I purchased a book earlier this year in anticipation of summer travels. It's called Meals Worth Stopping for in Florida, by The Gourmettes. You can get a little more info about the book and order it here(check out the reviews it got down at the bottom of the page!). It contains oodles of local restaurants within 10 miles of the 4 major interstates in the state: I-95, I-75, I-10, and I-4. I keep it in my car and have consulted it on the way down to and back from Granny's thus far.S and I tried this place by ourselves last time we came back from Granny's. The description is what called us in... "Where Weird Rules" Linger Lodge Restaurant and Bar.
This sign located inside the restaurant, and the letters are made of snakes! How creative! : )
I had a close encounter with a resident black racer at the front door! Kinda ironic... : )
Located at 7205 Linger Lodge Road in Bradenton, you would NEVER find it unless you knew where it was! It is in the middle of an RV park, that is in the middle of a neighorhood! The directions given in the book are exact and still I was wondering... But we made it just fine, and we were ready to eat!
The inside of the establishment is COVERED(I do not use that term loosely here either!) in "taxidermic masterpieces"! Now, Al Roker is the one who said it was one of the five wierdest restaurants in the US, but he's not a Florida native, so I'll cut him some slack. It's not wierd, it is really cool!
The bar-area display case
If you have lived in Florida for a while, I am sure you have come across Floridian taxidermy at some point. If it's big or unusual, and we kill it, we want it mounted on our wall, preserved for all to see and to be passed down for generations to come! All manner of animal, natural and not-so-natural, are diplayed in cases and ceilings and walls and tables(read: if it can be attached to it in any way, it is displayed there). So if you are not accustomed to this type of thing, prepare to be amazed, or creeped out!
Rattlers in the bar area
This is a not-so-natural taxidermy piece(sorry for the poor photo quality).
(We have really talented squirrels here in Florida! There is also one playing golf!)
View from the porch of the Braden River( through the screen-sorry).
There is inside, outside screened, with live band at times, and bar seating.
An excerpt from the book: "Also don't park in the space that says "Senators only." That spot's reserved for Florida Senator Mike Bennett, who bought the place a few years ago on an emotional whim after having vacationed here as a boy. Seems fitting somehow; the place is as wild and wierd as Florida politics."
I have to say that the food we had was not spectacular, it was ok. S's hamburger, though good, was a "bubba burger". I had loaded chips with pulled pork and cheese. The pulled pork was good and the homemade potato chips were good, very crispy(think- kettle cooked). In all fairness we just ordered bar food, not an entree or any specialty, so I can't judge on that. We will be taking the kids to visit the taxidermy splendor and I will order something more entree-ish. I like the close proximity to the Interstate, the fact that it is a local eatery(read: NOT Mcdonalds!), and it's cool!
Check out the book and the restaurant and go on your own adventure!