Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Guest Review: The Yellow Dog Eats Cafe

I am somewhat embarrassed to say that when we go to Orlando, the Mouse is all consuming for us. We never rent a car and if we do leave Disney property, it's to visit Seaworld and we cab it back & forth. So when a good friend of mine posted a rave about a local eatery in Orlando, I was intrigued. I asked her if she would be interested in doing a review for me-and she was gracious enough to do so :)  So here it is the inside track on this local gem. Thank you to my friend E.G. for sharing the secret!

Yellow Dog Eats Cafe

Yellow Dog Eats
1236 Hempel Ave.
Gotha, FL 34786
Click here to go to the Yellow Dog Eats Cafe's website

Find this place. It’s the best not so secret place to eat in the greater Orlando area.

You’ll find limited parking, but look across the street in the grassy vacant lot. You can park there. Walking across the road is an experience. Beware the Gotha chickens.

The outside of the restaurant presents like a country store. The experience starts there. Read the outdoor sign advertising the day’s specials.

As you enter, you will find an eclectic visual cacophony of food ordering counter, merchandise for sale, dog oriented photos, figurines, t-shirts, wine, and beer. The tables and chairs are a mis-matched collection, so don’t expect prissy, nicey-nice here. It’s a people place, a fun place. Pay attention to the music. It’s one of the most complex offerings you’ll hear in any establishment. Oh, and bring a felt tip pen if you want to leave your signature on the table, or a chair, or maybe even the woodwork. Don’t forget to check upstairs for seating and outside. It’s a busy place so when you enter be sure to seek out the end of the line.

You’ll find the menu on the counter to the left as you walk in. Remember to check the behind the counter chalk board for the day’s special. If they are offering smoked brisket, get it.

The menu consists of elaborate creations the less informed will term sandwiches. There are salads, equally complex, and choices include black beans and rice (go ahead and think you know what that means) and nachos (dare you).

The selections all have creative names, so enjoy the read. The Rufus, Frisky please is a favorite.

Flip the menu over for vegetarian and vegan choices.

Be sure to check the cooler on the far right for desserts of the day. Get one.

Drinks consist of the usual sodas, and the unusual bottled beers and wine selections.

We cheerfully spend roughly $50 for a two, including wine and dessert. The selections are consistently well prepared, delicious and enormous. We hope to try everything on the menu over time, but find it very hard to not get our favorites each time.

Service is cheerful over the counter. They’ll laugh with you and patiently answer all your questions. When your order is up, they’ll announce it over the loud speaker and you’ll bring it to the table yourself. Look for the owner chef, Fish. He’s the tall guy with the long pony tail making sure everything is going well.

Food presentation is pretty basic, but with complex creations that’s all it could be. The food itself is the presentation. You’ll have most served on a paper lined tray. Those items that don’t lend themselves to that will be on a large serving dish nestled in the tray. Remember to pick up your plastic eating utensils and a straw if you want. There will be napkin dispensers on the table (you’ll need it!) and extra sauces. Clear your table when you are done. The trash bins are over there.

Don’t forget to browse the prepared items selection and choose a few to bring home with you.

Yellow Dog. See you there!


Thanks again E.G.! Your review is making me rethink my "Never leave Disney property" status!

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