When looking to spend time connecting with friends, escaping the dining hall or getting over a hangover, there is nothing better than a good brunch spot. With access to a car, University of Connecticut students have plenty of options. However, not all of them are created equal. And so, we are here to help you figure out the best brunch nook near Storrs.
We decided to start close to campus. Located on its namesake street, Dog Lane Café is a staple of Storrs Center. And for good reason! We are fans of Dog Lane’s grilled cheese and chili, but this was our first time ordering breakfast.
We arrived around 10:45 a.m. It was busy but not packed, making it easy for us to find a table next to a window.
Dog Lane Café’s best aspect is the atmosphere. When first walking in, the noticeable high ceilings make the already spacious building look bigger, and the walls decorated with words like “coffee,” “tea” and “chili” get you in the mood to chew. Even the ordering system, which is based on laminated playing cards, is endearing. A nice atmosphere can only get you so far, though, so we got to ordering our brunch.
Every week, we will order one regular meal and one dish off the specialties menu. We both ordered hot coffee, which is bottomless at Dog Lane. For food, we got an egg and cheese bagel sandwich and a turkey basil breakfast wrap, each with home fries.
Before the meal came, we tried the coffee. Dog Lane Café features a coffee bar, with multiple brews. This combined with the bottomless mugs makes for a very comforting lounge experience, allowing customers to really personalize their drink. The coffee brew itself was okay: It was clearly a step above average, but it still had a watery sort of texture that held it back.
Our meals were out quickly, another big plus. The overall clean presentation stood out, with pretty triangular plates and melon slices for garnish. After a dash of salt on the sandwich, we got to work digging in.
The breakfast wrap was honestly pretty good, and filling too. The wrap was stuffed with eggs, cheese, spinach and all the other goods and had a sweet taste to it, which could be an option for people who would like something sweet in the morning that is filling but not a pastry.
The egg sandwich, however, fell a little short. It was good — each ingredient was clearly of high quality — but there was nothing interesting or novel about the taste or texture. It could have used something more to make it stand out as a meal, especially for the price point. Obviously, menu items at a place like Dog Lane Café can’t alienate too many people, but we would have liked some more flavor.
The home fries were flavorful but firm for our taste. A bit of hot sauce really helped to give the potatoes an extra kick.
Dog Lane Café is known for being on the pricey side. One must remember, though, that it has prime real estate in Storrs Center. In this way, we sympathize with the pricing. However, for our money, we would have liked a bit more with our order. Each meal easily broke $10, which we thought was a tad much for the quality of food received.
Overall, Dog Lane Café is a great, convenient place to go for coffee and chat, but it still has a bit to grow as a brunch destination. Everything tasted at least good, but the food struggled to really stand out, especially when compared to the charming interior.
Olivia Hickey is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at email@example.com.
Peter Fenteany is the associate opinion editor for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.