River Ratz Cafè
Bushnell, FL - Events of Tuesday, April 1 to Monday, April 7, 2014
Early last week, Margery got hit with a cold. It came on fast, and she was pretty miserable with a sore throat and stuffy nose. We have been having some of the nicest weather we have had in a long time with sun and warm temperatures almost every day, but unfortunately, Margery didn't feel like going anywhere.
On Thursday evening, the bug hit Paul. Margery was starting to feel better by Friday afternoon, but she didn't feel like cooking. Paul wasn't feeling too bad, so we decided to head down to River Ratz Café for lupper. River Ratz is about 10 minutes from Bushnell on the Withlacoochee River in the small town of Nobleton.
We took Freeway along because there is a park right down the road from River Ratz that serves as a trailhead for the Withlacoochee Bike Trail, and we wanted to take him for a short walk down the trail before lupper since we haven't been walking around the campground much for the last few days. We also knew River Ratz had plenty of shade in their parking lot for Freeway so he would be comfortable in the car while we ate.
We walked the trail a short distance toward the north when we went to River Ratz last year. This year we headed south.
Before we had gone too far, we came to a side path that connected with a short, dirt road leading to a boat launch that was also part of the park. We decided to check it out. Down by the boat launch was a short boardwalk along the bank where we could get a nice view of the river.
The banks of the river are lined with large cypress trees. Cypress trees grow in shallow water along rivers, streams, lakes and in swamps in many places in the deep south. They have projections called knees that stick up out of the water to help oxygenate the roots. The roots also form wide buttresses at the base of the trees to give them stability in the soft mud.
From the boat launch, we headed back to the car and drove a short distance to River Ratz Café. Since they are so close to the bike trail, River Ratz attracts a lot of bicyclists as evidenced by the half dozen or so bikes in the parking lot. They also attract a lot of motorcyclists, especially on weekends.
River Ratz Café has dining inside, and they have a deck and patio overlooking the Withlacoochee River for dining outside. The café is part of the Nobleton Outpost, which rents canoes and kayaks, and you can see the boat launch from the deck.
Prices at River Ratz are very reasonable. They range from a low of $2.25 for grilled cheese to around $6 for most other sandwiches and burgers. They also have a lot of appetizers, most of which cost around $3 to $4, but go all the way up to $14 for a pound of peel-and-eat shrimp.
We both had Philly cheese steak sandwiches ($6). Margery had an order of onion rings ($2.75), and Paul had fries with his sandwich for $1 extra.
The Philly cheese steaks weren't as good as we remembered them, but maybe it was because we both had colds and couldn't taste very well. The onion rings were somewhat greasy, the fries weren't very hot and the service was kind of slow even though they weren't busy. Those last three things didn't have anything to do with our taste buds, so we were a little disappointed with this stop at River Ratz. Well, at least Margery didn't have to cook.
We headed back to the motor home where we both napped and then relaxed with an evening of TV. We took it easy over the weekend.
We both felt a good bit better by Monday, but were still not quite 100%. Rain was in the forecast for Tuesday, and we're hoping we feel well enough to get out for some sightseeing by the time the weather clears.