Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar, 7605 N. Academy Blvd., has opened and the food is above average.

The shrimp and grits ($17.95) was impressive and delicious. The blue corn grits from South Carolina Geechie Boys Mills was especially flavorful, made even more tasty topped with jumbo shrimp, house-made spicy sausage and bell pepper gravy. Not surprising, it’s one of executive chef Jamie Harper’s favorite dishes on the menu. It telegraphs his Louisiana family ties.

The Nashville hot portobello ($14.95) should not be missed. Portobello mushrooms are dipped in buttermilk-batter and fried until crispy and served with a pile of chunky mashed potatoes, sautéed green beans, heirloom tomatoes, almond-walnut crumble and drizzled with house-made hot sauce. There’s a slice of sweet bread on the side.

Not in the mood for a big meal? Dive into a serving of bacon candy ($6.75), which delivers four slices of crispy bacon seasoned with brown sugar, crushed red pepper chile flakes and black pepper.

Hours are: happy hour at bar and patio, 3 to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 9 p.m. to close Sundays through Thursdays; restaurant 11 a.m. to midnight Mondays through Fridays and 9 a.m. to midnight Saturdays and Sundays; brunch 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Details: 445-5851,

contact the writer: 636-0271.

Food editor

Food writer for features life section and columnist for Go! Entertainment - Table Talk column

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