Four Dogs Tavern, Marshalton (West Chester area)

My husband and I had dinner at the Four Dogs last night and it occurred to me that this time of year it’s probably one of the best places for really nice outdoor dining in a casual atmosphere with pretty darned good food and beer.

The outside patio was filled last night with couples, young families, birthday gatherings and more well-behaved pooches than I could count. The energy level was palpable but not overwhelming. Service was great and even the dogs were tended to by servers, who brought bowls of water for each dog. This place is a real neighborhood gem and even worth a bit of a drive if you’re not in the WC area.

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I like Four Dogs’ setting and atmosphere but I’ve never been wild about the food. It’s OK, but I always end up feeling like the menu promises more than the kitchen delivers. At least there is ample parking, unlike my favorite middle-of-nowhere-in-Chester-County-horse-country spot, the Whip Tavern. (I’ve taken to biking to the Whip on summer afternoons so as not to have to fight for a parking space!)

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We often end up ordering from their sandwich menu, and we’re usually pretty satisfied. Their burger is on par with The Whip, with black angus sourced from a nearby farm. They do a good reuben (much too large for one person) and a good tavern ham sandwich, too.

Biking to The Whip – that ride could be lovely and scenic, or overrun with trucks, depending on your routing.

I have a route to the Whip from my house that only spends about 3/4 of a mile on Rte. 41, which is awful to bike on. Most of the rest is back roads, and very pretty. The hills provide a good excuse to eat a big lunch :slight_smile:

I think my disappointment with the food at Four Dogs happens when I order things that sound ambitious/creative. Sticking to the basics is probably a better idea.

Route 82 and a left at “Blow Horn”? :grin:

Even more back-roads than that! There are two gravel roads involved…this is what happens when you ask Google Maps for bike directions!

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Sounds perfect. Except Henry is a 10 month old Airedale and well-behaved is a fleeting thing. Maybe in a few years…

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Making noodles. Phongdien Town, Cantho City, Southern Vietnam.
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