Yellow Dog Eats

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Blog reader/friend Neely invited me to Yellow Dog Eats, a restaurant in west Orlando that is actually owned by her boyfriend, Fish.


Fish is not his real name.  :)  His real name is Chris.


Yellow Dog Eats is a two-story building filled with funky, eclectic decorations.  Fish said he named the restaurant after his family dog (obviously, a yellow lab), and there are photographs of doggies all over the place!


IMG_9092 IMG_9095


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Funny story about Yellow Dog Eats:  Back when I was a blog reader, not a blogger, I e-mailed Jenna and asked if she wanted to hang out (she lived in Orlando at the time).  She said sure, and we sat in the back corner and had sandwiches.  I felt like I was meeting a celebrity!  But she was really friendly (obviously) and she told me that I should start a blog.  The rest is history…


I ordered the Black Lab’s lunch, which is a spinach tortilla layered with homemade hummus, shredded carrot, strawberries, caramelized onions, cucumber, baby corn, tomato, feta cheese, and sprouts.  There was also some sort of Italian dressing on it.


Plus, coleslaw:


And chips:


An excellent, standout meal.  If you’re in Orlando, I highly recommend this place!  Lots of quality eats for vegetarians and non-vegetarians, too.  Neely got a salmon sandwich that she said was delicious.


Neely’s meal:


After lunch, I ran some errands, including a trip the grocery store.


Look what I picked up:


A coconut! 


But what do I do with it?  How do I open it?  I want the insides for an oatmeal topping!


Back to writing I go… 🙂



  • Jessica @ How Sweet March 25, 2010, 3:39 pm

    That looks like the cutest restaurant ever. And they are such a cute couple!

  • Evan Thomas March 25, 2010, 3:39 pm

    That’s so fun you bought a coconut! I can’t deny I’ve thought about it for coconut milk, coconut meat, coconut oil, etc. Gina seems to be the expert on them(

  • Heather (Heather's Dish) March 25, 2010, 3:39 pm

    holy yum! that wrap sounds like perfection…

    i’ve always heard you have to punch a nail through the “eyes” of the coconut and drain the milk, then put it in a towel and break it with a hammer! i did it, and it wasn’t pretty, but i got the meat out!

    • Caitlin March 25, 2010, 3:40 pm

      did you try heating it first? i heard that helps??

      • Laura Georgina March 25, 2010, 3:46 pm

        It’s hard to punch a hole through it (mine always crack when I’ve tried) so best to do it over a bowl to catch the liquid and resign yourself to a split coconut! Then you can peel it and grate the white part for oatmeal and stuff.

        • Molly @fuelherup March 25, 2010, 4:08 pm

          I always buy the young Thai coconuts, and the ones at my grocery store are already a little bit cracked so you have an easy job. I have no idea! My method would be to grab my biggest knife and go crazy, but I’m pretty sure that wouldn’t be the smart option haha

      • Heather (Heather's Dish) March 25, 2010, 3:56 pm

        i didn’t…the one i had was pretty easy to just punch through with a nail, and once it drained my husband hit it with a hammer and VOILA! we did do that part outside though. sorry, that might not be much help!

  • Allison (Eat Clean Live Green) March 25, 2010, 3:39 pm

    Caramelized onions and feta sounds like an awesome combination! good luck with the coconut 🙂

  • Jenny March 25, 2010, 3:40 pm

    hoW pretty is neely? The wrap looks delicious:)

    How you felt meeting Jenna is how it was like meeting you- a blog celebrity:)

  • Shannon (The Daily Balance) March 25, 2010, 3:41 pm

    this place looks great! i LOVE all the doggie decor!

  • Kierstan March 25, 2010, 3:41 pm

    They just had an article in the latest issue of Better Homes and Gardens about cracking coconuts:

    Drain Coconut Water With an ice pick or nut pick make holes in two of the eyes with a pressing, twisting motion. If eyes are especially tough, tap top of pick with hammer. Pour coconut water into measuring cup. “Some folks use this water as a replacement for part of the milk in the cake layer recipe. I enjoy drinking the coconut water over ice.”

