DOVER, NH - Customers will be sure to tell you there is no better way to start your day than a trip to The Fat Dog Kitchen. Located in Dover, New Hampshire right next to the Strand Theatre, Fat Dog Kitchen is a small but spirited breakfast and lunch spot that locals love. That's because owners Paul Cote and Stephanie Gladys make each and every customer feel like they are the only one in the room.
You will find Stephanie running around the dining room making sure everyone is happy.
"To me it's sort of like the old Cheers," she said. "Instead of a barroom, it's a breakfast place. I treat our guests like they're our family. It's my happy space."
Paul's happy place is back in the kitchen, where he concocts big plates of fresh comfort food.
"My philosophy in cooking breakfast is that we can do it fast, but it's still got to be good. We wanted to make it feel like you were eating at our house every day, every night, and I think we've hit the mark."
The second you step foot into Fat Dog Kitchen, you will know the folks here don't take themselves too seriously. The restaurant is named after the couple's dogs, Cash and Joonbug. The space is decked out with tributes to the canines, along with lots and lots of toys.
"We just started filling it with toys and dog pictures, and bobbleheads, and flippy toys, and games for our bar," Stephanie said.
The menu is just as fun, with lunch starting at 11 a.m. and breakfast available all day long. So no matter what the hour is, you can feast on specials like The Nittany Sandwich, loaded up with egg, chorizo, goat cheese and tomato jam. For something sweet, try the Captain's French Toast.
"It's dipped in Captain Crunch!!!" Stephanie shared. "It's something that Paul created. I think it was his favorite cereal when he was growing up."
If you want to take that French Toast a step further, get yourself The Fat Elvis.
"It's our Captain's French Toast, and it's layered with peanut butter, bananas, Nutella, and then topped with our beautiful bacon," she described. "A lot of our regulars come in once a week for that."
"It's just the perfect combination of flavors," Paul added. "The sweet of the bananas, and then the saltiness of the peanut butter, and the crunch of the bacon, and the Nutella's sweetness."
There are a variety of Benedicts to choose from. You can order the Joonbug Benedict featuring black bean cakes topped with roasted poblanos, tomato, eggs and hollandaise. Or try Cash's Favorite, which features a fried green tomato topped with all of that Benedict goodness.
What would breakfast be without hash?
"It's made from scratch," Stephanie assured. "That corned beef is roasted in that oven overnight, and then it is shredded with love."
The lunch menu is lined with sandwiches and burgers like their twist on a Cubano and an irresistible Meatloaf Sandwich spiked with spicy chorizo.
"It's kind of like the best meatloaf sandwich you ever had," Paul said. "That leftover meatloaf, when you open the fridge and you don't know what to do with it. We figured out what to do with it."
And Paul definitely knows what to do with a burger patty. There is The Porker burger, stacked with pulled pork, bacon and cheddar. Or try the tasty creation called The Bumble Burger, piled up with bacon, bacon jam, a bacon spiked cheddar and maple aioli.
"There's just something with the bacon and the maple, and more bacon, and more bacon."
At this breakfast spot, nothing quite beats the Breakfast Burger.
"We throw the burger on the grill, then get a little mound of corned beef hash and throw it with it. Then we top that with some Swiss cheese. We top the burger with the corned beef, the Swiss, a fried egg, and then we finish it off with our Hollandaise sauce. It's like brunch on a bun," Paul described.
While rising before the sun may be tough for some, Paul and Stephanie could not be more grateful.
"You get here and you see that the same people are coming back, and they're always coming back, and they love our food. So, it kind of makes it worth it," Paul said.
You can find Fat Dog Kitchen at 20 Third Street in Dover, New Hampshire.
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