Mannatee Sports Grill
7423 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton, FL 941-794-1400
The closest I ever come to being a ‘Sports Fan’ is a distant memory of having breakfast years ago with Hank Aaron in Atlanta!! I still remember Hank’s generous grin when he became aware that I did not have a CLUE as to who he was!!!
So, WHY would I opt to go to a restaurant that billed itself as a “Sports Grill”?
Mannatee Sports Grill is NOT your typical fried food & brews establishment. In the evenings they also showcase some incredible Music Groups! That coupled with one of the best dance floors in our area, makes this a multi-dimensional venue!
Anticipating the typical wings and sticks offerings, I was pleasantly surprised at how diversified the menu was! Yes, the requisite sports-munchies are available, but there were quite a few pleasant surprises!
One of these surprises, was an appetizer called “Shrimp Scargo” ($8.99). When our server placed the bubbly and golden baking dish in front of me and I saw the huge hunk of garlic bread, I realized that this appetizer would make a MEAL in itself!! Six (6) large shrimp were layered with spinach and were ‘swimming’ in garlic butter and cheese!! Vowing to live on salads for the balance of the week, I DEVOURED my Scargo in between diving into the butter with the hot bread.
I had actually ordered an ‘entrée’ as well and wondered if I could possibly even take one bite of it!
I looked around for a walking track (after all this was a sports bar) for some exercise, but opted to
take a short break on their outside deck!
Reinforced with some fresh air, I returned to find my entrée had just arrived: “Meatloaf Dinner” ($10.99). I knew I was in trouble as soon as I saw the portions on the plate! Described as “just like Mom makes”, I was grateful in the knowledge that those ‘to-go’ boxes existed as I was definitely NOT going to clean my plate as “Mom” would have liked!
The meatloaf was NO surprise and that was the BEST part about it! It tasted like you expected (and remembered) meatloaf to taste! While I admire and seek out creative variations on classics, Manatees’ paid tribute to Moms all over by not deviating from a time-honored recipe! Served with whipped potatoes & gravy, and a vegetable medley, this was a ‘taste of home’!
Realizing my own personal affinity for anything decadent, I do my best to dine with someone who has more restraint than I! As a result, I was able to sample another ‘appetizer item’ from the menu: “Asian Sesame Chicken Skewers” ($5.99).
Artfully threaded on a skewer, the chicken was beautifully but simply plated. The marinade of garlic and ginger provided a well-balanced compliment to the perfectly grilled chicken. Served with a side of Asian slaw and a ginger-soy aioli, this was also a MEAL in itself!
SO……did dining at Mannatee Sports Grill turn me into a Sports Fan? NO, but with food like that, I could probably watch the Big Screen with contentment!
SO…….would I go BACK to Mannatee Sports Grill? YES
In fact, I’m going back on May 25th to dance to the “Big Z Band” and order their ‘Fajitas’!
P.S. In case you were wondering if the owners needed some spelling lessons, the owners’ (Bart & Denise) last name is ‘Mann’!
Five (5) Limes to Mannatee Sports Grill
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