On the shore of the Indian River Lagoon in Malabar sits the Yellow Dog Cafe. Their motto is “Comfort Food with a Flair”, and my latest 40-minute trip up there from Vero Beach last week was, indeed, worth “writing home about”!
It’s both surprising and comforting to find a spot with a perfect water view, worthy of a special occasion, yet so unassuming from the outside that one might speed right past it without even noticing. Opened in 1997, the Yellow Dog Cafe has seen improvements over the years, including a riverfront covered porch, and a dock on the beach with a landscaped area for weddings and special occasions. Guests can stroll along the river and walk the pier before or after dinner. Owners Stuart and Nancy Borton named the Cafe after their Yellow Labrador Retriever, Blanche. Currently, the Executive Chef is Bob Cote, and on this particular evening, I had the privilege of meeting Chef Tyler.
With plenty of seating both indoors and out, it’s worth mentioning that the outdoor seating is superb, with the balmy breezes, the funky outdoor fireplace and painted mural. Most dinner entrees hover around $30-$50 range and include a salad and bread service. There were four in our party, and we all ordered different things, which meant bites of everything for me! Jackpot! The manager on duty, Madelyn, came over to give us a smile, and our server, Jorge, was a delight, very knowledgeable and a top-notch server!
The Cosmo martini was served in a chilled glass, the bourbon was top shelf, and the
spiked palmers did not disappoint, either!
Focaccia and sourdough bread with whipped butter and served warm.
Olde Blue Spinach Salad was not over-dressed, with tender spinach, bleu cheese,
blueberries, toasted pecans, and blueberry vinaigrette.
Chef’s Special – Beef Burgundy on top of mashed potatoes, green beans, mushrooms, and served with a bone shaped (in honor of “yellow dog”) puffed pastry. What comfort food is all about!
Potato Crusted Salmon – Scottish salmon encrusted with crispy potatoes, lobster saffron cream sauce, alongside asparagus and risotto. A rich and decadent delight!
Mahi Mahi – this beauty is encrusted with pecans and vanilla bean praline sauce. Served with veggies and rice. A generous portion, it was moist and tender and just as sweet as it sounds!
Bread Pudding – This. Is. The. Stuff. We were told some people come here just for dessert and drinks, and this is the award-winning crowd pleaser! Fluffy, not dense, it’s baked with chocolate chips, dried cherries, and drizzled in a bourbon whiskey sauce. The perfect ending to a perfect evening!