Wizard Needs Food Badly: Late Night At Big River Grille

Monday, May 30, 2016 - by Paquita Maria Sanchez

Over the holiday weekend, Lionel and I decided it was high time to make a trip to the Tennessee Renaissance Festival. So we loaded up the car with our tunics and broadswords and headed out for some much needed revelry.

By the time we got back to Chattanooga, it was late. After a long day of cheering on jousters, singing bawdy limericks, and passive-aggressively tweeting about the surprising number of anachronistic costumes, we were famished. It had been hours since we’d finished our turkey legs and ale.

We checked out the internet, to see what was open late downtown, and wound up heading over to Big River Grille.

Since we arrived about an hour before closing, we practically had the place to ourselves and were seated immediately in a big, comfy booth. The low-key lighting and background music was the perfect match for my mood.

Our server, though busy with closing up, was great. After chatting with Lionel about facial hair care products, he brought us our drinks. Lionel ordered a pint of Iron Horse Stout ($4.25) and I got the Vienna Lager ($4.25). Both were perfectly refreshing and the price was right.

While waiting for our food, our server set down a basket with a loaf of hot, grainy bread. We had trouble stopping ourselves from filling up on it.

It didn’t take long for our entrees to arrive—by that time we were some of the only patrons left eating inside. Lionel ordered the Bacon Chicken Man ‘N Cheese ($14.99). I got the Smoky Mountain Pasta (Chicken: $14.50, Shrimp: $16.50).

We both loved our dishes. They were rich, creamy, hearty, and filled us right up. The portions were good, too. Even though neither of our meals came with a side, we both left the restaurant full. However, we couldn’t help feeling that the food at Big River Grille was a bit overpriced. Bacon or no bacon, can any mac ‘n cheese really be worth $15?

If things hadn’t cost quite so much, we likely would have gone for something sweet—the idea of a Mason jar filled with their Salted Caramel Toffee dessert sounded fantastic ($6.99)—but with things as they were, we finished up and headed home.

Overall, Big River Grille satisfied, even if the prices are a bit fueled by the tourists. So, in closing, I give them a hearty, “Huzzah!”

Location: 222 Broad Street, Chattanooga, Tn, 37402

Hours: M – Th 11 a.m. - 11 p.m.

            F – Sat 11 a.m. - 12 a.m.

            Sun 11 a.m. - 10 p.m.


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