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RATINGS
Food
Service
Value
Atmosphere

Details

CUISINES
American, Bar, Seafood
Special Diets
Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options
Meals
Lunch, Dinner, Late Night
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meals, features
Reviews (303)
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116
90
49
21
27
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Time of year
LanguageEnglish
Traveler rating
116
90
49
21
27
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All reviews seafood grilled grouper fries cuban sandwich tacos ribs sit outside gainesville area
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Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Some of the worst food, served after a half-hour wait, was some of the worst we have ever been served. Meat that was tough as an old boot, bernaise sauce cold, Linguini with seafood looked like it had been eaten once before. And that was...the good stuff. The waitress was indifferent, sort of spacey, hard to find, and we had to just grab another waiter and pay him. Strongly recommend this place be avoided, but that is just our opinion.More

Date of visit: July 2022
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Reviewed June 30, 2022 via mobile

Have not been here in awhile. Went to dinner last night (Wed night) with my daughter and we shared the firecracker shrimp appetizer and the mushroom flatbread. Both were wonderful! Nice portions and tasted great. We split the cheesecake dessert, which came out as three...brownie-sized portions - very tasty and nice amount ! Overall, we were very pleased and will start to come back more. Our waitress was friendly and attentive, food came out quickly (although they were pretty full), and music was nice and not too loud (band was inside because of rain, and we were near bathrooms fairly close to the band). The only reason for 4 stars was because they had buckets out for water leaks (raining), which took away from the experience.More

Date of visit: June 2022
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Reviewed June 22, 2022 via mobile

Ballyhoo was once the pride of Gainesville---high quality and well run. Not any more. Not even close. It seems like many restaurants they have fallen victim to the Great Resignation, ever since reopening after the height of pandemic, whereas people---especially young people---are not willing to...work any more. As a result, Ballyhoo has to employ anyone who is willing to work there. Unfortunately the kitchen is now an absolute train wreck. Over the last year, there has been a near zero chance that food orders will come out correctly and nobody seems to care. In one instance, kitchen staff served up a bowl of spaghetti sauce, even though I ordered chile. The server looked into the matter and then disclosed the reason: The kitchen ran out of chile and spaghetti sauce was the next best thing. They hoped the customer would not notice. This is only one example of failure after failure, where customers say to one another "you can't make this stuff up." Even more sad is that the problems have gotten progressively worse. After going there once or twice per week for more than 10 years, I cannot hold on any longer. Maybe some day they will get their act together, but I will not go back for quite some time.More

Date of visit: June 2022
Helpful?1  
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Reviewed May 22, 2022 via mobile

My first time here. Dinner with friends was nice. Eric our server is a meat eater so did not recommend the Greek salad which was great! Hubby’s ribs were good. Eric was friendly and professional. Fortunately I was done when the music started so I...sat in the car and waited for others to finish. I would only return if the band is NOT playing.More

Date of visit: May 2022
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Reviewed January 27, 2022 via mobile

Food not so great. Cuban sandwich not enough mustard. Black bean soup tasteless. Sicilian pizza mushrooms too large heavy cheese. Grilled grouper tacos okay but grouper pieces very large. I had to break turn up myself to fit in taco. The watermelon basil margarita was...mediocre. Hardly any taste. The best thing about Ballyhoos is the staff. Lunch server was very good. Attentive & nice. Dominique for dinner was amazing. Very attentive, responded to questions, knowledgeable about menu. Very pleasant. Probably won’t go backMore

Date of visit: January 2022
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Reviewed December 27, 2021 via mobile

First, the waitress was sweet and did a good job. Perhaps we were there on a bad night. It took one hour to get our food. It came in waves, not all at once. The gumbo smelled bad and tasted bad. The ranch dressing was...tart and tasted like it was made with yogurt. All in all we didn’t have a good experience and will not be returning again.More

Date of visit: December 2021
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Reviewed July 26, 2021

