I’m sure that everyone figured out that my friend and I ate at Riverbend Billiards and Grill last week. The displayed photographs and archives from the huge fire that destroyed the old building were interesting and brought back many memories. The new establishment is bigger and brighter, and the food is tasty, hot and inexpensive!
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Snow was falling as we walked into the eatery under review this time. The patio seating was deserted, but I took a moment to read the display of when live music was featured and what the specials were. We were greeted immediately when we entered and instructed to sit anywhere. There was a section of a jet available, but we chose a booth next to a mirrored wall. Neon beer ads were framed by faux windows, and ancient lighting fixtures held flickering light bulbs that looked like flames. Two baby grand pianos were on a pedestal near the front of the room under an enormous tragedy-comedy sign. More booths were available upstairs, and a bar and game room were off to one side. Each table had catsup, mustard, hot sauce, steak sauce, sweeteners and grinders with salt and pepper.
Our server was friendly and eager to help in any way. She helped us decide what to order, informing us which items were very spicy and which were not. I wanted to try the alligator bites but decided on a cup of lobster bisque, toasted ravioli and sweet potato waffle fries. My companion took advantage of the daily special, a bourbon burger at a special low price and a bowl of gumbo. We both requested lemonade.
The gumbo and lobster bisque were served first. We were given a fork and knife in a napkin, a soup spoon and a basket of saltines. We were both delighted with our orders. My companion said the hearty gumbo was the best ever. I enjoyed every spoonful of the delicate bisque and wished I had ordered a bowlful, instead of only a cup. Both soups were served with buttered and toasted French bread.
As we finished up the last few drops, our remaining order came up. I had eight toasted ravioli with marinara sauce and a basket of sweet potato waffle fries with a serving of honey-mustard sauce. I had never dipped sweet potato fries in honey-mustard before and liked it very much. My friend’s burger came with onions, tomato and lettuce with a serving of bourbon sauce. I tasted the sauce and found it sweet. We did not leave a bite of anything on the plates. In fact, our server tried to clear the table, and I wouldn’t let her until I grabbed the last fry out of the basket.
The restrooms were interesting, each with a mosaic tile floor that incorporated beer bottle caps into the design. The women’s room had a retro, upholstered hair-dryer as a chair. Small round mirrors and plaster work adorned the walls. The water was freezing cold. Someone needs to temporarily rig up a utility light and give each restroom a deep scrub. It is easy to overlook dusty corners when the light is artistically dim.
We paid from the table. The cup of lobster bisque was $4; the bowl of gumbo was $6. The bourbon burger was $5 on special. The usual price was $9. My sweet potato waffle fries were $5 and the toasted ravioli were $6. Everything was delicious and the service was superb.
Overall – 4 1/2 stars
Service – 5 stars
Cleanliness – 3 1/2 stars
Food – 5 starsAre you able to find out where this eatery is? Check out the next issue of AdVantage News to see if you are correct!
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