You’re on what used to be a winding backroad on the Gulf side of Florida, outside of Sarasota and deep into Manatee County. There are subdivisions and suburbs around you, but not much else. Suddenly, you make a left and there, tucked in the mossy trees, is a relic from the past – the Linger Lodge Restaurant (and campground and RV park, just so you know). It’s hokey, with stuffed animals from the property (it’s been a campground since 1945 and a lodge since 1968), including an alligator with a fake leg in his mouth, but you can’t beat their fresh Florida grouper. Or the “gator bites” (they do serve alligator and became the first place I’d ever tasted frog legs); this place has all the fare you’d expect from a fish house but better and in a totally bizarre atmosphere – Al Roker named the restaurant one of the top five “Weirdest Restaurants” in the United States – but the people are friendly and there’s a mix of ol’ folks and families and young people, and the service is great. The full bar is also pretty nice, and there’s a great patio. The ahi tuna was delicious, but I loved the hushpuppies more; check out the Linger Lodge next time you’re in the Bradenton area – you’ll leave amused.
Filed under: Great Eats, North America | Tagged: 5 Weirdest Restaurants in the country, ahi tuna, Al Roker, bar, Bradenton Restaurants, family friendly, FL, Florida, Florida grouper, fresh fish, fresh seafood, friendly folk, frog legs, gator bites, great eat, hushpuppies, Linger Lodge Restaurant, Manatee County, patio, Sarasota-Bradenton area, strange decor, taxidermied animals, United States of America, USA, water view | Leave a Comment »