Hide in the Dunes
I was looking through some of old posts and various restaurant reviews and was surprised to find that I had never previously written about Dune Dog Cafe
. Shame on me. "The Dune Dog" is a legendary restaurant for locals in Jupiter, FL. and one of my favorite places anywhere. When we used to live in south Florida, it was always a place we would take visitors, and now it has become a place we always go when we visit the area.
The atmosphere at Dune Dog Cafe is wonderful and unique. It has a beach shack/tiki hut sort of design that is great for a place at the beach - it would be absolutely perfect if the restaurant was actually located on the beach but the cost of the property would be ridiculous. There are no doors or windows and trees surround the exterior, providing good shade and decent protection from bad weather. Seating is available on both sides of the shack and the kitchen is located in the center, but it's not a particularly big restaurant. There's nothing fancy about this place and the typical attire is t-shirts, swimsuits, and flip flops. This is where you find the true locals of south Florida - not the streets of South Beach or Palm Beach. It's not uncommon to drive by and see people waiting all around the parking lot to get a table, and they are especially busy on nights when certain specials are available. Since it's only about five minutes from my family's condo, we have adopted the strategy of sending someone ahead to put our name on the waiting list.
Ribs & Wings Platter
In regards to the food, I don't think I've ever had anything at Dune Dog Cafe I didn't like. My favorite dish would be the ribs, which are incredibly tender and fall of the bone when served - and are also offered as All-You-Can-Eat on Monday nights. However, the Crunchy Fish Sandwich would be a close second behind the ribs, and the burgers, wings, and hot dogs are all excellent as well. Heck, they even make a great Garden Salad with Grilled Mahi. The sides are worth mentioning as well because I don't know what they put in their waffle fries, but it involves some sort of ingredient that is as addictive as crack cocaine. They probably could have been featured in Requiem for a Dream. There have been nights where I've ordered the All-You-Can-Eat ribs mainly because I knew it also came with All-You-Can-Eat waffle fries. The onion rings, creole rice, and grilled vegetables are all other worthy side options - but yeah, get the fries. And considering the prices of most restaurants in south Florida, this is one of the best values around. Most meals average around the $10.00 range and the specials are usually great deals, including the All-You-Can-Eat Rib Night for $13.99. If you can't tell, I'm a kind of a fan of Rib Night.
There are certain restaurants that are special to people. For me, Dune Dog Cafe is one of those special restaurants. For years, I have enjoyed excellent meals there with friends and family and it has created many memories for me. It's the first restaurant that comes to mind when I think about food in south Florida and it's one of the first places I want to visit every time I return. And it's one of those places I hope will always stay the same.
Dune Dog Cafe
775 Old Dixie Highway, Jupiter, FL 33477