    Crack Shell Hold coconut in one hand and with hammer tap-somewhat assertively-rotating the coconut as you strike. “The goal is not to smash it open, but to systematically tap and loosen the shell, so tap up and down and all around,” says Scott. “Rotate and tap a bit more aggressively as you go. After 2-3 minutes of this you will hear a change in the sound of the tapping and then a cracking sound, which indicates the shell has been split.” Separate coconut into pieces, tapping with hammer as necessary.

    Remove Coconut Meat On towel-protected counter slowly work thin-blade knife between coconut and shell. With vegetable peeler remove brown skin from coconut. Using smallest holes on box grater, shred coconut.

  • clay March 25, 2010, 3:41 pm

    That is a really interesting way to become a blogger! She sounds like a really nice person! I LOVE dogs btw!

  • Kelly March 25, 2010, 3:41 pm

    That restaurant looks super cute!

  • Freya @ Brit Chick Runs March 25, 2010, 3:44 pm

    Oohh that place looks and sounds lovely! I like that there were strawberries in your wrap, how unusual! I would love to visit there if I was ever in Florida (the US would be a start though :P)

  • alli March 25, 2010, 3:45 pm

    coconut! my mom always was buying and eating coconuts when i was growning up….i never actually asked how she cracked them open but i know it had to do with an ice pick and a hammer! good luck!

  • Lisa (bakebikeblog) March 25, 2010, 3:46 pm

    I can’t help you on the coconu front sorry! But that cafe looks AWESOME!

  • Abby March 25, 2010, 3:48 pm

    If I owned a restaurant, it would totally be dog-themed. The food would probably taste like dog food too, which is why I DON’T own a restaurant! I worked in a coffee shop back home that is now “The Black Dog Cafe” and it has scottie dogs all over the place. So stinkin’ cute!

  • Heather March 25, 2010, 3:52 pm

    looks like a super cute place!

  • Carrie H March 25, 2010, 3:56 pm

    I have a yellow dog! And I love love love him!

  • Lauren @ Eater not a runner March 25, 2010, 3:57 pm

    That place looks so fun! I would have no idea what to do with a coconut haha.

  • Anna March 25, 2010, 3:58 pm

    How to open a coconut: carefully. Hah. Helpful, I know. But seriously, I bought so many coconuts in Nairobi because they were only about 30 cents, and when I tried to open them I ended up destroying them and spilling the contents everwhere. Good luck! I bet you can find a good youtube how-to.

  • Babs March 25, 2010, 4:00 pm

    Coconuts are the best!!! I don’t know what type of coconut meat you were looking for, but you bought an “old” coconut so it will be more meat, less water and the meat will be drier. I read somewhere that you should put it in the microwave to make it easier to open . . . DO NOT . . .it made the room smell like overcooked popcorn. **gags thinking about it** I buy the young coconuts, which have amazing water in them (research the coconut and I promise you’ll be amazed). I just googled how to open a coconut to crack my sucker the first time….it’s much easier when you see the person doing it.

  • Babs March 25, 2010, 4:00 pm

    Coconuts are the best!!! I don’t know what type of coconut meat you were looking for, but you bought an “old” coconut so it will be more meat, less water and the meat will be drier. I read somewhere that you should put it in the microwave to make it easier to open . . . DO NOT . . .it made the room smell like overcooked popcorn. **gags thinking about it** I buy the young coconuts, which have amazing water in them (research the coconut and I promise you’ll be amazed). I just googled how to open a coconut to crack my sucker the first time….it’s much easier when you see the person doing it.

  • Teacherwoman March 25, 2010, 4:01 pm

    Sounds like a great place!

