Deb, Dave and Samantha of Deb & Dave’s on the River.

Those who know about Deb & Dave’s on the River rave about the homestyle cooking, super affordable prices and service that comes with a smile. Hidden behind trees and residences, nestled along the banks of the Alafia River, it is not easy to find, but once they do, people keep coming back for more.

“I really like the wings and the strawberry shortcake,” said Riverview native Bill Miley.

Co-owner Debbie Helderman has worked in restaurant management and ownership her whole life. She and husband, Dave, do everything, including the cooking, while daughter Samantha helps serve customers on the outdoor deck.
Debbie explained the new name is more fitting. “We are a true restaurant, not a snack shack,” she said, referring to the previous nickname the place had when the couple took over last year.

Menu items are priced between $3 and $7 and offerings include everything from the eatery’s locally famous burgers to hand-breaded, farm-raised catfish filets and everything in between. Choose from a variety of chicken and fish baskets, in addition to grilled items, fried okra or clams, chicken quesadillas and more.

The Philly steak sandwich and barbecued pulled pork sandwiches are favorites, according to Debbie.

“The Philly cheese steak and the tacos are the things I have most,” commented Valrico resident Brett Sawyer.
There are daily specials and Debbie said on Fridays, she usually prepares a good, home-cooked meal such as meatloaf or spaghetti.

On Thursdays, people flock to Deb & Dave’s on the River for $1 tacos that are not only the best around according to regular customers, but also the best deal for a great lunch nearly anywhere. 

“I stop by every Thursday and pick up a half dozen tacos or more for my friends and family,” said one regular customer.
Deb & Dave’s on the River is located 11218 Casa Loma Dr. and is reachable by both boat and land. Hours are Wednesday, 3-8 p.m., Thursday, 12 Noon-8 p.m. and Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 12 Noon-11 p.m.

For more information, please call 770-8838.

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