Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Dog-Friendly Dining: made in the shade at Mama's

Dogs made to feel welcome, but not environmentalists

Styrofoam is not man's best friend.
Styrofoam is not man's best friend.
Place

Mama's Bakery and Lebanese Deli

4237 Alabama Street, San Diego

Most of the time, even dedicated dog-friendly dining establishments don't allow a pooch inside. I'm sure this is due to some issue of sanitation or municipal regulation, etc. So, as pup and I walked up to Mama's Bakery at the edge of University Heights, I leashed her to an outside table, looked up at the sky and hoped the bright sun wouldn't prove too much for her — otherwise this would be a brief meal.

Order here...

Fortunately, Mama's is an unusual structure, the kind that makes it tough to define whether its wood frame and corrugated plastic roof dining room is technically indoors or out. More to the point, the kitchen and ordering counter are completely walled off from the dining area, so they gladly welcomed me and mutt into the shaded, brick-floor space. They even provided a small pie tin to serve as water dish.

I consider this a great victory for dog-diners, as this screened-in room is just open enough to provide a sun-dappled eating experience without forcing you to watch cars try to parallel park out front. The large-leaf plants and piped-in Mediterranean music also provide a decent match for sort of "off the sajj" falafel and shawarma dishes that are the Lebanese deli's specialties.

Eat in here.

Since I'm the type of guy who always craves a little fried chickpea flour even when I really want to order a garlic chicken wrap, ordering a lunch combo with a side of falafel always works out great. I grabbed my dog and we grabbed an indoor table, and I sat wondering whether I were stuck in a Mediterranean food rut. Now that I knew how receptive this place is to dogs, I endeavored to order something different on subsequent visits. I mean, how can you go wrong ordering baba ghanouj once in a while?

Only one problem: my dine-in meal was served to me in a Styrofoam container. I'm no friend of Styrofoam, and if I know a place uses it I'll just cross them off my list as a take-out option. But serving Styrofoam in-house is tough to reconcile. Makes it tough to enjoy a meal facing the realization that my plate's going to sit in a nearby landfill, slowly deteriorating for decades after I'm gone, especially knowing I will probably wind up eating out of another Styrofoam container within the next couple of weeks, and potentially thousands in the course of my life. Is this the kind of example I want to set for my dog?

Oh I know, she doesn't care, she just wants to stick her nose in that planter in the corner and maybe suss out what the guy at the next table is eating. It smells good, and tastes pretty good too, especially when you get the garlic paste and tahini working together with a little hot sauce. But like all food it would go down a little easier served on something sustainable. Even my dog's dish was recyclable.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Loco Lopez takes brunch over the top

Cheese-wrapped burrito and donut grilled cheese at OB pop-up
Next Article

Voice vs. ethnicity in picking the opera stars

Past singers were a mixed bag when it came to having “good looks”
Styrofoam is not man's best friend.
Styrofoam is not man's best friend.
Place

Mama's Bakery and Lebanese Deli

4237 Alabama Street, San Diego

Most of the time, even dedicated dog-friendly dining establishments don't allow a pooch inside. I'm sure this is due to some issue of sanitation or municipal regulation, etc. So, as pup and I walked up to Mama's Bakery at the edge of University Heights, I leashed her to an outside table, looked up at the sky and hoped the bright sun wouldn't prove too much for her — otherwise this would be a brief meal.

Order here...

Fortunately, Mama's is an unusual structure, the kind that makes it tough to define whether its wood frame and corrugated plastic roof dining room is technically indoors or out. More to the point, the kitchen and ordering counter are completely walled off from the dining area, so they gladly welcomed me and mutt into the shaded, brick-floor space. They even provided a small pie tin to serve as water dish.

I consider this a great victory for dog-diners, as this screened-in room is just open enough to provide a sun-dappled eating experience without forcing you to watch cars try to parallel park out front. The large-leaf plants and piped-in Mediterranean music also provide a decent match for sort of "off the sajj" falafel and shawarma dishes that are the Lebanese deli's specialties.

Eat in here.

Since I'm the type of guy who always craves a little fried chickpea flour even when I really want to order a garlic chicken wrap, ordering a lunch combo with a side of falafel always works out great. I grabbed my dog and we grabbed an indoor table, and I sat wondering whether I were stuck in a Mediterranean food rut. Now that I knew how receptive this place is to dogs, I endeavored to order something different on subsequent visits. I mean, how can you go wrong ordering baba ghanouj once in a while?

Only one problem: my dine-in meal was served to me in a Styrofoam container. I'm no friend of Styrofoam, and if I know a place uses it I'll just cross them off my list as a take-out option. But serving Styrofoam in-house is tough to reconcile. Makes it tough to enjoy a meal facing the realization that my plate's going to sit in a nearby landfill, slowly deteriorating for decades after I'm gone, especially knowing I will probably wind up eating out of another Styrofoam container within the next couple of weeks, and potentially thousands in the course of my life. Is this the kind of example I want to set for my dog?

Oh I know, she doesn't care, she just wants to stick her nose in that planter in the corner and maybe suss out what the guy at the next table is eating. It smells good, and tastes pretty good too, especially when you get the garlic paste and tahini working together with a little hot sauce. But like all food it would go down a little easier served on something sustainable. Even my dog's dish was recyclable.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Puerto’s “Lineas” is worthy of active listening

“The instrumental suite pays homage to the happiness that creativity grants an individual”
Next Article

Voice vs. ethnicity in picking the opera stars

Past singers were a mixed bag when it came to having “good looks”
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close