    I did a lesson (it related to our reading) on coconuts and as a group we cracked it open using a hammer. The shell was that hard. The kids got to taste the coconut juice as well as the actual coconut and they were NOT pleased. LOL

  • Katy ( The Balanced Foodie ) March 25, 2010, 4:01 pm

    I’ve been wanting to go there, it looks super cute! I’ll have to drag the hubs there this weekend. 🙂

  • Erin (Travel, Eat, Repeat) March 25, 2010, 4:02 pm

    That looks adorable AND delicious — what a fun find! Isn’t it great when foodie friends can introduce you to new places? 😀

  • Sarah March 25, 2010, 4:02 pm

    You need… a machete!

  • Heather @ Side of Sneakers March 25, 2010, 4:02 pm

    What a beautiful restaurant!!

  • Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg March 25, 2010, 4:02 pm

    I’m totally intimidated by actual coconuts– never have tried that culinary adventure!

    After you get it open though, try roasting a few pieces– it tastes like popcorn! Yum!

  • Jessica @ The Process of Healing March 25, 2010, 4:05 pm

    Aww I love that story of you and Jenna!! She seems like such a sweetheart!
    The restaurant sounds awesome! I wish we we had more like around here.

  • Rachel March 25, 2010, 4:10 pm

    She posted something TODAY on how to open a coconut!

  • megan March 25, 2010, 4:16 pm

    what is the difference between coconut water and coconut milk?

    • Caitlin March 25, 2010, 4:17 pm

      that is a good question?

      • Caitlin March 25, 2010, 4:23 pm

        answers on twitter:


        @CaitlinHTP the milk is the water blended with coconut flesh; the water is just the water that comes out when you crack the coconut open 🙂
        less than a minute ago via HootSuite in reply to CaitlinHTP
        Reply Retweet

        @CaitlinHTP Coconut water is just that. Coconut milk is the coconut blended and includes all the saturated fat of coconut. MIlk richer.
        1 minutes ago via web in reply to CaitlinHTP

        @CaitlinHTP coco milk is from mature (brown) coconuts, = the “meat” you find inside – coco h20 is from young (white) and is the water inside
        2 minutes ago via web in reply to CaitlinHTP

        @CaitlinHTP Coconut milk is 95% fat and very dense, coconut water is 95% carbohydrates and mostly hydrated
        2 minutes ago via web in reply to CaitlinHTP

        @CaitlinHTP coconut milk is the water & coconut meat blended together, coconut water is just water from inside the fresh coconut (no meat)
        2 minutes ago via TweetDeck in reply to CaitlinHTP

        @CaitlinHTP one is the middle of the coconut. The other is the juice from the meat of the coconut.
        3 minutes ago via UberTwitter in reply to CaitlinHTP

        @CaitlinHTP Coconut milk is derived from the meat of the coconut whereas coconut water is the liquid inside the fruit
        3 minutes ago via web in reply to CaitlinHTP

        @CaitlinHTP This explains it all!
        3 minutes ago via TweetDeck in reply to CaitlinHTP

        @CaitlinHTP ew. i just said flesh.
        3 minutes ago via TweetDeck in reply to CaitlinHTP

        @CaitlinHTP milk-from mature coconut flesh water-from inside young coconut
        3 minutes ago via TweetDeck in reply to CaitlinHTP

        @CaitlinHTP coconut water is what’s inside, the milk is made from the flesh and is much fattier.
        4 minutes ago via TweetDeck in reply to CaitlinHTP

        @CaitlinHTP it’s just skewing women’s views of their bodies even more.
        4 minutes ago via UberTwitter in reply to CaitlinHTP

        @CaitlinHTP the water is natural, the milk is processed from the coconut meat.

        • Paige (Running Around Normal) March 25, 2010, 4:51 pm

          holy crap you got a lot of replies! haha

        • Morgan March 25, 2010, 10:27 pm

          The coconut is full of medium length fatty acid chains-which are good for you in moderation. There are tons of health benefits to the medium acid chains. Google them when you have time.
          Coconut oil is also really awesome to cook with because of it’s high heat capabilities-it does not create byproducts when heated. It would have been tasty in your stir-fry recipe from tonight!

