Here’s Why Dunedin North Park Should Be Next On Your Brunch List

Brunch is the “staycation” of meals.

Stick with me for a moment: It occurs late morning, possibly after a night of imbibing, and usually a lazy decision to refuel bodies (maybe alongside a little hair of the dog) is eventually reached.

Going to brunch is like entering into a silent contract with your fellow diners that you are all going to go just a little easier on yourselves that day, and most likely order something seriously bad for you, in the best way.

If you do indeed decide to get down on a little weekend brunchin’, allow me to gently point you in the direction of Dunedin (By gently point you in their direction, I mean call you a Lyft, and make you a reservation).

Here’s why Dunedin North Park should be the spot for your next lazy brunch hang.

The Atmosphere is Fresh Enough to Erase any Wrongdoings of the Night Before

Dunedin is a New Zealand-inspired eatery brimming with leafy green charm at every turn. We grabbed a spot in the bar, which is breezy and open, and a nice people-watching vantage point. Also, if you happen to go for dinner, or on an especially chilly morning, they have cute throw blankets – nice touch.

Furthermore, it seems like everyone working was genuinely thrilled to be there – always a good sign. The overall aesthetic is bright, crisp and somehow warm, with wood beams and quirky touches like a plant wall with their craft brew signage, and many a hanging planter. If you live in San Diego and you say you’re not a sucker for a succulent, you sir, are lying. Case closed.

The Day-Drinking Selection is Optimal

I always remember hearing various family members using the phrase “hair of the dog,” after a late night on the town, in which the adults had significantly more fun than my cousins, sister and I. Now, at 28, that phrase holds a special place in my heart. Maybe it’s because it contains the word “dog,” but more than likely, it’s because it means a delicious cocktail is on the horizon.

To me, brunch inherently means Bloody Marys, and Dunedin offers one not to be missed. Don’t let the flashy garnishes fool you – the real show pony is the Bloody Mary itself. Nothing is worse than a Bloody Mary that gives you flashing images of 1950s Campbell’s tomato juice cans. This one is perfectly tart, savory, boozy and packing a slight punch. If Bloody Marys are not your bag, fear not! Dunedin is known for their extensive selection of craft beers, as well as a really well-curated selection of wine, and freshly-squeezed mimosa flights.

They Recognize the Value of Carbs

When I look at a menu, and the first two items are funnel cake and tater tots, I know my inner 8 year-old is deliriously happy. Do not let the simplistic sound of those two items fool you! Take it from me – making a delicious, homemade tater tot is no easy feat, and more nuanced than most would assume.

When faced with such a Sophie’s choice as tots or funnel cake, one must weigh their options carefully. Option 1: Be insane and get both. Option 2: Get the funnel cake, and make someone you’re dining with get the tater tots as a side. Planning is important, people!

The funnel cake is perfectly crisp on the outside, fluffy on the inside, and surprisingly not too sweet (meaning you can eat more). The top is lightly dusted with powdered sugar, and it’s served with an INSANE strawberry sauce, which you will definitely need more of. Just forewarning you.

Their Mains are Decidedly Updated Takes on Classics

With brunch fare you’d expect, such as quiche, local beet salad, croquet madame bread pudding or a number of grass-fed burgers and more, there is something sure to satisfy every member of your brunch squad. My brunch buddy opted for a true classic: the croissant sandwich, with egg, cheddar, avocado, bacon, and, you guessed it, a side of Parmesan potato tots. While yes, in theory, this is totally a simple sammie, the croissant was fresh, and truly, what is better than that?

Personally, I was torn between the croquet madame bread pudding and the steak, shrimp and grits, so I deferred my choice to our incredibly sweet server, Natalie, who steered me toward the latter of the two. It did NOT disappoint! The steak was cooked perfectly medium-rare, the shrimp perfectly seasoned, the grits every bit as optimally cheesy as one would hope, and the egg perfectly poached.

I mean, seriously? The beauty of that yolk situation is undeniable. The tomatoes dusted with herbs, flaky sea salt and pepper rounded the whole situation off nicely, bringing just the right amount of acidity to the party.

Brunch Dessert. Enough Said. 

The aftermath. This is usually the point at which you begin to question all your decisions, and then right when you say out loud “I cannot put one more thing in my body,” they offer you dessert. Naturally, the answer is a resounding YES.

I am unsure how much detail is required in order to relay the above situation to you, dear readers, because frankly, like few things in life, this is exactly what it looks like: adult s’mores. I am not sure what makes them “adult,” other than the fact that they come in a cast iron skillet, and I am (technically) an adult, but nevertheless, they are delicious.

Perfectly dark, melted chocolate, seriously charred marshmallows and graham crackers, with dipping encouraged. I don’t know anyone who would need their arm twisted in that situation.

What’s a little Rose after a Bloody Mary, funnel cake, steak, shrimp and grits and s’mores?

Check out brunch at Dunedin North Park from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday!

A HUGE thank you to Darren, Natalie, and the crew of DNP for providing such laid back hospitality and delicious food.

I, for one, will most certainly be back.

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