Taste | DDogs Sports Bar Restaurant
By: Chef Alex Rivas
It’s been a few years since my old nightclub security gigs in Downtown Riverside. Heading over to my next Taste mission at DDogs Sports Bar Restaurant in the heart of Downtown Riverside, I was eager to try some great food while getting some flash backs of the good old days.
DDogs Sports Bar Restaurant is located near the corner of University Avenue and Lemon Street. From my research it has achieved great success over the years, and it is more than just a restaurant—it serves a great variety of beers on tap (41 different beers to be exact). Sometimes DDogs carries almost 50 types of beers in bottles, so not finding what you like is hard to do. They are also a go-to beer place, as they house well known and hard to find beers, as well as special releases. Justin, who is the bar manager, changes beers up to three times a week, which is pretty impressive. Check out their updated tap list here.
As I walked in I couldn’t help but notice the large space and the circular bar in the middle of the building, housing all 41 taps. DDogs exchanges the way they serve each day, early in the day they provide a counter to order your food to make the process faster to serve the busy lunch crowd and switches to traditional seating method for more dinner time.
After sitting down and looking over the menu, I was greeted by the manager Ariana Matei, who was very excited, energetic and helpful. She assisted my guest and I, and she happily answered our questions. I was excited to see what DDogs had to offer, as Ariana talked about the new menu changes and why they eliminated fried items from the menu. Starting to get a little hungry, I was ready to try something new.
My first dish was the D’ Caprese Flatbread, which starts off with a soft well seasoned bread then smothered with nut-free pesto, which had a very vibrant taste. Then it is topped with arrezzio cheese, organic spring mix, basil, tomato, and finished off with a little drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette—it was so well balanced and enjoyed to the last bite.
Next I had the D’ Fancy Pizza, which is layered with a robust tomato sauce, arrezzio cheese, wild arugula, marinated tomatoes, caramelized onions, and drizzled with pesto. Tangy with a little sweetness, the D’ Fancy Pizza gives you a flavorful mouthful. It was so easy to see why DDogs has gained much popularity over the years.
By now I was ready to indulge in one of DDogs’ beers on tap, but I did not want anything to keep me away from the next items coming up. So instead I set forward to try out two of the new menu items. First, the Garlic Parmesan Tater Tots—these were nicely crunchy from being baked and not fried, and you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. They were nott overbearing with garlic, and nicely balanced with parmesan, which reminded me of my elementary days when you bartered your apple sauce for more tots.
I followed the tots with another newer item on the menu a D’ Carne Asada Baked Potato, which comes in at about half a pound. I haven’t had a loaded potato like it before, layered with carne asada, sriracha sauce, mayo cream sauce, chipotle cream sauce, panela cheese, and topped with guacamole. This was one new, interesting item I haven’t really run into; when I think baked potato I think sour cream and butter. This take on the baked potato is executed well, and I see myself eating loaded baked potato more often.
Now, it wouldn’t be fair to come to DDogs and not try out at least one of the popular hot dogs on the menu. Not to mention I am a big hot dog fan, and I love lot of fixings too. So, I was presented with D’ Chicago Hot Dog, which is made with a custom made sausages from Mad Mikes in Temecula, California. Don’t expect to be able to purchase these exact same dogs, as Mad Mikes makes them exclusively for DDogs. The Chicago Hot Dog was layered with Dijon mustard, sweet relish, raw onions, tomatoes, dill pickle spears, peppers, and celery salt—it was not a dog to soon be forgotten.
With all this food, it’s hard to make room for anything else, but what kind of person would I be to turn down a cup of ice cream? DDogs has a new ice cream machine that is serving up French Vanilla Bean and Belgian Chocolate Ice-Cream. I’m not a big dessert fan, but I enjoyed these sweet and refreshing treats to bring my palate back to neutral.
You can feel how much DDogs cares about the food they serve by simply tasting the quality of each individual ingredient with every bite. You can see the passion behind the way they have thought out details of the restaurant, from the great food they serve to the amazing beer selection that is carried. DDogs truly fits the needs for a large family friendly establishment in Downtown Riverside, and I see myself stopping by for a nice craft beer and enjoying a loaded baked potato or amazing hot dog with my family in the near future.
DDogs Sports Bar Restaurant is located at 3557 University Avenue in Riverside. For more information visit their website or call (951) 686-2176.
Full Disclosure: The dining experience was provided complimentary by DDogs Sports Bar Restaurant, however all opinions are 100% our own.