Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Big River Grille

Between the two halfs of the Tennessee Aquarium, we took the boys to the Big River Grille and Brewing Company. First off, I'm not a huge fan of brewing companies and I get irked by places that add an unecessary "e" to the end of perfectly straight-forward words... eg "grille" or "shoppe".

And when the lady at the Visitor's info center suggested this restaurant in response to my query for an Italian or ethnic restaurant, I was a tiny bit annoyed. "Well, it's not really Italian, but it's very good and kid-friendly," she said.

I could tell that Joe was trying his best to find me something more exotic; afterall, Chattanooga offers plenty of cuisines that can't be found in little ole Hopkinsville, KY. I appreciated his efforts to preserve a happy wife, but we had the McQueen's double stroller and the clock was already circling toward 1:00 p.m.
"It's just across the street," she said.
"Let's just go there," I said.

The first thing I noticed was how genuinely nice the hostess and servers were. Our server even helped us lift the double stroller up two steps to a dining area that was less crowded and rearranged the tables near ours so we could roll sleeping Rockam up to the table. She was also quite knowledgeable, having eaten through every dish on the regular menu and some of the dishes on the new-that-day Pacific Rim specials menu.

The atmosphere was also nice--- sort of the typical masculine, dark wood decor you'd expect at a brewing company, but without any of the rowdyness. Despite being a rather large restaurant with several large seating areas, it was pretty quiet. Joe and I actually were able to have some decent conversation (I should qualify that my standard for "decent conversation" is considerably lower since having two kids).

Joe got some kind of burger. He ate it too quickly for me to remember what it was exactly, let alone take a picture. I ordered the Udon Noodle Bowl... laden with shitake mushroom slices, chopped baby bok choy, fried chicken cutlet and fresh bean sprouts. I've slurped a lot of udon in my day. This dish definitely did not taste Japanese, but it was really good :-) The broth was salty-sweet and the chicken was more of an American-style, but all the veggies were flavorful and fresh. Stephen enjoyed slurping some of my noodles in between handfuls of Goldfish and graham crackers.

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