Big River User Reviews

6/09 SC: The 101/Big River Review from 2/09 that mentions the "dirty" caeser salad... I'm wondering if she got the WONDERUL Grilled Caesar? It looks dirty because the lettuce has been charred to enhance the romaine's true flavor. The parmesan crisp on top adds a wonderful cheesy crunch to a few of your bites. Rather than the lettuce being drenched in dressing, the drizzle on top and the side is more than adequate. Seeing a bug come outta the lettuce means it's organic, but I agree, not always fun to see.

3/7/09 RK: My wife and I stopped in at 101 about 10:00 on a Saturday night. The bar was mostly full and lively. We were greeted immediately and seated at a table. We looked over the drink and food menu. The menus looked good but they did not have the desserts available at Big River. Since that is what we really wanted, we got up to go over to Big River. One of the servers (and I assume the manager) rushed over to see what was wrong. I assured them that everything was fine and that we were just going next door for dessert. When we went into the bar at Big River the manager was there, as was a bartender/server, to attend to us. We ordered desserts (which were delicious and decadent as always). Our server was attentive and very knowledgeable about wine. He made some recommendations to go with our dessert which proved excellent. He was so professional, I felt I was a VIP in some exclusive restaurant rather than just a bar customer. Kudos to Big River for service! We rate Big River 'Recommended' for fresh food, a good drink menu, and outstanding service.

2/4/09 SC: I ordered a Caesar salad and a bowl of soup. When the waitress brought the salad, I saw on the plate a small narrow head of romaine lettuce, looking like it had just been picked out of the garden. The brown, dirty stem had not been cut off, the head had not been opened or washed and needless to say, the lettuce had not been cut up. Leaning against it was a tiny lattice of some kind of cheese, and across the plate, all by itself, was a small puddle of something, possibly dressing, no more than a teaspoon or two. It was bad enough that the lettuce had not been washed and the salad had not been prepared (and it was missing the usual grated parmesan and croutons) , but to top it off, there was an insect crawling across the plate. I pointed out the insect to the waitress, and she offered to bring me another salad. I said no and explained what else was wrong with the salad. Then she brought the soup in an extremely wide, shallow bowl, which was maybe an inch deep. However, the soup in it was maybe 1/2 an inch deep, so there was hardly any soup in the bowl, and of course it was not even warm. This, plus a beer, and my husband's coffee, salad and appetizer, cost $60. The atmosphere is barren and loud. There are TVs playing all around the bar, but none of them is close enough or large enough to actually see, so it just makes the atmosphere noisier. I can't imagine ever going there again.

3/22/08 GC: It's a busy week for food. I went to Bar 101 with the same friends I went to Block 15 with. We went because a different friend had suggested them for their skillet cookie. No one was in the mood for drinks, so we can't comment on the quality there, but we can comment on the food. We originally had only wanted to order desert, but we got there and saw the menu and just couldn't resist. My friend ordered the lettuce wraps, which we all snacked on and enjoyed immensely. I ordered their Pomme Frites with a mustard dipping sauce that were quite delicious. Letting temptation getting the best of us, the three of us decided to order both the Skillet cookie, and their Banana Split, both were amazing. Big river knows how to make deserts, so I would have hoped their bar deserts would be just as good. If you are in the mood for a light meal I would recommend going to 101 instead of Big River, I liked their food a lot better; their menu was much more creative. It is recommended by the three of us definitely, and we plan on returning now that the weather is starting to turn. Their fries could be a bit better if double fried for that extra crispness, but that's not everyone's favorite so perhaps the option to double fry. Recommended, we have some really nice bars in Corvallis.

3/13/08 BC: We kind of stumbled on this newer place's Happy Hour as we needed to eat an early pre-movie dinner and intended to go to Big River but it opened at 5 and 101 opened at 4:30. The place is very nicely put together with a nice water feature behind the bar. For Happy Hour (4:30 - 6:30 I believe) beers on tap were $2 and you could get $2 off on cocktails. The food is of the "small plate" variety and it was good and fresh and well-presented. Not cheap bar food -- most items were around $10 I had the Asian chicken wraps which were delish and more than enough for dinner. Since it was early, we were almost the only ones there but I'll bet it gets pretty busy in the later evening. I'd recommend it as a good place for a small group of friends (I think it was all booths and they seat 4) or as a decent date sort of a place. It is kind of a nicer version of Cloud 9 but I cannot tell you if the drinks are as good as I did not have one.

2/11/08 [Ed Note: the following response is from the owner / GM of Big River. We encourage responses and comments from restaurant onwership and management!!] As local business owners living in Corvallis, we appreciate the opportunity for community members to share their experiences at local restaurants on this site and the many other review forums out there. Not only do these types of sites give people a chance to see different viewpoints to help them make decisions on where they will patronize, it also provides the opportunity for business owners to hear candid feelings about their establishments. While the Internet is one venue for people to express their feelings, in the best interest of both local business owners and their patrons, a good old-fashioned conversation with business management can often go a long way in turning a bad experience into a great one. As responsible business owners who make every attempt to retain customers and make every visit enjoyable, please give us the opportunity to do so by informing us of the issues you experience while at either of our restaurants.

Brant Pollard
Owner/General Manager
Big River Restaurant

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