COLORADO SPRINGS — Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar is a Rocky Mountain-inspired eatery that officially opened Oct. 16 at 7605 N. Academy Boulevard in the Chapel Hills East shopping center.

I checked the place out with Meagan Thomas of Springs Native during a media-invite lunch. Springs Native is your source for tips on Colorado Springs food, beer, drinks, and businesses.

Her Instagram page (@SpringsNative) is known for making your mouth water and giving you restaurant ideas for your next date night or brunch with friends.

Meagan and I got to sample several dishes and drinks at Lazy Dog along with some other bloggers and southern Colorado food and beverage reporters.

Pineapple-Coconut Infusion

She started with the Smoked Maple Bacon Old Fashioned which comes with housemade bacon-washed Tincup Mountain Whiskey, cedar smoke, Montenegro Amaro Liqueur, bitters, maple syrup, and topped with bacon candy. We also got a bouquet of bacon candy for the table, which is a sweet, salty, crunchy, melt-in-your-mouth experience that you have to taste to even understand.

Hibiscus Margarita

I ordered the Hibiscus Margarita, which is Lunazul Tequila, housemade hibiscus syrup, and sweet & sour, with a salted rim. If you like a sweet margarita, order this.

Meagan and I also both tried the Pineapple-Coconut Infusion, which is Wheatly Vodka infused with pineapple, turmeric, Malibu Rum, ginger beer, coconut water, Aquafaba, and bitters. It was like a trip to the beach without leaving the Front Range.

Brussels Sprouts
Cowgirl Cheese Dip and Pretzels

The Lazy Dog staff treated our table to a couple of sharable appetizers served family-style, like the brussels sprouts. They came in a mini cast iron skillet, smothered in lemon, garlic, butter, capers, crispy croutons, and Romano cheese. The tang of the lemon and capers made for the perfect bite with crunch of the croutons and crispy edges of the brussels sprouts. The Cowgirl Cheese Dip and Pretzels came next, made with cheese from Cowgirl Creamery using organic cow’s milk combined with Lazy Dog’s Ankle Buster Blonde beer alongside bite sized soft pretzels with everything-bagel seasoning.

Shrimp & Grits

Next up: Entrees. They were also served family-style so each of us got to try a bite or two. First came the shrimp and grits, pan-seared jumbo shrimp, cheesy blue corn grits, and a housemade spicy sausage and bell pepper gravy. I’m a southern girl so I personally loved this dish. The blue corn grits were the star of the show. We didn’t have those where I grew up in rural Arkansas but I’m telling you, once you go blue corn, you won’t go back.

Nashville Hot Portobello

This next one is an amazing vegetarian option that will have even meat-lovers surprised, Nashville Hot Portobellos. Crispy buttermilk-battered portobello mushrooms with housemade hot sauce came on sweet bread over a bed of mashed potatoes, with perfectly sautéed green beans, and heirloom tomatoes.

BBQ Bison Meatloaf

The mushrooms were a tough act to follow but the BBQ Bison Meatloaf seemed to be a crowd favorite. It was a grass-raised Wyoming bison wrapped in smoked bacon on top of a red skin potato mash with sautéed spinach and topped with crispy fried onions.

The meal ended with two desserts to try: carrot cake and butter cake. The carrot cake is made in-house with almond flour, walnuts, golden raisins, shredded coconut, with housemade pineapple buttercream frosting, and topped with a fresh whipped cream. I was all about the butter cake, which was exactly what you’d expect from a traditional butter cake – moist, sweet, and melts in your mouth. It’s topped with a minted strawberry compote and vanilla bean ice cream. The ice cream really rounds out the sweet treat with a fresh and cool bite.

Butter Cake

Overall, our meal was incredible and we definitely plan on going back for seconds, and thirds.

Lazy Dog also offers brunch on the weekends, a daily happy hour, and late-night offerings.

The first Lazy Dog restaurant opened in Huntington Beach, California in 2003.