Sometimes being a grown up is not fun. For example, when you have to do your taxes. Sometimes it’s not so bad, like when you reward yourself for doing your taxes by trying out a new restaurant. It was on such an occasion that we stopped in at Two Dudes Eatery & Market for dinner in Atlantic Beach.
Address: 22 Seminole Road Atlantic Beach, FL 32233
Two Dudes is in an old, retro shopping strip right off Atlantic Blvd. over the intercoastal waterway in Atlantic Beach. By retro, we mean the building was old and maybe could use a face lift. It’s next to a Laundromat and an auto insurance place. It’s a low key location, to put it mildly. But it turns out that fits the feel of Two Dudes pretty well. The restaurant feels like the kind of place you’d want to come for some fresh seafood after a nice long day riding the waves. It’s definitely a laid back sort of place. There are maybe a dozen tables and a small bar inside the restaurant. It did feel a bit worn. There were upholstered chairs at every table that I think used to be bright colors. Besides being faded, they appeared to not have been cleaned for a quite a while. Besides the chairs, it looked like the Two Dudes were a bit relaxed when it came to cleaning, which always gives me pause. We pressed on and lived to tell about it. While perusing the menu I noticed something very enticing. Kids under 8 eat free with an adult purchasing a meal! Not on a certain day of the week, not during certain hours, just free, all the time. How delightful! Thank you, Two Dudes! Unfortunately our very picky toddler won’t eat any of the kids menu items offered (chicken fingers, kids burger, hot dog, kid tacos, fish fingers), but most kids and parents would be perfectly happy with the offerings. Our toddler found solace in the Beach Chili ($5). It really is a great chili, just like mom used to make: ground beef, pinto beans, tomatoes, and onions. It comes with tortilla chips, which delighted the pint-sized eater. I “helped” him eat a few bites of the chili, and I found it to be rich and hearty without being spicy. If you have a three-year-old that lives on beans, or you just like chili, the Beach Chili is a solid choice.
Next up was the Seafood Cobb Salad ($13)- Fresh mixed greens, diced tomato, avocado, crab meat, shredded mixed cheeses, shrimp, onions, apple wood smoked bacon. We ordered this a la When Harry Met Sally. No cheese, no bacon, dressing on the side. I know I lost some of you when I nixed the cheese and bacon, but stay with me. Reviewing restaurants has not been easy on the waistline and this visit happens to be on our healthy eating day. This salad was fabulous! It was a generous amount of mixed greens and they were fresh- not one piece of rotten lettuce. This is a big deal, as I tend to attract rotten lettuce. The shrimp were delightfully grilled, there was ample crabmeat, and the tomatoes and avocado were ripe. Any number of salad dressings would have complimented this salad, but I opted for the housemade Coconut-Lime dressing. This is a creamy dressing, so it’s not the lightest. But it was smooth and a little bit sweet. It was good on the salad, but I bet it’s even better as a sauce for fresh seafood. It’s so delicious they package and sell this dressing for folks to take home like it was a BBQ sauce or something. If you are looking for a salad to get you out of your salad rut, this is it. It’s just different enough that it doesn’t feel like you are eating the same old salad again, and it is executed excellently. If you’re a salad person you’ll love your trip to two dudes!
Next we had the shrimp basket with fries (Market price, but $17 the day we went). The teenager opted for his shrimp to be fried, because how else would you prepare shrimp? Actually, the shrimp were awesome. They were very fresh and very lightly battered. Sometimes when you eat fried food it is hard to tell what the food was before it was fried. This is the American way, no? In this case it was very evident that we were eating shrimp even though these shrimp were fried. They looked like shrimp, not mystery fried lumps. The fries were also very lightly battered and then fried. Two words: DE-LICIOUS! If you are looking for French fries that are worth the calories, these are them.
Our final menu choice of the night was the Goofy Foot platter ($21, a combination platter with choice of two Fresh Catch selections and two delicious sides). We chose scallops and grouper, both grilled, with onion straws and mango-wasabi slaw as our sides. The scallops were very good. They had a little bit of seasoning and flavor with the grilling. They were cooked perfectly. The grouper had a little less flavor than the scallops, but was still a good fresh fish. Grouper tends to be like the chicken of fish. It lends itself to whatever preparation it is being used for, it’s great on sandwiches, fried, on salads, in stews, etc. Grilled on its own, grouper is not always the most exciting choice, but it has a firm, easy to eat texture. The onion straws were yummy and not too greasy for a fried food. Our mango-wasabi slaw tasted more like just wasabi slaw. We were really looking for a nice sweet meets spicy balance and we unfortunately couldn’t taste the mango at all. It definitely had a good bit of spice to it, so if you are sensitive to spicy foods be aware.
The service at Two Dudes is good. Our waitress was helpful in answering questions about menu items, and attentive throughout our meal. The place really filled up while we were there and it was packed by the time we left. There seemed to be many regular customers. The wait staff was more than capable of handling a full house.
All in all we enjoyed our dinner at Two Dudes. The dudes have dubbed their restaurant style as “Fine dining in flip flops” and that seems to fit perfectly. For freshly caught and prepared seafood in Atlantic Beach, head to Two Dudes.
- Fresh, yummy seafood
- Kids under 8 eat free
- Good service
- small, fills up quick
- not the cleanest restaurant we’ve seen