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River Grille on the Tomoka Restaurant Review: Right inside the front door, the gigantic alligator with the chef’s hat is thankfully not the cook. But the fake gator helps set the stage for a homey place with a sense of humor and hospitality to match. Set on a bluff overlooking the Tomoka River where native Timucuan Indians and British and Spanish settlers once called home, the rustic restaurant also has an outside deck. Yes, they serve gator bites here, but more choices of fresh seafood abound---everything from peel-and-eat shrimp to fried catfish and fresh mahi mahi to a crispy salmon cake appetizer. Hand-cut in the kitchen, the grouper is promised to be the “reel” thing. The Lil’ River Rats menu for kids 12 and under includes popcorn shrimp---“we’ll hold the popcorn.” Landlubbers may select prime rib, soup, sandwiches and pasta. A smaller-portions menu appeals to those with less-than-hearty appetites.