Saturday, September 8, 2012

Discovering good food in another town

When you travel, you almost always have to eat out.  Thankfully, most hotels now throw in breakfast, which is most humane, quite frankly.  Sending people out into an unfamiliar town first thing in the morning, looking for food...just not nice if you ask me.  But, then, there are the other meals.  Once upon a time, if you didn't know someone from there or who had been there and could make a recommendation, it was quite literally a roll of the dice.  It's somewhat easier today thanks to apps and websites such as Urbanspoon to reduce the risk of making a bad bet.  

This past Friday, we took the Vivver out of school early and headed up to the mountains.  Our final destination was my sister's house for my brother-in-law's Big 4-0.  But, first, we stopped off in Hendersonville, NC to check out the Apple Festival, spend the night and then head on up the mountain in the morning.  The festival opened on Friday afternoon, so we checked in at the hotel and then headed to Main Street.  

She can't resist any kind of face painting
We let Viv ride some of the rides and as she whizzed around in the air, I glanced over and spotted a pizza joint that had all the looks and characteristics of a local joint.  Later, I began consulting my Urbanspoon app to see where we should venture out for dinner.  I kept finding restaurants that at first glance looked and sounded good, but the reviews were terrible.  Over and over again, terrible reviews.  So, then, I remembered the place I'd seen...

We walked back down the street to arrive at 2 Guys Pizza & Ribs.  

We scored!  This place is family owned and family friendly.  They are located in what appears to be an old warehouse, so the ceilings are high.  The bar is large and features seating, but out in the main part of the restaurant, it's set up with outdoor tables, umbrellas, white lights strung from know, creating that outdoor feeling.  

Damn iPhone photography!
The Vivver was immediately delighted to find that they have a kids' gameroom.  Neil started off with a Two Hearted ale while I stuck with my old stand by...the house Chardonnay.  As Neil and Viv disappeared into the gameroom, I was given complete control of perusing the menu and deciding for us all.  

Unfortunately, my sweet baby child has gone from eating black olives and pepperoni pizza to "just cheese."  Ohh, the influences of the boring kids that one encounters in school!  Anyway, the kids cheese pizza for her.  For Neil and myself, I chose the "Classic" which was pepperoni, salami, ham, sausage, bacon, olives, bell peppers, onions.  (I hope i'm not forgetting an ingredient!)  

Once again, the iPhone doesn't do it justice
Y'all are probably get tired of hearing me go off about pizza (yes, I believe it's the world's perfect food. yes, I would order it as my last meal if I were on death row, etc, etc, you guys know me.)  The first thing I noticed was how incredibly good this entire place smelled.  In fact, I went so far as to post on Facebook how great it smelled and within minutes, one of my friends replied that she had been there and the pizza was great.  

When the pizza arrived, the first thing we both took note of was how visually appealing it was. As we tasted it, we both remarked about how much we liked the addition of the salami, which I don't remember having on pizza before, nor have I thought of it.  Delicious pizza topping.  As most of you know, a pizza is only as good as its crust.  For those of you in Columbia, let me compare this crust to Zorba's.  It's substantial enough on the bottom to support the toppings and cheese without being too thick or bready.  The outer crust is crisp, but airy and light on the inside.  Well, 2 Guys have very similar crust.  Just perfect.  Neil and I thoroughly enjoyed our pie.  And the Vivver?  Well, her kids pizza was devoured handily.

Took this back to the hotel for later!

Now, let me touch on a topic that is important to me.  As we waited for our food, I noticed an attractive lady in a white blouse who was on the floor, expediting at the window, greeting people as they arrived (mostly all by name) and seemed to really be on top of everything going on in the restaurant.  Clearly, the owner or manager.  I asked our server Mandy and learned that this was the owner, Melody.  We ended up getting to talk to Melody ourselves and telling her how much we enjoyed our dinner.  She was a most gracious hostess and also let us know that she and her husband both worked the business together, as well as their 3 kids.  We chatted a bit, she insisted on buying us a glass of wine (ok, twist my arm) and by the time we left, she gave me a hug!  This is what I consider the most fun and memorable type of restaurant experience.  When you get great food, have a pleasant experience and leave feeling like you're a regular, they are doing something, many things, right.  By the way, Mandy was one of the best waitresses we've had in a long, long time.

If you check out Urbanspoon, you'll see that many Hendersonvillites are complaining about this place being cash plastic.  Clearly there's a reason for this.  I don't know what it is, but there must be a reason. Some merchants simply can't bear to pay fees to process their own money.  I get it.  So, they have an atm in their vestibule for convenience.  Neil used it and was half expecting it to charge an unusual fee for use, but it was merely a buck, like any other atm that isn't your own.  Relax people...Get some cash and come have a great pizza.  

Our experience at 2 Guys was great and we'll definitely be back when we're in the area.  It's in the heart of Hendersonville, which still isn't far from I-26, so if you're passing through there, you can head into town to eat and not totally derail your travel time.  If you make it there, try to see if Melody is in the house.  She's a delightful lady, a fantastic host and the most hospitable restaurant owner you'll meet.

Two Guys Pizza & Ribs on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. 2 Guys Pizza, hendersonville, nc
    I took my family there and was amazed at the tension there. The service was horrible, took over an hour to get a pizza. I asked the waiter what was taking so long, he brought a manager over who was very short and dismissive to me. To boot, they brought me a used to go box for our leftovers. That leads me to believe the management is horrible. I reported it to the BBB and health department today.... They should be embarrassed. Also. Much to my amusement, I saw several YouTube videos of the manager and I guess owner berating customers.



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