Snacks N'At: Sun Dawg Cafe, Greensburg
During the lunch rush, the Sun Dawg Cafe in Greensburg is likely a place where everybody knows your name — or your business.
It's packed elbow-to-elbow, as the open kitchen, till, counter area and tables are contained in 450 square feet below street level across from the Westmoreland County Courthouse.
The arrangement suits owners Ray and Rachel Flowers of Greensburg just fine.
“We like to interact with our customers,” Rachel says. “There's nothing private here.”
Breakfast and lunch are always available, and the menu aims for offerings not found in other local eateries.
“Greensburg is saturated with great dinner restaurants, but we thought it was lacking in breakfast and lunch options,” she says. “We try to give (Sun Dawg) a twist on places we go to on vacation and food we like to eat.”
Ray says the menu's “Jersey Shore meets Mexican-Caribbean flair” was inspired by the couple's favorite vacation spots: Cape May, N.J., and St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands.
The focus also is on fresh and local, with ingredients coming from Strip District wholesalers.
The breakfast bestseller is the Huevos Rancheros Frittata ($6). Other South-of-the-Border options are breakfast tacos ($4.50) and Locos Mexicanos ($7.50), flour tortillas topped with black beans, rice, scrambled eggs, chorizo and salsa.
Rum Raisin French Toast ($5) also hits the spot, along with oatmeal pancakes ($5) and the GBG Scramble ($7), which offers home fries with scrambled eggs, cheese and a choice of bacon or sausage.
Top sellers for lunch are the grilled-fish tacos (two for $7.50), which on two recent visits held mahi and wahoo; the What the Falafel Taco ($6.50), in a corn shell with Asian slaw and spicy mayo; and the Philly Style Beef Cheese Steak ($7). Daily specials are offered.
The Jersey influence comes from the Beef Hot Dawg, anchored by New York's acclaimed quarter-pound Sabrett frankfurter ($3.50 plain). Fixin's are piled on to create Mango, Reuben, Tijuana, Saigon, Curry and Cuban Dawgs ($4.50 each). A new Dawg menu is in the works, if not already in place.
Lighter fare includes salads such as the Caribbean with mixed greens, rice, black beans, plantains and mango salsa ($6.50) and a surprisingly popular Quinoa With Pico and Feta ($3).
Ray and Rachel Flowers are graduates of the Westmoreland County Community College Culinary Arts and Hospitality Program. Ray is a certified executive chef through the American Culinary Federation.
Prior to opening Sun Dawg in October 2012, they individually earned their bona fides at local spots, including Red Star Brewery and Grille, Spitfire Grille, Pepperwood Grille, Solstice and J. Corks, where Ray was part-owner and Rachel was general manager.
The couple manages the Neighborhood Cafe in the Latrobe Art Center and provides customized catering for private parties and public events, including the Lincoln Highway Experience SupperMarket and SummerSounds concert series.
Sun Dawg Cafe, 41 N. Main St., Greensburg, is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays. Details: 724-205-6939 or sundawgcafe.com
Shirley McMarlin is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-5750 or firstname.lastname@example.org.