Since it was established in 1998 by Stuart and Nancy Borton, Yellow Dog Cafe has grown into one of the premier dining experiences in Malabar.

Think refined, elegant, riverfront dining overlooking the Indian River Lagoon; each entree prepared with flair in an open kitchen, creating an ambiance that connects guests with the restaurant. The award-winning menu offers an array of exquisite appetizers, salads, entrees and desserts that will treat your taste buds.

More Than a View

Celebrating the café’s 21st anniversary this past February, Stuart Borton said what started as a small riverfront restaurant grew as he and Nancy did in their vision for the restaurant. The restaurant’s “comfort food with a flair,” as they like to call it, features appetizers like conch fritters and shrimp and grits, and entrees including apple bourbon pork chops, roasted duckling, fresh seafood, and filet mignon. The menu’s delectable tastes, paired with the ambiance of the riverfront setting provide the perfect dining experience. Yellow Dog was awarded five palms by Florida Today, attesting to its quality.

“We’re a scratch restaurant, so we like to make things fresh. That’s what we do.”

Freshness is a key to bringing out the mouthwatering flavors of the dishes at the Yellow Dog, and to guarantee this, the Bortons have been growing and managing their own garden for about five years. The combination of in-ground and hydroponic garden systems also create a lush landscape that adds to the river scenery. The hydroponic system acts to increase the growth of plants by providing nutrient-rich solutions in a water solvent. This helps provide constant available nutrition directly to the root systems, eliminating the need for a large garden bed. Many of Yellow Dogs micro greens, spices and vegetables come from their own garden. Lettuces, tomatoes, basil, parsley, cilantro, and many others are picked fresh daily.

Can’t get enough of the flavor? The scratch kitchen dynamic allows Stuart Borton to create fresh seasonings and spices, which he offers diners for purchase. Borton even has his own set of cookbooks that contain simple recipes for beginner chefs, allowing you to bring home the taste of Yellow Dog Cafe. The Bortons also share seasonal recipes on their website for you to try at home. Their presence on the riverfront continues to improve and treat Brevard County.

With the café’s location on the shore of the Indian River, the Borton’s have another passion, beyond the food and experience they offer their patrons. They feel a deep obligation to protect and care for the Lagoon their restaurant overlooks. The Bortons’ environmental concerns have led them to eliminate the use of Styrofoam to-go boxes and single use items at their restaurant.
Stuart Borton is also working with State Representative Randy Fine and State Senator Debbie Mayfield to discuss and implement programs that can help alleviate the impacts of the lagoon’s issues. “We’re trying to come up with a way that we can remove those grasses and algae blooms and find other uses for them,” said Borton.  He believes perhaps the harmful grasses and algae buildups could have possible uses as rich garden fertilizers for the surrounding banks of the shore.

Since the ambiance of the setting has always been a part of the Yellow Dogs appeal, their concerns are natural.

Matt Weinstein

A student at the Florida Institute of Technology, Matthew Weinstein is wrapping up his final semester, where he will earn his B.S. Business Administration degree in May of 2019. Along with earning placement on the Academic Honor Roll during each of his semesters, Weinstein is also a student athlete, playing four years of varsity lacrosse with the Florida Institute of Technology DII Men's Lacrosse Program. Originally from Maryland, Weinstein ventured down to Florida to further his education and explore everything that the Space Coast has to offer.