there is a dynamic duo on the space coast! Nancy and Stuart Borton are the hostest’s with the most! they are involved in every aspect of yellow dog, from the greeting committee, to the decor, to the kitchen, to the cookbooks (and coloring!) that they publish, to continual inspirations for the future. we were there twice, and on both occasions, Stuart showed us a new concept. this couple is what makes yellow dog a beautifully run ship!
upon entering, you are greeted with wondrous views of the indian river from every room. they have done a thoughtful job, framing the landscape. it was hard to decide where to sit. on your way to any table, there is also ornamentation of tremendous proportion. of course, lots of cool yellow dogs hanging around amongst the other visual candies.
for both of our indulgences, we made ourselves at home on the patio (which has 2 tiers). we had been shown the crab bisque simmering earlier on our kitchen tour, and that was already settled for me. there were chunks of crab in every velvety bite. there’s a dog in my soup! my mouth is watering now, writing about it. for our first journey, i got “the top dog” ; tuna salad loaded with many enhancements, including havarti cheese, on a homemade bun. there’s a dog on my bun! the baking is extraordinary here. in fact, i had eaten some appetizer bread as well. “fresh” is what keeps coming to my mind for every dish. i cannot find another adjective more suited. my main course on voyage two, was the “onion crusted chicken”. i had already selected a couple of, possible choices, in my head, but after hearing Stuart discuss the “onion crusted chicken”, i was swayed. it is really fun for my mouth to have some crunch, and even more fun for my belly to follow it up with delectable veggies that were nesting beneath.
at some point, i must get to the dessert tray. i think i just gazed at it for a long time. normally, a decisive woman….. not so much when encountering something that looks like it is fit for a princess. yes, storybook dessert tray. finally, i snapped out when the server said his mom’s favorite (always a good bar of standard) was the strawberry cake. there’s a dog on my dessert! i’m back to fresh and fun for my mouth. it was divine! i was mesmerized on round two, the day of red trucks first anniversary, and rather than being brought the princess tray, Stuart comes out with a plate just for us! he even provided a birthday candle! i ate something from everything on that plate but i really took out a diving board for the coconut creme tart. please sir, can i have an extra stomach! i don’t know if i even should describe it to you, for risk of making you have to stop what you are doing, and go get one. just go get one.
as for beverages, i’m a fool for flavored teas and loved the selections. but better still, the wines. they carry “opus” amongst the group as well. i could not resist the “french poodle martini” though. i was already feeling special and why not? it was cooling on another florida afternoon, and …. i ordered another. vanessa is the only one who can drive the red truck anyway.
both of our servers, david and jason, were outstanding. they have eaten the food, they love the food, they know about the food, and they know how to engage with people and assist when one is overwhelmed with delicious decision making.
we were fortunate enough to talk to two tables of customers. when i asked Nancy if she would mind if we spoke to a few people, not only did she not, she quickly provided two groups of weekly regulars. none had just one favorite. and, i noted that at one table, a child had something i didn’t see on the menu. “what is that?” …. “it’s a pizza, they made it just for me.” sold yet?
one last touch; the take out boxes are solid, and you walk out with a nice shopping bag (because you ordered so much) that makes you feel like you went to bloomingdale’s.
i bet the evenings here are pretty spectacular….. i can only imagine the ambiance; lights reflecting on the water, view of boats, and the smells and tastes of the yellow dog cafe. it would probably make for a perfect end to any day!
Nancy and Stuart, you’re BEST IN SHOW!!!
one year ago today our adventure in the red truck began and i can’t think of a more beautiful or delicious place to celebrate like the yellow dog cafe! located along the indian river in malabar yellow dog is perfect spot for lunch or dinner on any occasion.
so many clean and airy places to have your meal but on both our visits we chose outside, once on the upper patio then on the lower. beautifully decorated by Nancy, one of the owners, anywhere is a cozy place to sit. the view is amazing! there’s something about sitting on the water watching it flow by and smelling the smells of things to come to put you in the mood for some amazing food.
when meeting the staff here at yellow dog you can really tell they’re like a family. the front of the house crew are Dave and Alisa, who we met on our previous visit and, Jessica, Stephanie and Felicia, who was an original server here that left and now has returned. i’d miss it here too! unless your sitting in the open view kitchen you may not meet who keeps the kitchen running like a well oiled machine. there’s Justine, executive chef, Jenna, sou/pastry chef, and Daniel who after serving two tours as a Marine has landed here, worked his way up from bus boy to daytime assistant chef. thanks Daniel!!!
now on to the real reason we’re here…the food! on our first visit i started with a creamy spinach, three cheese and carrot soup. out of this world! along with the fresh bread on the table could be a nice lunch in itself. next came a burger like no other, the good ole dog. served on a homemade foccacia bun branded with the famous yellow dog you can tell this burger is as fresh as they come. accompanied with the perfect amount of creamy coleslaw and an unexpected treat…mashed potato balls. lightly batter mashed potatoes that i could literally eat a whole plate of!
on our last visit i switched it up a little by trying the conch fritters, something Lucy introduced me to years ago in the keys. crispy fitters that have a grainy honey-mustard sauce that gave it a sweet kick. still thinking about that burger i got last time but went a little lighter with the lady dog, a grilled portabella mushroom sandwhich with roasted red peppers, spinach, artichoke hearts and melted havarti cheese on top of the same bun as the burger. it’s way to good to be that healthy!
to wash all this down i had a cool and refreshing glass of sauvigan blanc that Jason chose for me. the wine glass even had a yellow dog on it. i could have sipped it all day but like Lucy said, i’m the only one that can drive the truck.
usually when you celebrate a birthday you’d have one dessert to put a candle on but not here! Stewart was so kind to bring us a platter of three completely different sweets to try. Lucy covered the pie but the other two were to die for also! starting with the bread pudding that melts in your mouth topped with a creamy whisky sauce. then we had a chocolate fudge walnut brownie appropriately shaped like a dog bone served with vanilla ice cream to help you from going into a chocolate coma…that good!
yellow dog cafe is truly a dining experience at it’s greatest! any occasion is a celebration here. did i mention you can reserve a table for four at the end of the dock with your own personal server?
many thanks to Nancy and Stewart for all you did for us and your staff for making our first anniversary of celebrating food one to remember!
Yellow Dog Cafe
905 S. US 1
Malabar, Fl 32950