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Dogue, San Francisco’s canine tasting menu spot, is definitely nice

what? I like Dogue. Sure, it is the San Francisco pet food store — with a $75 tasting menu — that launched 1,000 sizzling takes in regards to the downfall of society, and but I like every part about it.

I’ve been to so many eating places in my time as a critic and meals author, and it is a particular factor to stroll into a spot and see each single individual smiling. Perhaps I am getting delicate, however that is no small feat until you are speaking a few Taco Bell subsequent to a dispensary.

I went on a Sunday, the day the store transforms right into a restaurant with a tasting menu for canine (together with an amuse bouche and mimosas for the canine’ human good friend), and I watched as a French bulldog lapped up a bowl of clear chicken- mushroom soup and a canine proprietor used a telephone to document a poodle munching on a glittery pumpkin pastry.

Helen Guan (left) and Kelvin Li snap photographs of their canine Hobbes at Dogue.

Laura Morton/Particular to The Chronicle

The pastry case on the counter was full of multicolored confections that would not look misplaced at any Parisian purveyor of pate choux. Besides as a substitute of chocolate or eggy pastry cream, they had been full of shredded rooster, chopped antelope coronary heart and pulverized bone.

The cabinets of dried smelt, mussels and squid appeared pristine sufficient to bless the aisles of H Mart. Co-owner Rahmi Massarweh, wearing chef’s whites, carried trays of glistening grass-fed steak tartare to diners with tails wagging in anticipation. Clearly, Dogue has discovered its market.

Benny looks at the selection of pastries specially created for dogs at the Dogue “Pawtisserie” in San Francisco.

Benny seems on the number of pastries specifically created for canine on the Dogue “Pawtisserie” in San Francisco.

Laura Morton/Particular to The Chronicle

In his “Alphabestiary,” the poet John Ciardi wrote, “Each animal is an ethical ready to be recognized. Watch any animal: earlier than lengthy it’ll let you understand one thing about mankind.”

Our story about Dogue set off lots of people who had been incensed on the thought of ​​a spot serving a tasting menu for canine, precisely due to what this advised them about mankind. As Monetary Occasions columnist Janan Ganesh as soon as put it, do pampered pets perform as sources of “escape and comfort” for house owners with in any other case empty and disappointing lives? Or is it about one thing even darker?

Coco got dressed up for Dogue, a new dog food store that offers a tasting menu on Sundays.

Coco bought dressed up for Dogue, a brand new pet food retailer that gives a tasting menu on Sundays.

Laura Morton/Particular to The Chronicle

Readers and commentators used the story as a chance to chatter about a variety of political grievances, together with gentrification, wealth inequality and homelessness. To some, the presence of the store was an indication of messed-up priorities in a metropolis the place social inequality makes itself abundantly clear in day-to-day life. To paraphrase Ganesh, that could be a lot for a pet food store to hold.

On the identical day that I went to Dogue, a crowd of individuals, canine and parakeets attended mass at St. Francis Episcopal Church in San Francisco. The nonhumans had been there to be blessed by a priest, who laid his palms on furry foreheads to impart well being, therapeutic and divine energy onto them, in echo of a centuries-old follow attributed to our metropolis’s namesake.

Kiwi eats the chicken waffle and charcoal flan at Dogue, a shop that offers a $75 tasting menu for dogs on Sundays.

Kiwi eats the rooster waffle and charcoal flan at Dogue, a store that gives a $75 tasting menu for canine on Sundays.

Laura Morton/Particular to The Chronicle

Within the 15,000 years that canine and people have cohabitated, we have constructed them into our creation myths, buried them with full funerary regalia and their favourite toys, and hosted bark mitzvahs for his or her coming of age. We have grown into one another even on a neural degree: When people make eye contact with canine, our our bodies secrete the identical hormone, oxytocin, that facilitates emotional bonding between mother and father and their infants. I may see that so clearly at Dogue, the place house owners assembled for an opportunity to do one thing actually particular, and admittedly form of bizarre, for his or her pets.

After I went to Dogue, I used to be with a human good friend and his basenji. For the reason that waiting-list system was feeling somewhat too chaotic, we handed on the tasting menu, although the charcoal waffle and filet mignon tartare did look fairly good. (Since Dogue isn’t a totally fledged, day-to-day restaurant, somewhat chaos appears warranted. I hear the store goes to make use of a reservation system to any extent further, which is able to assist.) The scrambling house owners clearly did not anticipate a lot demand for his or her Sunday meal service, however the patrons had extra of a genial, canine park-appropriate state of ataraxia towards the wait — that’s to say, they had been fairly blissed out. Regardless, we discovered satisfaction shopping the brightly coloured treats within the pastry case, because the basenji was n’t feeling choosy about his alternative of menu.

The pastry case is full of beautiful treats at Dogue in San Francisco.

The pastry case is stuffed with lovely treats at Dogue in San Francisco.

Laura Morton/Particular to The Chronicle

I purchased him a $15 antelope coronary heart eclair that appeared like a conga line of fluffy blue Peeps, and his nostril tilted it off its golden tray. After it rolled round a bit on the sidewalk, its previously pristine peaks accumulating a pleasant little bit of metropolis grunge, he wolfed the eclair down in about 20 seconds.

As a joy-generating enterprise, Dogue succeeds. You could possibly simply go there for a free dopamine hit by simply trying on the canine going bananas on little pastries whereas their frantic house owners attempt to seize them from a number of TikTok-worthy angles. Do not all of us need to do one thing somewhat goofy typically? If not, we would higher shut down all these amusement parks, too.

By the best way, my eating companion’s ensuing poo turned out nice.

Dogue. 1:30-7 pm Monday-Friday; tasting menu service 11 am-7 pm Sunday. 988 Valencia St. (at twenty first Road), San Francisco. 415-914-0936 or

Soleil Ho is The San Francisco Chronicle’s restaurant critic. E mail: Twitter: @hooleil

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