Dorothy "Dottie" Daughtry is a longtime St. Thomas resident who was one of the original entrepreneurs in the Compass Point development. She has been providing quality dinners to East End regulars, boating enthusiasts and other visitors on Dottie's Front Porch from the start.
The ambience is literally "outdoor front porch," with comfortable canvas directors' chairs which invite the customer to relax and enjoy the food, setting and fellow diners. The tables are simple painted plyboard, and the porch lattice separates the dining area from a well-tended cactus garden.
The menu is posted on a board or boards at the porch entrance. Generally speaking, there are soups, salads, entrees, desserts and drinks. All items are prepared from fresh ingredients by Dottie (except for the drinks, of course). If you need further assistance after reading the board or failing to read the board no problem. Dottie is the cook, waitress and bartender. She can explain the menu to perfection, as she created it.
My selections included her spinach soup, hearts of palm salad with Vidalia onion dressing, chicken curry, white lasagna, and chocolate/pecan pie dressed with whipped cream and shredded Dutch chocolate.
The soup was a chicken stock with fresh spinach for bulk and grated romano cheese for flavor. The salad was a double blessing, as it not only was palate pleasing, but also provided a break from the steaming hot soup.
The chicken was also served very hot, temperature wise, although the flavor was relatively mild for a curry. Those who like more spice can partake of a fiery side sauce, and for those who enjoy chutney, there's a mango/apple mixture which does a good job of complementing the curry.
The white lasagna is composed of chicken and cauliflower mixed with cheese and layered between lasagna pasta. It is a filling, chewy combination that doesn't add to your acid imbalance as so many tomato-based dishes do.
Dottie appears to favor the phase "to die for…" with regard to her desserts. Noting that they were all supremely rich, I simply went for the combination which piqued my interest. The pecans were caramelized and the chocolate filling was satisfying without being too sweet and without overpowering the more subtle flavor of the pecans. The pie was covered with whipped cream and liberally sprinkled with mild chocolate chips.
Dottie's Front Porch is one of those home-grown restaurants you are proud to show off to guests and friends, as well as a worthy place to return time and time again simply to enjoy the good food.
The restroom is around the corner from the restaurant, serving the whole central Compass Point complex. It is relatively clean most of the time. Parking is in the Compass Point lot, which is secured with a guard at the gate.
The restaurant is a participant in the Rotary East Dine Out program. Through its annual coupon books, this program entices you to some of the better restaurants on St. Thomas and St. John, typically providing a free second entree, drink or dessert, depending on the establishment. Proceeds from the coupon book sales go to Rotary programs for youth. For more information, see the story below in this section headed "Coupon books let you eat well while doing good."
Ambience: 4 stars
Food: 4 stars
Service: 4 stars
Value: 5 stars
Compass Point Marina
Dinner daily except Thursday, 6:30 p.m. until
Upbeat home cooking
No charge cards
Editor's note: The Tottering Taster is a senior citizen dedicated to enjoying good food who dines in local establishments to bring Source readers unsolicited assessments biased in favor of an ultimate eating-out experience. The reviewer uses a pseudonym so restaurant personnel will not be able to identify the individual and try to influence the review.