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The Dugout - Hendersonville, NC

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Just doing a shout out for the Dugout in Hendersonville. It's in the old Margaritagrille location and I must, repeat MUST, emphatically state that the new owners of this spot have completely CLEANED the place. Four layers of carpet, flooring, etc. stripped down to the (now color-stained) cement floor. They lightened it up a ton. Redid the kitchen and bar. They really have done a lot of work.

It is now a sports bar, but not loud. They have several flat screens, but they are on mute. You can get a little box for your table for a particular TV if you want to hear what's playing. They also have music playing throughout, but it's not too loud to have a conversation. It is most definitely family friendly in the sense it is not a "bar scene" (at least during dining hours). Right now, it is open 7 days/week. They have live music most (maybe all?) weekends.

The food is massively better than Margaritagrille. Supposedly, everything is made from scratch as much as possible. This is not your high end restaurant and doesn't intend to be (and they would prefer to be known as a restaurant first and a bar second), but the food has been solid pub type stuff. Prices are very reasonable.

We especially like the haddock plate/sandwich when they have it. It's frozen, which is to be expected here, but is surprisingly good. The batter (if you get it fried,which we do) is homemade, light and seasoned well. And the piece is huge. I always take half home. We tried the cod (when they didn't have haddock) and didn't care for it, so just FYI on that. We've tried the burgers and they are good too. They will cook medium and up. Their fries are cut to order and taste really good but they are still struggling with the crispiness, so they are a bit limp, but I still order them because they have good flavor. I really like their cole slaw - it is the mayo/tangy type which is what I like. Other items people had at our table were: salad which looked good, reuben, a chicken/cheese sandwich (can't remember exactly what it was) and a philly cheesesteak (what I had the first time I went). Everything was reported to be good. I wasn't enamored with my cheesesteak, but it may be partly me. I like a really really really gooey cheesey cheesesteak and rarely get it.

Haven't sampled too many apps because we got stuck on the bbq chicken dip. not too spicy. we love it and get it every time we go now!

Desserts are homemade (wife of the owner has a pastry degree from J&W). Simple, but good.

Sorry this is long, but I had to post some details because these folks are trying really hard. Their biggest obstacle is going to be overcoming the HORRIBLE reputation of Margaritagrille and Eleanor's before that. The previous clientele is not too thrilled with the changes, so have not been saying nice things around town. The Dugout is trying to cater to a different crowd now and I'm very happy about that!

I don't think they have a website, but they are on FB.
http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Dug...

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