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Thursday, January 05, 2006

Silverlake: Sun, gourmet sandwiches and lots of ice tea/Dine with dogs

Meeting a friend for lunch? Your dog determined to go along? Your friend's dog might show up, too? If you want all that and something really delicious, too Say Cheese on Hyperion is the perfect choice. Outside dining with great food, potent caffeine pick-me-ups and dog-friendly waiters and clientele.

When I dine out and I have Honey along, I sometimes end up at places that aren't my food favorites but - they allow dogs so they'll do. Say Cheese is so much better than that. I started going to it before I had Honey because the sandwiches are everything a restaurant sandwich should be. They are made on crusty french baguettes or fresh rosemary bread or walnut bread or whatever works with the great cheeses, sliced meats and tasty toppings. The side salad is actually delicious, mixed lettuce salad with balsamic vinegrette, so it's part of the meal and not a garnish. The ice tea with refills makes it easy to enjoy the sidewalk dining, sitting out, soaking up the sun and your choice of coffee drink after the meal is better than any dessert (although I've had a bite of one or two of those and they were quite good) with the latte getting the most rave reviews.

And, best news, Honey can hang out, too. There are only a few outdoor tables so you have to time it right - probably easier to do during the week. But, with a little patience, I can usually get a table where Honey can have a view of the sidewalk traffic while I slip her a couple of tastes of prosciutto or turkey. She also likes to have room to fit partially under the table for a little shade if it is a sunny day. The wait staff will help with some water if you ask and you will usually see one or two other dogs there (besides those on parade.)

There is parking in back and on the street and, if it's a lure, I hear this is a some-time celebrity hangout. Honey and I are usually busy with unknown celebrities and their dog friends so I admit we've missed them if they have been around. For me, this is the place to meet a friend who wants to meet your dog but also wants to get in some deep discussions and do some extensive catching up. The sun, the food, the caffeine, the happy dog and before you know it - hours have gone by - this is vacation-style dining.

Recommendations: If you have the schedule that permits it, I would try to go during the week or toward the end of lunch on weekends. On-leash and be prepared to share your lunch. Dogs know good food, too.


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