Quite frankly, we unexpectedly found ourselves in Gainesville on a Saturday night searching for a place to eat. Naturally, we surfed to Urbanspoon and found 2 Dog to be the #1 casual restaurant in Gainesville so we decided to give it a shot.
When we pulled in, we knew it had to be good as the parking lot was packed. Fortunately, our timing was impeccable and we arrived at the proper time to be seated right away. One thing to note – the restaurant was at 85% capacity or more throughout the evening. Always a good sign, right?!?
2 Dog, and the name kind of threw us, is situated in an renovated home which gives it a very quaint feel. Urbanspoon’s description actually said “sandwiches/subs” but we could tell from the outside this was more than a sub shack. We did bring this to our server’s attention to it could be corrected by management as many, very unfortunate diners, would miss 2 Dog and be scarred for life as a result.
When we were seated, we were served sliced sourdough(?) bread with an olive oil/vinaigrette(?) dipping cup. The only comment on this is that we prefer bread to be warmed even if it’s not fresh out of the oven. It was good but that would have really made it much better.
One other comment since we just sat down, the chairs were fine to begin with but, by the time the meal ended we were dying to just get up and leave. Melanie was particularly uncomfortable and the more she complained the more I noticed how I was uncomfortable. Arrgggh!
Moving right along, we started with an appetizer of Gouda Fritters. Don’t let the picture fool you – you do get 5 and not the 3 pictured (can you tell they are good?). Let me assure you, dear readers, this was truly a wonderful start to our meal and absolutely delicious. We really liked it because it was original and light, making it was perfect appetizer!
Melanie chose the Salmon with grits, mashed potatoes, and grilled asparagus. She really liked the food but doesn’t like when it’s all piled on top of each other. I like the presentation in this manner and it’s consistent with the way that meals are served elsewhere.
The salmon was done perfectly and quite meaty. We particularly like the grits which seemed to have some type of secret additive which we couldn’t identify but it really made it great.
I chose the blackened catfish with garlic mashed potatoes, grilled asparagus and tomato soup. I always ask for extra blackening seasoning and tonight was no exception. It kicked the catfish off just right without being overpowering. Served with remoulade sauce was the prefect compliment.
The grilled asparagus was quite tasty and the garlic mashed potatoes were just lumpy enough to tell they were homemade, which we always dig! The tomato soup was good but I wished it was creamier.
Friends, we cleaned out plates! It was ABSOUTELY DELICIOUS! Yet, we were dying to try the desserts. Our butts were screaming to leave (remember the chairs?) but our stomachs cried out for more!
The desserts are all prepared on premises and TOTALLY AWESOME! You cannot, let me repeat this in CAPS, YOU CANNOT leave without having dessert. You will be doing yourself and your fellow diners a tremendous disservice.
I chose the Peanut Butter Pie while Melanie selected the Blueberry Cheesecake. Both were SO light yet OH SO RICH – they were SO GOOD! We couldn’t finish either (a rarity) and had to box them up for some later enjoyment at home.
This review would be in remiss if I failed to mention the incredible attention we received from our server, Rebecca. She was able to answer every question posed to her without hesitation, never failed to have a refill of a drink ready, and even though she was juggling 4-5 tables she gave us prompt service and treated us like royalty.
2 Dogs was such a wonderful choice as we had a really marvelous meal and one we truly did not expect. We were delightfully surprised and simply overwhelmed at how good the food was and the service was just fantastic. When in Gainesville, 2 Dog is a MUST SEE and even if you live ITP (inside the perimeter) you really should take a nice drive one evening and experience it for yourself. Guten appetit!
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