Woody’s River Roo Pub & Grill
5717 18th St E
Ellenton, FL 34222
Living for 4 years here in Bradenton I have to admit , we did not go out to check out places enough to know a lot of them. Now this one we drove by literally dozens of times. Maybe even hundreds. Not sure. Sitting close to Ellenton Outlet Mall where we go often and right along the freeway bridge, which we cross going South or North, we saw the outside seating area many times and pretty much every single time we said “ Let’s go there”.
Today finally it was the day. After doing some work in the area we decided to stop for a quick lunch and see how it is.
We came from the East and I was not sure where to turn, so I took a left one street before getting to the freeway ramp. Once you are going towards the river it is easy. Just take a right and drive a couple hundred yards.
There is a good size parking lot. It was not very busy, but you could see that the place was well liked. We walked right into the beer garden, which looked OK. Plastic tables. A nice bar ( which I thought looked good), a stage for live music. You have a view on the river from pretty much every corner.
We walked through and decided to sit on the river side of the building where there were a few tables with a nice view. Photo below.
Seating on river side of building. View from Tiki Bar towards the pub.
It was a nice spot and we had the following view today.
View towards the I 75 bridge and river. View towards Tiki Bar and boat docks
You can not see it too good on the photos, but the view was nice.
It took only 1 minute for our server ( Chris) to show up and ask what we would like to drink. We went for the coke and also told her that we were ready to order.
I ordered the Angus Hot Dog. Asked if I can have Kraut with it, she said sure. I also ordered the onions and fries as a side. Christiane opted for the Tilapia sandwich and chose the apple sauce as a side.
We read in the menu, that you only get 2 refills of coke or pop. Strange I found, considering how much ice was in this little cup. See below.
At the most, you have a couple sips in this cup. Considering you are supposed to get two refills ( from a pitcher which had more ice cubes in it) and then need to pay extra, this was a turn off. 2.50 $ for this coke. Pretty bad.
Well the food did not take long. Which was a good thing, since we had places to go after this lunch.
Find the photos of what we got below.
Actual Angus Hot Dog with Sauerkraut and Onions and bacon , fries as a side
Tilapia Sandwich with Apple Sauce and no other side
Angus Hot Dog
The bun was pretty good. Good size and it was toasted. I liked the fact that it was not falling apart just touching it. The hot dog was good as well. Seemed grilled and had good taste. There was a little bacon below the hot dog, but you could not taste it. The Sauerkraut tasted good but was totally dry. I am German and I know Sauerkraut. Not much effort here. There was a few onions on the hot dog. But 50 cent? Amazing. The fries were almost cold, full of fat and the portion seemed like a leftover stack. Pretty small. I operated a kiosk with authentic gourmet hot dogs. Same size. Between 2.50 $ and 4.00 $ and what I saw today was not worth the 7.99 plus 1.50 for onions and kraut. 9.49 $ for what you see there.
The bun was a joke. Straight out of a package or bag. No taste to it. Soft. The fish was of good size with good seasoning. A little fishy, but over all good. Some plastic bottle tartar sauce and a little bit of applesauce. 11.99 $ for what you see.
When she brought the food I asked her if I could get Tabasco. She never brought it and walked by 7 times! ( not talking to me one time)
I was not asked how I liked it but if I would like to dessert. We negated and asked for the check. That one came very fast.
The entire lunch came to 28.00 $ and something plus a tip. Way too much for what was offered.
We have no problem to pay more, but expect that we get value for the price, which clearly here was not the case. Service was pretty low, food eatable but nothing to write home about. The coke story is a little irritating.
If I would make my next visit depending on this experience, I would never come back and would not recommend anyone to try it.
However, I am not sure how it would work out if I just come to drink beer and enjoy the view. The location is great and the place looks good. The Tiki Bar looks promising. If you want to eat on the water, there is clearly better choices for the same, lower or slightly higher price available.
We might give it another chance at some point, but I am now certain, that in 4 years I have not missed much.