Park Grounds

Call it coffee unleashed. The owners of Park Grounds do. They like word play. And they like strong java and free-roaming canines. But even if you don't like any of those things, this funky, easygoing Reynoldstown neighborhood coffee house and dog park is OK for a grab-and-go breakfast bite or a sandwich for lunch or dinner. Just don't go expecting super speedy service, spiffy surroundings or sophisticated food.

FOR THE DOGS: Here are a few thoughts from a not-so-young friend, Nina, aka the Portuguese Barking Dog. Through her translator, Nina declared: "This place really is all about dogs. They have a really big fenced yard, with tall shade trees and water bowls. Last week, I got to play with three friendly bow wows, including a cool Corgi named Fergie, who treated me like the princess I am. And her owner even gave me a juicy hunk of turkey ham!"

HUMAN THINGS: "I suppose a few sad, canine-less folks might go to Park Grounds," Nina continued with a howl. "Peering into the place I'm not permitted to enter, I see lots of things humans like: a take-one/leave-one bookcase filled with esoteric volumes; WI-FI for 'surfing the net,' as they say; and piles of magazines to flip through while having a double latte. But who cares? The main thing is that my master can dine al fresco on the patio with me."

BREAKFAST BAR: Back to people impressions, Park Grounds serves up breakfast, all day, every day, starting at 7 a.m. weekdays and 8 on weekends. The chalkboard menu changes frequently, but bagels are a staple, along with cold cereal, hot oatmeal and breakfast sandwiches. The Reynoldstown Breakfast is a heaping helping of scrambled eggs with jack cheese and sliced tomato on a biscuit, English muffin or toast. Another variation on the theme comes with hot ham. Of course, there are all the usual coffee drinks, plus tea, chai, and iced offerings.

LUNCH TO DINNER: Salads and sandwiches are the heart of the lunch and dinner menu, also served anytime. The almost classic BLT is a good choice. It comes on nutty whole grain bread, slathered with mayo and layered with baked bacon, lots of sliced tomato, and a melange of field greens. There's also grilled cheese on sourdough. And the Stovall is a hearty mix of cream cheese, bacon, tomato and greens on an everything bagel. For dessert, there's usually a variety of decorated homemade cupcakes. And look for some specially-baked dog treats, too.

HOURS: 7 a.m.-9 p.m. Mondays-Fridays; 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturdays-Sundays
CREDIT CARDS: MasterCard; Visa
PRICES: Soups and salads, $2.95-$6.95; sandwiches, $6.25-$7.25; hot breakfast and cold cereal bar, $3-$7; add-ons and sides, $1-$2
RECOMMENDED DISHES: BLT; Reynoldstown Breakfast sandwich
SMOKING POLICY: On the patio
NOISE LEVEL: Moderate to loud
VERDICT: Dogs and dog owners can kick back for breakfast, lunch or dinner at this quirky Reynoldtown coffeehouse cum canine retreat.

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