Sunday, November 1, 2009

Two Blondes and a Shrimp

Looking for quality dining at a fair price in historic downtown Sanford? Look no further! Two Blondes and a Shrimp is well worth your time and even worth a drive up if you live in Orlando--it's sooo good!

Two of my friends, Tommy and Ronda, have recently opened an art gallery called Art Affair Gallery in historinc downtown Sanford. Consequently, I find myself spending more and more time in the area. Fortunately, there are some fantastic places to eat nearby. So last night after taking in the downtown Sanford Halloween "Trick or Treat" festivities (involving thousands of people and perhaps tons of candy), we decided to stay downtown to eat. We were not disappointed.

I've been to Two Blondes and a Shrimp well over a half dozen time and have never been disappointed. Last night was no exception. Though downtown was very busy, it was past 8 PM and the earlier crowd at the restaurant was waning. We were seated promptly right by the street on the patio, a location we chose. There was a "one man band" with acuostic guitar playing some nice, easy-listening music, a nice touch. The evening was pleasant with a slight breeze, and it was nice to watch the comings and goings of the ghouls and goblins. But it's all about the food, isn't it?

Our server was attentive and efficient, if not overly gregarious or outgoing. But we never lacked attention and got whatever we asked for promptly. Starting out with a Bass Ale and a Iced Tea, we took a few minutes to peruse the menu and then decided.

I started with a side salad, a fresh salad of mixed greens with pineapple, craisins, red grapes, and a viniagrette. Very nice and very refreshing, all that a side salad should be.

For the main course my friend had the Bourbon Pork--grilled pork tenderloin with a bourbon sauce (pictured left). It was wonderful. Grilled perfectly and tender and juicy, the gentle sauce complimenting the great flavor of the pork. And it was moist and juicy--they know how to cook a pork tenderloin. For sides he had a corn medley that contained "fresh off the cob" chunks of corn and a mix of a few other vegetables--it was both tasty and looked good. His other side was the famous so-called "macaroni and cheese." I say "so-called" because it's actually flat sheets of pasta with a cheesy sauce. The only complaint is that perhaps it's a bit two smooth, with an almost processed cheese or (heaven forbid!) Velveeta-like texture. Still, it was mighty tasty, very rich and creamy. I have since tried my variation or imitation of this dish, and very successfully, my friend said!

For my main course I chose the Blackened Catfish Sandwich. Not really a sandwich, it's a large piece of banana chile cornbread served over a bed of creamed greens, and topped with a filet of cajun-fried catfish and a bit of a drizzle of a flavorful non-tartar sauce. It was wonderful. The bed of creamed greens was indeed creamy and cheesy, without a hint of bitter flavor that improperly cooked greens can give. It was very good. The banana chile corn bread was wonderful. The chile flavor was subdued and not overpowering--balanced by the sweetness of the banana; it was a very good cornbread. And the catfish? Well, it was divine. Properly fried and not overcooked, cajun-seasoned, it was very good. The dish was sauced with a nice tasting, hint-of-lemon creamy sauce, somewhat reminiscent of a tartar sauce, but without the chunkiness of that. It was very good and a nice compliment. 

Now for the other side. The portion of catfish was small and the portion of cornbread more than substantial. It make for a bit of unbalance. There was a lot of cornbread to eat for very little catfish. I think this dish would have benefited from a smaller portion of the cornbread (you can see how thick it is in the picture) and a more substantial piece of catfish. After all was said and done, I had more cornbread than i cared for and was wanting more of the catfish. After all, it's called a Blackened Catfish Sandwich not a catfish topped cornbread. The catfish should have been more of a star. Still, it was a very good meal, each indredient properly and wonderfully cooked, and each ingredient very good both by itself, and in combination with the others (if only the portions were a bit more balanced, that is). 

I've eaten here a number of times and will be back. Along with their neighbor just around the corner, Stones Throw Bistro, there are two very fine restaurants in downtown Sanford--high quality food in a charming atmosphere and at a decent price for what you pay. Our total bill which was two entrees, a side salad, two beers and and Iced Tea was a reasonable $42 plus tip. Not bad, not bad at all. I recommend you try Two Blondes and a Shrimp and see if you agree with me!
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1 comment:

  1. Mmmm, you've got me craving for a catfish sandwich with this post!I came acroos your blog from the foodieblogroll and I'd love to guide our readers to your site if you won't mind.Just add your choice of foodista widget to this post and it's all set, Thanks!