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Once you make the turn onto Goodland Drive, you don’t get very far until you start seeing cars parked on the side of the road. At first you think, people fishing? When Stan’s Idle Hour comes into sight, you start to realize that Goodland is a very popular spot.

While Stan’s was not my destination on this day, the crowds intrigued me. There were two areas offering parking for $10, but as I came upon the Little Bar Restaurant, a spot opened. And I apologize to any pedestrians who were shaken by my quick and enthusiastic decision-making process to nab it.

When you walk in, there’s an actual little bar to your left – at least it looks little when it’s this packed; live music and celebration filled every corner. To the right is a room with the seating hostess and a lovely welcome area.   

As she took us to our seat, we walked past a nice indoor seating area that was completely empty; as temps were hovering in the mid-70s, she didn’t bother to ask “inside or outside?” She already knew the answer.

As we made our way to the waterside patio, only a couple of tables were open. There was a nice breeze blowing and live music from Stan’s wafted up the waterway. The vista was amazing. And you had the feeling that if you didn’t return next week, you’d be missing out on something. The experience, therefore, appears addictive.

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Things got off to an appetizing start with the buffalo shrimp. Four good-sized shrimps with a buffalo drizzle and served with blue-cheese dressing. My only complaint? I wish there had been more.

For my entrée, I picked the blackened grouper. It comes with fries and slaw and a side of tartar sauce. While you might think of blackened as dark and spicy – I know I do – this grouper was more grilled in appearance. It was a large fillet, cooked beautifully and with subtle seasoning. And paired perfectly with the tartar.

I made quick work of the fries using the leftover blue cheese dressing and the tartar. Heck, I would have used the drizzle, had any remained. I may or may not have licked the plate.

My partner in dine picked the sautéed blue crab cakes which came with seasoned rice. The cakes come swimming in a lightly seasoned, tomato sauce. I think we picked two of the more popular dishes, as the table right next to us ordered the same. Or perhaps it was witnessing our enjoyment of these dishes that inspired their order.  

Little Bar Restaurant is more than great food. It’s an experience. The kind of leisure activity that makes you feel as though you’ve accomplished something. That your weekend and perhaps life overall was made just a little bit better for it.     

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This newspaper pays for all meals related to dining reviews. We do not solicit or accept free food.

If you go

Little Bar Restaurant

  • 205 Harbor Drive, Goodland
  • 239-394-5663
  • littlebarrestaurant.com
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