Gnat's Landing is convenient if you need a place to eat on Baxter Street near the library or St. Mary's Hospital, which is why I have been there a few times, meeting one or two women friends for lunch. It is more of a bar than a restaurant, but the seafood menu is surprisingly interesting.
It is, however, even tackier than you might expect. There is a giant plastic shark decorated with Christmas lights, plywood walls, lighted beer signs, video games, and a mermaid painted on the ceiling. A bar dominates the room. There are four booths and several high tables with stools (not good for my back). An outdoor patio may be nice, if we have pleasant weather again some day. Music from the 60s was not too loud, and the bartender/manager/owner? has been very friendly. There were five or six other small groups there the last time I went, just after noon, men and women. One of my least favorite restaurant features: two televisions on the wall.
When they opened, they had that dreadful sign that they thought was funny. (I hesitate to repeat it, but you might not know what I am talking about: Bra and Girll, I think it said). My friends agreed that it was offensive; we would not set foot in there. Then they changed the sign, so we thought we ought to give it a try. They have also been supportive of community events.
One cold day I went there for lunch with Becky and Deb. I asked for a hot drink and they heated up some bourbon with honey and lemon for me. Ooo, it was good (but strong). Deb and I split a grilled seafood platter--scallops and fish. It was delicious and there was plenty for two. I have to say they have some of the best hush puppies I've eaten. They can be pretty unappetizing, but these were really good. They also make a wonderful crunchy cole slaw without mayonnaise. I think the secret ingredient is ramen noodles. I was tempted to order a Patty Melt (because it's my name!), but I didn't. Becky did and she said it was delicious. The last time I ate there, we split a grilled grouper platter. They happily served it on two plates for us, splitting everything, including the check. The sweet potato fries were great, too. There was more than enough food for two of us; we didn't eat it all.
Atmosphere - good (depends what you're looking for), Service - very good, Food - very good
Gnat's Landing, 1080 Baxter Street. Click for website.
The restaurant has a bar ambiance (very casual), but the food is delicious: lots of appetizers, sandwiches (including burgers and veggie options), soups, salads, but also Southern specialities, and fried and grilled seafood platters. Kids menu, large private room, catering. The staff were friendly and helpful. The original restaurant is on St. Simon's, so look for it if you go there.
Patty's picks: Grilled seafood platter, with crunchy cole slaw--enough for two people
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