  • John March 25, 2010, 4:19 pm

    That’s a great question. When I saw the coconut I assumed you were going to tell us how to do it:-) Seems like your earlier commenters have the answer!

  • Morgan @ Healthy Happy Place March 25, 2010, 4:49 pm

    how cute is that restaurant!? I love it!! I will go to any restaurant that is decorated creatively, I think it totally makes a difference in the ambiance.

  • Paige (Running Around Normal) March 25, 2010, 4:52 pm

    What a cuute restaurant! Neely and fish are as equally adorable:)

  • Ami March 25, 2010, 4:57 pm

    Alton Brown recommends this method to make it easier (and less dangerous):

    I always drain the water first with a screwdriver or nail and hammer. Then, you can whack away with a hammer in your garage or porch. Make sure to keep the coconut meat in some water when storing in the fridge. Keeps it fresh!

  • Daisy March 25, 2010, 5:00 pm

    Check out my post – I just got a coconut in the mail!
    I was as puzzled as you and while I think others will have a much better take with directions – i think you will get a kick outta this!!

  • Lisa @ Early Morning Run March 25, 2010, 5:23 pm

    Looks like a great restaurant and meal! My brother in law is moving to Orlando in about a month. I’ll suggest this restaurant next time we visit him!

    I’ll leave the coconut advice to the others! I am just as clueless!

  • Amber K @ sparkpeople March 25, 2010, 5:27 pm

    I’m not a fan of coconut, so can’t help you there. But the wrap looks pretty good! I would leave off the strawberries.

    I just can’t combine fruit with anything in a savory fashion, it is just such a weird flavor combination, my tongue gets confused. =P

  • Foy - Garden. Cook. Write. Repeat. March 25, 2010, 5:31 pm

    I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts!

    If you want to make coconut milk from a coconut, it’s actually kind of a long process although it is delicious.

  • NC March 25, 2010, 5:44 pm

    Take a hammer and hit in the center , make sure the coconut is on the sink ,and you don’t do any damage to the countertop . the weight is balanced and it should split open in half .

  • michelle March 25, 2010, 5:51 pm

    The hubz and I do this with the coconuts in our yard- rather than using the insides for toppings we used milk for a smashing pina colada and the outside for a “glass”… lol!! We did the nail thing, drained the milk, split the coconut and heated in the oven for a little to dehydrate the meat. After the meat starts to peel back from the brown part it makes it easier to slide a knife through to separate the meat from the peel.
    Link to the pina coladas here:

  • Amanda March 25, 2010, 5:51 pm

    That restaurant is soo cute! Maybe in the fall when we take our family trip to Disney World I’ll make my hubby take us there. 🙂

  • Caitlin@TheTwentyFifthYear March 25, 2010, 5:52 pm

    I love this story about you and Jenna – nostalgia gets me every time!

  • Dominique March 25, 2010, 6:15 pm

    You could do what my BF did when he acted as my photo assistant during a shoot with a coconut minus a clever–smash it against the sidewalk until it breaks 🙂 Otherwise I would suggest a clever and lots of patience and a stable hand.

  • steph-exercise physiologist and artist! March 25, 2010, 6:22 pm

    Hi Caitlin!
    I am so out of the loop here in Orlando (I’m from Tampa) I have never heard of that restaurant but I am definitely going to check it out ASAP.
    Neely- that is a super cute pic or you and your BF 🙂 it made me smile.

    • Caitlin March 25, 2010, 7:42 pm

      isnt that the nicest photo of them?

  • Matt March 25, 2010, 6:31 pm

    Great story! I want that salmon sammie 😉

  • Samantha March 25, 2010, 6:40 pm

    What a cool fun restaurant! And could Neely be any more beautiful?!

