A new LGBTQ Mexican cafe opened in Austin way earlier this year. Dorothy’s is found in the Hornsby Bend neighborhood at 14509 FM 969, Suite 110 as of February 1.
Co-owners Alex Lopez and Val Galvan wanted to open Dorothy’s to create and offer an LGBTQ-owned Mexican cafe that was queer-friendly, inclusive, and community-forward. “We wanted to provide a safe space for people of difference, from the small child exploring their gender expression to the older trans person using their pronouns for the first time,” the two write to Eater over email. “We wanted to create a space that felt like you were surrounding yourself with love and acceptance, knowing that there would be no judgment while you are here.”
Along with food and drinks, Lopez and Galvan see Dorothy’s as functioning as an information center, with a free library, and community area. There are events like karaoke, trivia, loterías, and dance classes, and there are plans to host others like movies, paint-and-sips, and craft evenings.
They chose the name as a nod to the question and answer phrases of “Are you a friend of Dorothy’s?” and the affirmative “Yes, I’m a friend of Dorothy’s,” which became a signifier of asking and confirming whether someone was gay.
Both were born in the Rio Grande Valley: Lopez in Brownsville and grew up in Tamaulipas, Mexico; Galvan in Pharr, Texas, and grew up in Hiladgo. Lopez, who is a pastry chef and a drag performer, had “a lifelong dream of having a cafe where I could showcase my culture in a very queer way,” they write to Eater over email. “I wanted to take classic Mexican dishes and put a colorful twist to it.”
Dorothy’s serves baked goods, food, and drinks. There are pastries like conchas, cream-stuffed conchas, croissants, and orejas. Savory food-wise-, there is beef birria in four formats (nachos, ramen, mac and cheese, birria), Mexican hot dogs (where the franks are wrapped in bacon or ham, plus cheese, onions, tomatoes, salsa, ketchup, and mayonnaise), and tacos.
For drinks, there are coffees, lattes (with flavor options like dulce de leche, marzipan, and Nutella), hot chocolates, aguas frescas, aguas preparadas and Jarritos preparados with a chamoy-taramindo paste. For alcoholic drinks, there are beers, mimosas, and wines.
There’s also Sunday brunch buffet, with typical items like French toast, tortillas, beans, eggs, picadillo, and more like French toast, eggs, bacon, rice, and mole, served from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Dorothy’s hour are from 7 a.m. to noon Monday, and then from 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.