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Tuesday
Jun082010

Yellow Dog Cafe Gets Identity Program and Onion Crusted Chicken Right

Call me a marketing geek but a good logo can really get me going. The line drawing in the logo of the Yellow Dog Café in Malabar Florida looks either like something in the columns of the New Yorker or the margins of Mad Magazine. Maybe that’s part of its charm. It’s a good example of how an arresting identity program need not be too literal. Yellow Dog Café is so much more memorable than Water View, River’s Edge or Moonlight Café, more conventional names that its location might suggest.

When I visited the website I found more to admire.

Restaurants, like wineries, are not exactly commodities, but they do need to do something to differentiate themselves beyond the sublime-i-tude of their product. Stu and Nancy Borton are Boomers but they seem to “get” the three “Cs” of social media and Millennial marketing: content, connection and community. Along with staples such as menus, directions and reviews, their website includes pages devoted to Community and Feedback. The community page invites viewers to donate and become involved in their community projects – everything from a domestic abuse shelter to an international organization devoted to improving the status of women. The feedback includes a fax number and an email link “If you have suggestions, comments, compliments, or even complaints, we want to hear about it.”

None of this would work if they weren’t sincere or if their food sucked. But their food is as delicious as their community involvement is genuine. Case in point, the Onion Crusted Chicken I devoured while they discussed a letter to the editor with my hosts.

Onion Crusted Chicken from the Yellow Dog Cafe

Makes 2 Servings

¼ cup vegetable oil

1 lb. boneless chicken breast halves, pounded to a ¼ inch thick

Salt and Pepper

1 egg, beaten

Crusted Onions (recipe below) (For shortcut, use any store-bought crispy onions)

Caramel Citrus Glaze (see recipe below)

In a nonstick skillet, heat oil. Season chicken breast with salt and pepper. Dip chicken into beaten egg then into crusted onions. Place chicken in skillet. Cook for 10 minutes, turning once or until golden and cooked through. Spoon Glaze over chicken. Serve over mashed potatoes or rice, if desired.

Crusted Onions

Makes 2 Servings

1 large red onion, peeled and sliced

1 cup milk

2 cups all purpose flour

¼ tsp cayenne pepper

¼ tsp pepper

1 cup vegetable oil

In a large bowl, place onions in milk. In another large bowl, combine flour, cayenne and pepper. In a non-stick skillet, heat oil, in small batches, dredge milk coated onions in flour mixture. Place ion skillet, fry for 5 minutes or until crispy. Remove and place on plate lined with paper towel (to blot excess grease); cool completely. Finely chop fried onions.

Caramel Citrus Glaze

Makes 2 servings

4 strips of bacon, finely chopped

1 red onion, peeled and finely chopped

2 cups sugar

2 cups water

1 Tbs. tomato puree

1 each orange, lemon and lime, juiced

In a non-stick skillet, cook bacon and onion 5 minutes or until onion is translucent. Add sugar, water and tomato puree. Reduce mixture until thick. Add citrus juices. Serve.

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