    That wrap looks divine, I’ll attempt to recreate it for lunch today.

    • Caitlin March 25, 2010, 7:42 pm

      dude, neely is seriously gorgeous.

  • Rashmi March 25, 2010, 7:33 pm

    Hey, in India people use to crack open Coconut
    every morning for breakfast to make a yummy chutney
    for dosa. Do take it outdoor to your patio, hold it on edge
    and just bang it, if you want the coconut water hold a cup to catch the
    water pouring. Bang again on the floor, it may crack open, and now you
    can scrape the meat for your cereal.

  • Caitlin March 25, 2010, 7:47 pm

    what an adorable restaurant!

  • Lin March 25, 2010, 8:15 pm

    aww i’m such a sucker for dogs, what a cool restaurant! my mom used to buy coconuts for me, she used a big asian clever to make a small cut on top of the coconut and i sipped the coconut water out with a straw 🙂

  • Danielle (Coffee Run) March 25, 2010, 8:20 pm

    I love brown coconuts! You can puree the innards and make fluff 😀 I gave a whole tutorial with pics here:

  • Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday March 25, 2010, 8:26 pm

    I wish my nickname was Fish. How cool is that!

  • Keri March 25, 2010, 8:30 pm

    Ooh that food looks delish. Thats a funny story about how you met Jenna, I always wondered how you two became friends.

  • Cynthia (It All Changes) March 25, 2010, 8:31 pm

    That looks like a great place.

    And so funny how you met Jenna. She seems like she would be totally cool like that.

  • Kath March 25, 2010, 8:44 pm

    LOVE the name Fish!! I was sad to see it was a nickname.

  • Erin March 25, 2010, 8:54 pm

    Weird story but my husband and I plus a group of work friends tried to find this resturant like two years ago but it was closed due to a fire. We got lost on the way there and the way back. Hope to visit again and actually eat the food.

    • Caitlin March 25, 2010, 9:02 pm

      yup! it burned down like a year and a half ago and they rebuilt and reopened one year ago 🙂

  • Samantha March 25, 2010, 8:55 pm

    What a cool restaurant!!

  • Diana (Mymarblerye) March 25, 2010, 9:12 pm

    isn’t it crazy how everything comes full circle? BTW I would totally be nervous meeting you, Tina, or Jenna!! you guys are my celebrities too! I would be wondering “ZOMG am I being positive enough” the whole time!

    • Caitlin March 25, 2010, 9:16 pm

      i curse like a sailor in real life, if its any consolation.

  • Jenna March 25, 2010, 9:31 pm

    Wrap looks sooo good!!

  • Alexandra March 25, 2010, 9:35 pm

    The coconut meat is SUPER hard with the brown ones. I usually shred it and toast it. If you ever get the young Thai baby coconuts, the insides are custard-y and jelly like and you can puree it with some dates and stir it in to oatmeal (or eat it alone). Be careful when you dry to open it! Either way is delicious because coconut is amazing!

  • Jen March 25, 2010, 10:08 pm

    They are SO hard to open!! Good luck. 🙂 I have never opened a brown coconut, only the Thai baby coconuts, which are so hard. The insides of both are so different!

  • Jenn (from March 26, 2010, 9:08 am

    Your wrap looks so good!


  • Katie March 26, 2010, 10:29 am

    Hmm…strawberries and hummus on the same wrap? Is that a combo you would recommend…? Doesn’t sound too good to me…but then again neither did green monsters before I tried them. And now I love them.

    • Caitlin March 26, 2010, 11:18 am

      it was REALLY delicious!! i’m def going to re-make at home.

  • jessica March 26, 2010, 11:35 pm

    I know you already have the answer to your coconut question but here is a link directly from the Artisana website that validates the answers you received:

  • Jolene ( March 27, 2010, 12:28 am

    Miss Vicky’s chips are my ALL TIME fave!!!!!!!!! I love the salt and vinegar ones!

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