Brunch at White Dog Café – Cute but Disappointing

June 1, 2019

Hey loves! <3

If you have been following me for a while now, you know I love to eat! I recently tried a new restaurant for brunch and wanted to share my experience with you guys. Without further ado, let’s chat about our favorite topic – food!

I went with some friends and M (my boyfriend) for brunch at White Dog Café. The restaurant has several locations, but we went to their University City location in Philadelphia, PA.

Overall – Disappointing

Taste: 3/5

White Dog Café has a lot of different menu choices and offerings which made it a great choice for us going as a group with different taste preferences. The experience started out positive. We were offered some delicious complementary appetizers. These tasted like lemon poppy seed bread bites, but I am not sure what they were called (they also aren’t listed on the menu). I ordered one of their daily specials, the Crab Cake Benedict. Sadly, this was disappointing. The crab cake tasted more like filling than crab meat and worse, the cakes were burnt. The eggs were nicely poached and complemented the muffin underneath well. The baked potatoes were fine; they weren’t terrible but nothing to rave about either. I also had the My Darling mocktail which consisted of lemonade, strawberry, and soda. It was good but could use more strawberry or lemonade. Overall, the food didn’t leave the best impression. The muffin and eggs part of the Benedict were great, but the shining star, the crab cakes left a lackluster experience. M got the Avocado BLT and thought that was “eh, it was okay”. The food was just very underwhelming.

In case you have never had lump crab cake before, click here for some google image results.

These were so good!
The plating was also very messy.
In this close up you can see how burnt the cakes were. My second cake (on the right) had sadly already split into two by the time it got to me.

Service: 2/5

Our server was nice and the food came out in a timely manner. However, I can’t give it a five because the server gave a misleading impression of my food. I asked whether the crab cake was mostly filling prior to ordering the dish. She said that the crab cake was a “lump crab cake” and that it was “similar to a Maryland lump crab cake”. That got me pretty excited. If you have ever had a Maryland lump crab cake before, it is AMAZING. Sadly, not only was the crab cake not lump AT ALL, it was basically like eating a bland, bread crumb filling that was also burnt. As we were a party of five, the café charged a 20% tip on top of our total automatically. This is fine but I had expected a more truthful and honest answer about the food. Either our server did not know what the daily special was or she just didn’t know what a Maryland lump crab cake was because what I had was sadly nowhere close to a lump crab cake and tasted disappointing. I would have ordered something else had I known that this is what the restaurant considered “lump crab cake”.

Atmosphere: 5/5

Part of eating out is the atmosphere so I thought this warranted a rating on its own. The café is incredibly adorable with dog décor everywhere. It’s a cute, picturesque brunch spot. The restaurant is charming and has a fun, welcoming vibe complete with dog themed décor everywhere.

Value: 2/5

definitely more upscale pricing – but is the food worth it?

I ordered:

Crab Cake Benedict – $22

My Darling – $5

Had the food tasted better, I would have given it a higher rating in terms of value. However, I felt for what I received (burnt crab cakes and a good poached egg on top of half a muffin) it was overpriced. I left feeling unsatisfied. On top of everything, I paid 20% tip for service that was misleading and not the most informed. With this price point, I could have gone to another restaurant with better food and service.

My thoughts – 3/5 ☹

Overall, I give the cafe a 3.5/5 (based on the average of my scores for taste, service, atmosphere, and value). The experience was okay but disappointing. I really wanted to love the food but it was just unsatisfying. The highlights were the bread appetizer and the decor. I do not think I would return as there are other restaurant options with better food at the same or lesser price point.

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed this post. Have you eaten at White Dog Café before? Comment your favorite brunch spot below!

Until next time,

V <3

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