OK , so here’s a hypothetical situation.
Let’s say you and a bunch of your buds are sitting around and chilling. Not doing anything much. Slinging back a few SweetWater 420s and listening to some classic Grateful Dead albums like “American Beauty” but also “Europe ’72” because the live stuff is totally better.
And then, for whatever reason, you all are starving. And the dude splayed in the Barcalounger says, “You know what would taste awesome right now? Egg rolls.”
“What about lobster egg rolls?” says the guy lying on the floor and watching the ceiling fan.
“No, I’ve got it,” you say, tossing your Nerf ball from hand to hand. “Spaghetti and lobster egg rolls. Like, you know, the spaghetti is in the egg roll.”
Then the guy on the floor says he totally knows where to get lobster and spaghetti egg rolls — at The Family Dog, this bumping new bar in Morningside where the food is totally off the chain. It’s the new place from that guy Ron Eyester at Rosebud, who’s a total Deadhead. There’s all this crazy stuff on the menu: a fried bologna sandwich with Fritos in it, and potato chips cooked in duck fat, and these totally pimped-out french fries with fried eggs and cheese.
So you go, and the place is freaking hilarious, like some kind of ready-made, honky-tonk, juke joint. It’s seriously loud, with a jukebox and a righteous mural of Jerry and the boys from the Dead. Signs everywhere tell you to sit down and chill out and, no, you can’t bring your dog inside.
But, boy, can you drink here. This bar guy Jason Chenette knows his stuff. There are some crazy good beers on tap, like Allagash Curieux ($7.50) and Wild Heaven Ode to Mercy Imperial Ale ($6). Banging cocktails, too. The clear White Manhattan ($10) made with High West Silver Whiskey goes down smooth, and everyone around you is slugging back Mason jars of the Angry Elk ($15) — a fruit punch made with five shots of Everclear. Maybe you need a little food in your stomach before you tackle that puppy.
You guys order and the edibles start coming fast. The kitchen is on fire. Spaghetti and carrots tumble out of those floppy egg rolls ($11) into their sweet chili sauce. (“So like that scene in ‘Alien,’ ” someone says.) What are those pink, rubbery bits? Right, lobster. Cool.
Check out the disco fries ($8)! They’re the size of a pan of brownies and covered in that white American cheese that doesn’t really melt, and you can peel it off like skin. (“So like that scene in ‘Cronos,’” someone says.) There are also fat, masochist-ready pieces of raw jalapeño, a fried egg and “marrow gravy” that’s brown and tastes just like Worcestershire sauce. Yeah, whatever.
But you’re inhaling Billy Bob’s fried bologna sandwich ($8) with those crushed Fritos and pickles stashed in the bread. Twice-cooked chicken wings ($9) with orange-curry glaze and avocado ranch? Not bad! Korean-style duck quesadilla ($9) gushing shredded meat, goat cheese and sweet sauce? Cheesy!
Wow, everything’s so cheesy. You take a hit of the warm peekytoe crab dip ($10) with a pretzel rod and pull up as much gooey cream cheese as crab. The burger ($9, and it “only comes one way,” the menu warns) drips with so much white cheese and white sauce that’s it’s totally like that scene from that ’80s gross-out movie “The Stuff.” (Dude, I know you’ve seen it. It stars that guy from “Law & Order.”)
That jukebox music — loud! — is starting to bum you out. Like, who are these yuppies playing Billy Joel and Michael Jackson? OK , here come the Talking Heads, but from “Fear of Music”? Seriously lame. Come on, let’s hear some Dead.
More cheesy, creamy stuff? Yeah, why not. Fried mozzarella ($8) with tomato chow-chow and pesto mayo hits that well-pummeled spot well enough. A mega-mayonnaisey pimento cheese on white bread ($6) goes down OK with a bottle of Cheerwine ($3).
You kind of start looking for something that feels like real food. It’s not a fried oyster sandwich dripping remoulade sauce ($9); those mushy, dark oysters are a scary turnoff. Maybe it’s a big “healthy salad” ($9) of tasty local greens saturated in vinaigrette. (The “not-so-healthy” salad has bacon and cheese.) Is there a daily special? Indeed: fried chicken skins ($5) — soft, slick with grease and chewy — like eating a Baggie. Which, in its own way, is kind of awesome.
But, really, you’re thinking you should maybe have just stuck to beer and cocktails and maybe a bite of something. The Family Dog is a bar; treat it like a bar. You’ve eaten a lot of these cool-sounding munchies but nowhere along the line did any of it send a message to your brain that you’ve consumed dinner.
Then you have a revelation. And you turn to your friend and say, “Dude, this is really weird, but you know what? I’m still hungry.”THE FAMILY DOG 1402 N. Highland Ave., 404-249-0180 Food: id on the plate Service: very nice and attentive Best dishes: fried bologna sandwich, fried mozzarella Vegetarian selections: A few items; lactose-intolerant people will find little to eat. Credit cards: all major Hours: 4 p.m.-1 a.m. Mondays-Thursdays; 4 p.m.-2 a.m. Fridays; noon-2 a.m. Saturdays; noon-midnight Sundays. Children: fine early on Parking: in nearby lot and on street Reservations: no Wheelchair access: yes Smoking: on the patio Noise level: like front row at a Queen concert Patio: yes Takeout: no