visible so that those who choose to be mesmerized by the screen in the hopes of one more goal, touchdown, basket or base hit can each get their fill. Lazy Dog Restaurant in Concord is that, but it is also a place where families with children can gather together to enjoy a great meal.
The recipe for a good time also calls for great food and plenty of variety in beverages. Lazy Dog in Concord has fulfilled all the
requirements for the family-friendly outing, and they have done so with a deft hand and an eye toward what it is that we Americans love best: the comforts of home without the effort, some imagination in the presentation, and a well-executed variety of choice. Lazy Dog provides all these and more. The food is delicious and the vibe electric.
I was lucky enough to be invited to a soft-opening, which allowed me the opportunity to try out more of the offerings on the menu than one might ordinarily experience in a sitting. Starving when I arrived, I accepted the luscious flatbread offered me before I even took off my coat. Crunchy crust, hot melted cheese, what’s not to love? One of the things I found most compelling was the range of the dishes offered. One minute I’m facing down a platter of perfectly steamed Shu Mai, the next minute I’m chowing down on “Grandma’s” Pot Roast, gently moistened with dark, elegant gravy and perched temptingly atop a mound of buttery mashed potatoes.
Thinking outside the box seems to be a trademark of the owner-partners. In my conversations with them, I learned that in his own way, each is dedicated to really delivering on a promise, be it the flavor explosion of their spectacular Sweet and Sour Calamari or the toothsome crunch of an oven-fired Black & Bleu (bacon and blue cheese anyone?) Pizza. Many of the selections offered were outside-the-box, but that’s pretty much the style of the owner-partners. If they love it, they’ll try to make it happen in their restaurants. Their executive Chef is a part of the process, constantly creating new items for the menu’s evolution.
Lazy Dog also possesses an equally inventive bar menu. A particular favorite of
mine was the spicy jalapeno and tequila concoction, whose title escapes me at the moment, as I am a huge fan of sweet with a kick, it really hit the spot. Lazy Dog pride themselves on their beer samplers, one set of six craft beers that are brewed in house, the other set a hand-picked variety of local breweries chosen to be showcased. All the beer choices were interesting. They covered a multitude of ambers, bitters, wheat and hops in a rainbow of amber golds, rich reds and beguiling darks. The range of knowledge about each variety demonstrated by the servers was likewise impressive. Which reminds me, the servers were incredibly well-informed, cheerful and attentive. They rounded out the experience to perfection. Pleasant and skillful bunch, all.
Desserts were equally good, and equally plentiful. Two words: Butter. Cake.
Lazy Dog has several locations in SoCal, but this is their first venue to be situated here in Golden State North. A truly good idea can withstand repetition, and Lazy Dog Café & Restaurants are a good idea. I for one, am glad they made the trip. Check it out for yourself, and make a memory of your own.
LAZY DOG – Concord
Willows Shopping Center
1961 Diamond Blvd
Concord CA 94520