This is just one of those restaurants that exemplify what Florida living is all about. It’s located on the Indian River, you can drive up and dock your boat, grab a bite to eat, and enjoy those wonderful sunsets! Owners David and Ellen Lane took ownership of Riverside back in 2008. David had been working there for over 30 years and his wife Ellen, 18 years as bartenders before taking ownership. They have a long history here and know this place and their customers very well. Chef Brandon Howard is the creative genius in the kitchen, and he seems to come up with some fun & creative dishes (as you will see below) that keep the customers coming back for more!
I’m sure you’ve driven past this location a hundred times without realizing it. As you drive across the Barber bridge in a car, you are too low to see them over the rail. Those of you who are tech-savvy and use your cellphone to search for restaurants in the area are aware what a gem this place really is. The restaurant’s main parking lot has a lot of parking spaces, with only a few of them reserved for the Bait & Tackle shop. They do close at 6pm, so any time after that those spaces become available. In the event that the primary lot is full, there is overflow parking immediately outside the lot and more space beneath the bridge. When you walk inside the restaurant, the calm, laid-back atmosphere immediately transports you to an earlier time in Florida. If you want a quieter dining experience, there is a separate dining room with many low top tables available. In the large main dining room, there are plenty of high tops and seats at the bar so you can better appreciate the 180-degree views of the river. There is a stage in the main dining room as well for live performances by local performers. Jake Owen occasionally drops by for a spontaneous performance when he is in town.
A VERY LIMITED QUANTITY Gift Card deal is available at the bottom of this article. They usually sell out within hours of when this article has been published, so don’t wait to purchase quickly if you want one!
Now let’s dive right in and see what this place has to offer and what I had to eat!
Rear Dock View of Restaurant – Dock your boat and head in to grab a bite to eat!
Outdoor Deck Seating – Perfect for catching the wonderful sunsets!
Inside Dining Room & Bar – Enjoy 180-degree views of the river!
They just upgraded about 15 of their TVs to work with Orange Door. It’s a music video system that can be controlled and programmed to play the music and genre that they want at certain times of the day. It’s pretty awesome!
Corn & Cheddar Hush Puppies – Fried till golden brown, yet still light and fluffy in the middle. The corn & cheddar flavor were definitely apparent when taking a bite. The dipping sauce had a slight tang to it, but I found that it wasn’t necessary, since the hush puppies were so flavorful without it!
Middle Neck Clams – A large portion of clams were served in an Indian River Country citrus sauce. The clams were quite tender, and the broth was bright and lemony. They were delicious!
Kickin Chicken Sandwich – This is a unique twist on a traditional BBQ sandwich. Chef uses both chicken breast and thigh meat, chops it up finely, then dresses it in a Carolina mustard style BBQ sauce. It was sweet, tangy, and had just the right amount of sauce on it. The coleslaw added a bit of crunch, and the jalapenos added just a touch of heat!
The Crabby Pig Sandwich – This is ONE IMPRESSIVE sandwich! It’s made with lettuce, tomato, thick sliced pork belly, a crispy fried soft-shell crab, and dressed with a cilantro lime sauce, all served on toasted rye bread. As I was reading the description on the menu, I was thinking “Pork belly with a soft-shelled crab?” What was chef thinking!?! Then I took my first bite and realized how good the combination of flavors and textures were together. If you are weary about trying it because of the crab, don’t be. My food blogger friend, Jackson Harbin joined me during the review, and he really doesn’t like seafood, but he took a bite and said it was really good! We (Jackson and I) highly recommend you try it!
Riverside Chicken Parmesan Sandwich – It’s hard to tell from the photo, but there are two chicken cutlets stacked up on this sandwich. I assembled it, cut it in half, and took a bite. While it’s a messy one to eat, the flavors are spot on. The chicken was cooked to perfection and was crunchy on the edges. The garlic bun has a nice toast on it too! Sweet potato fries were served alongside.
Reese’s Peanut Butter Pie – If you’ve been following my blog for quite some time now, you know that I’m in LOVE with anything chocolate & peanut butter, and this pie is no exception! It was smooth, creamy, and very rich, but so worth the extra calories!
Riverside Cafe was featured on Season 1, Episode 3 of our foodie show, Holy Grail Eats! Click on the link above to check it out!
Missed out on this Gift Card deal? It sold out in only 2 hours!!! My email subscribers and my mobile app users are the first to know about these deals, so be sure to subscribe and download and install our free mobile app so you don’t miss out next time!