The BarFlys had to do some dog-sitting in Menlo Park recently which gave us the perfect opportunity to stop by and eat at The Dutch Goose, a dive pub that has faithfully served a good selection of draft beers and burgers to the community for over 45 years. One of the BarFlys actually grew up close to here and explained that lore has it that the Dutch Goose became the favorite watering hole of Stanford University students because it was located just outside of the once alcohol-free five mile zone. Whether that’s true or not (and Google finds no proof), today it is frequented by Stanford students and locals probably because of the inexpensive prices, a great patio (the Duck Blind), peanut shells on the floor and the ability to carve their names in the wood booths for posterity.
Opened initially in 1966, it changed hands in 2005 when then owner Tom Moroney handed it over to Greg Stern who purchased it and installed a 21 foot BBQ and smoker along with a fryer (gasp!). The addition of french fries onto the menu is the cause of consternation among old timers who firmly believe that spuds served here should only come in bags of chips. In 2010, the Dutch Goose experienced a little bit of national notoriety when Oakland A’s fan-favorite Eric Byrnes played for their softball team after being released from the Seattle Mariners.
Orders are placed at the register, beverages are poured then handed to you and they call your name when food is ready. Offering 12 beers on tap and several more by the bottle, we chose to go with a pitcher of Trumer Pils that pours about three pints of beer:
The Spicy Deviled Eggs have been made from the same recipe as when they first opened (they claim to have the original recipe locked in a vault). Priced at $1.47 for two halves, we went ahead and splurged on two orders. The eggs were decent enough, tasting creamy and not very spicy, despite the billing. They are served with packets of saltines, just as they did in the 1960′s:
Their Caesar Salad made with fresh romaine hearts and topped with Caesar dressing, Parmesan shavings and garlic croutons, can be ordered with an addition of chicken or some of their beef brisket house-smoked for nine hours. The choice was clear, and it arrived with a generous amount of brisket — there was almost an equal ratio of beef to lettuce:
We also shared a double Guacamole Burger with bacon added. Made with two quarter-pound burger patties served on a sourdough bun, it was topped with bacon, guacamole, melted jack cheese, lettuce, tomato and caramelized onion. We have no strong opinions on whether fries belong here or not, but the starch-coated fries were actually not that good, and we left most of them behind (just get the house made chips that normally comes with the burger, albeit also fried in their fryer):
Ordered rare, the tasty burger arrived perfectly cooked to our liking. It was a hard burger to eat due to it’s sheer size, but we managed. It was a multiple napkin affair and the mess we created eating this was definitely worth it:
With great prices and generous portions, the Dutch Goose will likely continue to be around for a very long time, serving their classic pub-style food and pouring plenty of beer. The burgers are great and we look forward to returning to try out some of their BBQ or to have another one of those amazing brisket salads — we will never think of a Caesar salad the same way again.