Dining: What’s Brewing at Dogfish Ale?

Restaurant Review: Dogfish Head Alehouse offers extensive menu.

Likely many patrons must wonder where the word “Dogfish Head” for the local Alehouse comes from. A species of fish? A word game puzzle? Some deep-sea creature that most folks have never seen?

Dogfish Head is actually the name of a craft brewery located in Milton, Del. In operation more than 20 years, the company has moved beyond just brewing to opening restaurants, sponsoring events, and creating and selling gift items (how about a baseball cap with the image of a dancing shark?) available on their website.

But for local food lovers, the appeal of Dogfish Head Alehouse really focuses on its extensive and very approachable menu. Of course, seafood dishes are featured. But menu items range from appetizer ginger pork pot stickers, Alehouse chili nachos, and crispy fried pickles to hearty dishes such as the Alehouse Shepherd’s Pie with ground beef, mashed potatoes, and mushroom gravy, assorted pizzas, or flank steak sautéed with onions and jalapeños and served with wild rice.

Patrons can also dig into Dogfish burgers such as the half-pound bacon-and-cheddar burger; a turkey club with avocado; a “steak bomb” sandwich with melted pepper jack cheese and steak on a grilled ciabatta; or Alehouse ribs (half or full rack); jambalaya; and the Memphis chicken platter

Of course, if your focus is really on seafood, scroll through the lengthy menu and look for all sorts of fishy items. You can kick off the meal with the chef’s cream of crab soup. Then the options are really wide open. Add to your starters the spicy fried calamari that are spiced with Cajun seasonings and served with banana peppers.

But don’t end there. Love pizzas? Why not try The Chesapeake, a cheesy offering with jumbo lump crab, asparagus, and mozzarella/provolone blend and sprinkles of grated Parmesan? If you want something a little less caloric, ask about the wood-grilled salmon sandwich with Gorgonzola cheese and served on a ciabatta — if you choose, the side is a heaping mound of French fries — delish.

Other sandwiches include the ahi tuna served with wasabi mayo and the lump crab cake sandwich. And if you love anything Mexican, try the trio of crispy fish tacos.

Main dishes ideal for dinnertime include crab cakes, pan-seared ahi tuna, wood-grilled salmon, or crispy fish and chips with the fish being cod. Any of these will satisfy your seafood cravings, for sure.

Finally, to end it all, the kitchen offers a short list of desserts: If you are not filled up, you may be tempted by the apple crisp, the Riley’s bread pudding, or the Dogfish brownie sundae, a chocolatey offering starring vanilla ice cream topped with chocolate sauce..

Dogfish Head Alehouse, 13041 Lee Jackson Memorial Hwy., Fairfax, 703-961-1140. Hours: Lunch and dinner daily. https://dogfishalehouse.com/location/dfha-fairfax/

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