Rolling in Dough

Photo by Rimas Zailskas

Photo by Rimas Zailskas

There was an important breakfast choice to be made; leftover 2 Guys pizza or Raisin Bran. Let’s just say the milk stayed in the fridge.

You know when you think you should go looking for alfalfa sprouts but what you really, really want is comforting, politically incorrect blow-your-calorie-budget pizza, wings and beer? Even if you won’t admit it, I sure will. And 2 Guys Pizza and Ribs is worth the sin.

My first visit was with pals from work. Spinach artichoke dip, golden BBQ wings, Marguerita pizza and straightforward pepperoni pizza were on the table by the time I got there. Lucky I didn’t show up much later, because my buddies were behaving like vultures. Clearly, they’d been here before. With a glass of Gnarly Head Merlot, I dove in for my more-than-fair-share.

2 Guy’s spinach artichoke dip is exquisite in its simplicity — just spinach, artichoke hearts and lots and lots of gooey cheese, served with toasted Panini bread.The wings are terrific as well; 2 Guys offers 13 ways to have your wings, as well as super-size options. If you’re really a “wingnut” you can get 50 fried, sauced wings for about $35. Yum.

You may remember 2 Guys from their old location near the YMCA in Hendersonville. John and Melody Crawford purchased the existing business about four years ago and, although they put their own stamp on it with a few changes, they kept what people loved most about the food. Their pizza crust, for example, is my kind of dough (I know…everyone has their preferences — Chicago vs. New York, Thin vs. Deep Dish — but ya gotta have a favorite!). I love when the crust has a little bit of yeasty chew to it, and it has to be dusted with yellow cornmeal on the edges. Not so much crust that it overwhelms the toppings, just enough to know its there.

On my second visit, a part-of-my-heart friend and her baby daughter joined me. I’m the Godmother to this perfect little pineapple of a girl (which seems fitting, as she seemed delightedly at home in the bar area). The point of this digression is that three servers came over to tickle her tummy, and her fancy. This place is friendly — the wait staff makes you feel like you’re a regular, even on your first visit. My girl (the big one, not the little one) is a beer fan, so she was happy at the conga line of beers on tap that are available. I stuck with a nice Pinot Grigio (wines are reasonable; nothing over $7).

Melody (pictured) and John Crawford, owners of 2 Guys Pizza, recently added an outdoor terrace at their new location in Downtown Hendersonville.

Melody (pictured) and John Crawford, owners of 2 Guys Pizza, recently added an outdoor terrace at their new location in Downtown Hendersonville.
Photo by Rimas Zailskas
The Crawfords took over this space last year and spent months renovating it, opening last December. If you’re an old timer, you will recall that the building used to be called the Heritage Square Building. The space is divided into several eating areas…the dark and clubby bar, an outer dining area, a party room that can host up to 30 revelers and even an outside patio.

A third visit had me sampling the Philly Cheese “2 Guys Way” pizza and garlic knots. The knots were slathered in fresh garlic and butter…perfection in a twist. The pizza was topped with shaved marinated rib eye, Alfredo sauce (made in-house) with secret steak seasoning, mushrooms, roasted red peppers and onions. There are over 20 specialty pizzas or you can build your own with a choice of toppings. And, they will turn any of the specialty pizzas into a calzone (kind of a pizza turnover, if you have never tried one). Theirs are unique because they gild the lily with Ricotta.

What about greens, you ask? Well, I did walk by a fellow having a Greek Salad that looked crisp, fresh and delicious. So you can be good (or relatively so) at 2 Guys if you must. But I suggest you save room for dessert, prepared by pastry magician Stephen Spence, who has been thrilling me with his baked goods for the last five years. Tiramisu cake, NY style cheesecake and peanut butter pie are all good for a sugar high.

When telling a buddy about the food at 2 Guys, he summed it up by saying, “That’s Super Bowl food.” And he’s exactly right. This is feel-good, party food in a friendly atmosphere.

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