Gabe’s Downtown – Douglasville, GA 

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At some point in the last few months, a new restaurant has opened in downtown Douglasville.  We first noticed it when we went to look at the 1950s McDonald’s “set” they had built for the Ray Kroc biopic that was filming here last month.  We were excited to see they had opened – one of my biggest complaints that we have about D-ville is the lack of good non-chain dining choices.  We have Gumbeaux’s (about which I’ve oddly never written) and … [insert the sound of crickets here].  

So another unique restaurant has been direly needed.  Gabe’s Downtown Bistro could fill that void.  It is less than a block away from Gumbeaux’s, which has a perpetual 45+ wait after they open at 4:30 on Saturdays and on most evenings and does not take reservations.  But here’s the thing. Gabe’s does not take reservations, either.  And the cuisine?  Cajun.  Okay, now we have two choices for dining out here that are neither fast-food or chain or strip mall – and they both serve Cajun food?  

The first night that we went (random Friday), after not wanting to wait 40+ minutes at the other place, we found that they had a forty minute wait, too.   I asked that night about reservations, was told that they didn’t accept them, and the hostess suggested that we show up at 5:30, when they opened, so we wouldn’t have to wait.  Why didn’t I think of that?  Oh, yeah, I was still in the car on the way home from work….

So on a different Friday when I got home a little earlier, we decided to give Gabe’s another try.  There’s been a Gabe’s in Villa Rica for years and this is their second location.  I’m fairly certain the building they are in has been a bail bond place as long as we’ve been out here (they’re located across the street from the City police department), that they’ve renovated and to which they’ve added a second level and terrace dining.

We waited about fifteen minutes to be seated (6:30 appears to be the “sweet spot” right now).  After being seated, we noticed two things:IMG_0562

The decor was very plain – grey walls with folky Cajun art and driftwood(?) and furniture that looks like it came from the official meat and three supply center.  

And the place was loud.   Ridiculously loud.  We had a hard time hearing our server – and she shared that we weren’t the only ones with that problem.   I felt like I had to yell to Jo to carry on a conversation.  And it didn’t get any better during the entire meal.  I started with a cup of their loaded potato soup,

 

which had a good deal of flavor.  It didn’t seem that it would at the beginning, but as I dug the spoon into the bottom of the cup, it seemed to bring all of the seasoning to life.  My beloved ordered salmon with white rice and grilled vegetables, which is usually served with pineapple salsa.IMG_0567

It was also served with shrimp and crab beignets, which were going to be omitted, but I suggested that they be ordered and given to me to try (thanks, love).  The beignets were an odd combination of seafood and sweet – like a sweet hush-puppy, stuffed with crab and crawfish.  The salmon was very flavorful, even without the salsa and was a good-sized serving of fish.

I ordered a cornbread and andouille stuffed bacon-wrapped pork chop, topped with a mango demi glace, IMG_0566

which was served with roasted sweet mashed potatoes and grilled vegetables.  This was a fantastically put together dish and the description was on-point.  The food is very good.  We’ll try it again and see if the meal is worth enduring the  ambient noise level.

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