My husband and I were out for a drive yesterday and ended up in Gainesville, it was around 2:30 and we were really hungry since we had not eaten all day. Looking for a place to eat and we drove past Ballyhoos, decided to stop...in for a late lunch. What a mistake! The restaurant was not crowded at all and we were seated immediately. Our server came to our table immediately and was very nice. We placed our drink order and also ordered an appetizer, fried calamari. Well it took 30 minutes to get the calamari and it was not very good, over cooked and dry, we ate in anyway because as I said we had not eaten all day. I ordered a shrimp Po Boy and my husband had the Mahi Almondine, that also took another 30 minutes to get. As I stated the restaurant was not busy at all, maybe 1/4 occupied. When we finally received our food I was shocked and very disappointed by the way my Po Boy looked. It was supposed to be fried shrimp and I actually have no idea what they did to that shrimp but they were not fried and they had some gelatinous goo on top. I tried to eat it but I just couldn’t, it tasted absolutely terrible. I had to send it back and I NEVER send food back. The waitress took it off our bill, no problem she said, she had to get the manager to remove the charge. Well I thought for sure the manager would stop by our table to talk to us but no. If I was a manager of a restaurant and someone returned their food and I would surely stop by to see what the problem so I could try to rectify it for future customers. My husband ate his food but said the fish was very dry and not tasty. All I all a terrible dining experience and it explains why there were so few people there.More

Date of visit: July 2021
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Reviewed June 28, 2021

The serving of sauteed spinach that accompanied my meal tasted like someone had dumped an entire salt shaker in it. I had to send it back. Another member of my party sent his cocktail back because it did not have any alcohol in it. The...server was very gracious and accommodated all of our requests. Bottom line, the service was good, food not so much.More

Date of visit: June 2021
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Reviewed June 6, 2021

The food here is very good for seafood. We ate outside and there was music. It was a beautiful night and we enjoyed ourselves in this relaxing place.

Date of visit: May 2021
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Reviewed May 13, 2021

My family and I were in town for a couple of days and a team member at our hotel recomended this place. It was a cool place with nautical stuff hanging all over. Reminds me of the keys a bit. The food was really good,...and we were able to sit on the patio and listen to a band. After a long year of not doing much of that it was a really nice time for us.More

Date of visit: April 2021
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Reviewed April 24, 2021 via mobile

I had been here several times many years ago, so I was happy that it survived Covid and eager to eat at Ballyhoo Grill with friends and family. I had been jonesing for a frozen drink for a week in anticipation of my visit only...to be disappointed that none were available. The food was still good but the service was mediocre although the staff was friendly and we had 4 employees wish us a good evening while we were leaving.More

Date of visit: April 2021
Helpful?1  
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Reviewed April 5, 2021

We traveled allover looking for a place to eat because alot was closed do it being Easter. But we glad we found this place. Great service and food and atmosphere.

Date of visit: April 2021
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Reviewed March 27, 2021

Had a group of 8, and unfortunately, the first 2 there chose outdoor seating. While the band was okay, they were way too loud & even the waiter had to get right next to your face to hear your order. And the service was so...s-l-o-w. Food was just okay as well. Once the sun went down, the temperature dropped significantly, so be prepared (I wasn't). There are better choices in the Gainesville area. Won't be returning next year unless someone else picks up the tab. Oh, and when someone asked if the waiter was new, he replied he was & we should tip accordingly...sigh.More

Date of visit: March 2021
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Reviewed March 10, 2021 via mobile

Service was great and food was very good. Spotless place to eat we will be back nice to sit outside on a good day

Date of visit: March 2021
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Reviewed October 18, 2020 via mobile

Called our 5 meal order in and was told 20 minutes. In truth, it was closer to 45 and my husband had to wait at least 30 minutes while they finished preparing the order. Not a huge deal, just slightly annoying. Food was great though....My husband ordered the ribs and I ordered the Mahi Mahi almondine. Every person in our party thoroughly enjoyed their meal.More

Date of visit: October 2020
Helpful?2  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Questions & Answers
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Sallie65
March 29, 2018|
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Response from Tina M | Reviewed this property |
Yes
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pkgalto
March 18, 2017|
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Response from alid134 | Reviewed this property |
I suppose so but better talk to them ASAP as it's a busy place and you have a party of about 20.
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Frequently Asked Questions about Ballyhoo Grill

Yes, Ballyhoo Grill offers takeout services.

Ballyhoo Grill is rated accordingly in the following categories by Tripadvisor travelers:
  • Food: 4
  • Service: 4
  • Value: 3.5
  • Atmosphere: 4