Another Sunday, another Funday, another installment of my Brunch Diary. Last time, I reviewed brunch at The Porch and alluded to adopting a Labradoodle puppy after a few mimosas. It was only fitting that the next time we brunched with the same couple (I don’t know if they know that they’re becoming my brunch team… ) we brought the pups along. I’d heard that all of the Dexter’s locations had dog-friendly patios, and we opted for the Winter Park location (I promise I eat in other neighborhoods but seriously, WP is just so cute you can’t blame me for coming back). Gawk at this photo of my pup and then read on for the review…
Dexter’s is definitely one of those bar-restaurants that leans slightly more towards the “bar” end of the spectrum, but it was still bright and cheery and full of couples and families. They don’t do a bottomless brunch, but the prices are good, which makes it a safe choice to bring a date, family members, or a group of friends.
The Drinks: I’d read that they had pretty killer Bloody Mary’s, which, along with the patio and pups, was my only other request for a brunch spot. Considering I am a self-proclaimed Bloody Mary expert (see my New Orleans best here and my Washington DC top two here) I was not impressed. It definitely didn’t suck – the bacon salt on the rim was amazing and should accompany every Bloody Mary in my future – but it wasn’t the best I’d ever had. I switched to mimosas after my first Mary, and wasn’t disappointing. Dexter’s offers a $5.50 double mimosa, which was a giant wine glass filled with the sweet nectar of the brunch Gods.
The Food: Well, Dexter’s definitely beat out The Porch. They had a pretty big menu with an interesting mix of Cajun, seafood, tex-mex, and traditional. I built my own omlette and tried to stay somewhat healthy with my choices. The boys both ordered the “Hot Mess,” a biscuit and sausage gravy with fried chicken and fried eggs. GirlFriend and I could hardly snag bites of it before they finished it, so my guess was it was good. We also snacked on a basket of chips while we waited and they have some really incredible sweet potato chips with a honey mustard dipping sauce.
The Atmosphere: Sitting on the patio was breezy, cool, and relaxing. It’s off the main drag of downtown Winter Park, so while there’s people going about their days it’s not very hectic. The staff loved having well-behaved pups, and brought us a little water dish for her. Waiters came out and pet the pups, which put me at ease and reassured me that we weren’t being an inconvenience for the restaurant. They really embraced “dog friendly.”
Overall, Dexter’s is a great spot that can appeal to a variety of people, making it a great place to meet friends or bring a group. They are more than accommodating of dogs and the mimosas are pretty delicious.