I always enjoy finding something a little unique and Big River Restaurant and Taphouse in Coquitlam is different from many of the pubs and restaurants in the Tri-Cities. They provide fresh handcrafted beer as well as a full family restaurant experience. Located on Schoolhouse Street near Lougheed Highway, you can drop in for fresh beer and food as well as bowling and other amusements any day of the week. The restaurant and taphouse are adjacent to The Zone Bowling Centre and provide all the food and drink for the lanes.
I dropped in for lunch and the Dakota Burger – a real bison patty with BBQ sauce, bacon, cheddar and beer-braised onion – caught my eye right away, but the real stand out was the garlic fries. Served hot with fresh grated garlic on top, these fries are great for garlic lovers like me. I have had garlic fries before, they are very popular at Safeco Field in Seattle, but never closer to home and these shouldn’t be missed.
Before my burger and fries arrived I tried a sample rack of beers from those available on tap. First up was the Nut Brown Ale, a dark medium-body English brown ale that was very good. There is just something different about a freshly-brewed and tapped ale that a bottled beer just can’t capture. Mike, the manager at Big River, recommended the Vienna Lager as his favourite for my next trial. Vienna Lagers are malty and slightly spicy in flavour and a little different from what most people consume – most of the popular brands are variations of the Pilsner style – but well worth a try. If you are interested in beer and trying new things these are the best place to start.
My last taste tester, and the one I eventually ordered a full pint of, was the English Bitter. Now English Bitter is not for everyone as the flavours are strong with lots of hops, malt and (as the name implies) bitter notes. However, if you are really interested in trying a classic English pub bitter, this is the way to go. I found it paired perfectly with the bison as game meats tend to be stronger in flavour and the English Bitter stands up to that with a strong flavour of its own. The heavier body and bitterness works well with meats like beef, lamb or bison and I really enjoyed the whole food and beer experience at Big River.
Promotions at the Coquitlam Restaurant
I also chatted with Mike about a few of the popular promotions at The Zone and Big River and there are a number of options available for a night out with friends and family, including a VIP Club, ‘Dinner and a Movie’ at the SilverCity Cinema next door, ‘Dinner and Bowling’ on Thursdays and ‘2 for 1 Pizza’ on Sundays. Reservations are available for big groups like birthday parties or fundraisers and corporate functions as well. For me though, Big River Restaurant and Taphouse is a great find as I can enjoy a fresh craft-brewed beer and good food in a family-friendly atmosphere.
Big River Restaurant and Taphouse
#15-228 Schoolhouse Street, Coquitlam