On Easter Sunday this year, following church services and before I was to catch my return flight back to Pittsburgh, my parents and I drove the short distance into Philadelphia’s University City neighborhood and had brunch at the White Dog Cafe, a popular spot that’s been around for decades although this was my first time there. Its core focus is serving local, seasonal ingredients from farms that practice sustainability.
Located on Sansom Street, White Dog Cafe is housed in a former home and has a unique setup as a result of this (instead of a dining room, there are multiple rooms with dining tables throughout the restaurant). As major universities like the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel are only a stone’s throw away, the place is undoubtedly always busy, but paired with it being a holiday, it was even more so. We had arrived early but weren’t seated till our actual reservation time, which wasn’t too surprising.
Our table was in one of the smaller rooms, nice since it wasn’t as noisy (there were only four tables total). I especially liked the eclectic artwork found on the walls (yes, dogs are a prominent theme in the decor).
To get started, we were given a tray of breads-banana bread, chocolate scones, and a savory kind.
As I was catching a flight later that day I wanted to order wisely lest my stomach give me any troubles, and so I went a slightly boring route, but one that was safe, reliable, and extremely delicious-Buttermilk Pancakes ($13) that were topped with a mixed berry compote, lemon scented whipped cream, and toasted almonds. My only quibble is that I wish there had been more of the berry compote since there were numerous pancakes. Had I not been flying later on that day, I probably would have gone with the Chicken Enchiladas ($14) as these sounded terrific.
I ordered a side of Green Meadow Smoked Thick Cut Bacon ($6) a larger serving than I could have possibly finished. It was a bit crispier than I normally like but still quite tasty.
Both my parents opted for Spicy Lamb Bolognese ($19) which like everything else at the restaurant, came in a large portion. It consisted of Severino rigatoni, Jersey crushed tomatoes, wilted spinach, and basil ricotta. They also ordered a side of roasted asparagus. I passed on trying this since I didn’t want to combine the tastes of green vegetable with pancakes. (All sides are $6.)
Although my Philadelphia restaurant bucket list is infinitely long, I definitely would be game for trying dinner at White Dog Cafe in the future, since brunch was indeed a lovely time.
White Dog Cafe
3420 Sansom Street | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania | 19104