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Riverside Cafe – Restaurant Review

Riverside Cafe is one of those places that define what Florida living is all about.  It’s located right on the water and you can drive up in your car or dock your boat, get a bite to eat, and enjoy those fabulous Florida sunsets!  Owners David and Ellen Lane took ownership of Riverside back in 2008.  David had been working at Riverside for over 24 years and his wife Ellen, 13 years as bartenders before taking ownership. They have a long history here and know this place and their customers very well.  Chef Brandon Howard’s new menu is fresh, creative, and features a variety of dishes to please most any palate.

This place is truly a “hidden” gem, a local’s place if you will.  If you have not lived here long, I’m sure you passed by this place a hundred times and did not know it was there.  Parking should not be too much of an issue with their main parking lot having quite a few spaces available, of which only a few are reserved for the Bait & Tackle shop located directly in front of the restaurant.  If the main lot is full, there is overflow just outside the lot with additional parking under the bridge.  As you enter the restaurant, you are transported to old Florida with a very laid-back vibe.  An interior dining room has several low top tables available if you prefer a quieter dining experience.  The main dining room has all high-top tables to help you better enjoy the 180-degree views of the water and has plenty of seats available at the bar.  A stage is also in this room for live performances by local artists.  If you care to dine outside, they do have a limited number of seats out on the deck so you may be in for a short wait if you prefer that option during peak times.

Now let’s dive right in and see what this place has to offer and what I had to eat!

Rear View from Dock
Water View from Deck
Dining Room and Bar
Jumbo Bavarian Soft Pretzel – OMG, this pretzel is HUGE!!! It’s presented on a banana hanger and is served with a side of beer queso and honey mustard for dipping. It was still warm when it arrived at our table and it is more than enough for 2 to 4 people to share. It was perfectly baked, with a nice crust, yet still soft and fluffy in the middle.
Grilled Skirt Steak – The skirt steak is grilled medium rare, then served over French fries, and topped with sautéed onions and mushrooms. A vegetable medley was served alongside. Skirt steak is not one of the most tender cuts of meat on the market, but Chef Brandon makes it melt in your mouth tender. It had a slight char on it and had that wonderful grilled flavor. The onions and mushrooms were a nice compliment to the steak.
Grouper Picatta – I was really happy to see this dish up next since Grouper is my absolute favorite fish! The fillets are lightly floured and pan-fried till golden brown and topped with a citrus cream sauce with capers. Rice and vegetables were served alongside. The grouper was spectacular! It was very moist, tender, and the citrus cream sauce added a creamy, yet bright lemony flavor to the dish.
Key Lime Pie – Nothing says Florida like Key Lime Pie! The custard was set perfectly and it had the right amount of key lime flavor. What a great way to round out a wonderful meal!

Riverside Cafe
Address: 3341 Bridge Plaza Dr, Vero Beach, FL 32963
Phone: (772) 234-5550
http://www.riversidecafe.com/

Click Here to watch the Holy Grail Eats episode featuring Riverside Cafe!

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