Friday, 14 March 2008

Big White Restaurant Reviews

We've been coming to Big White for years, and little here changes except the ever-growing crop of high priced condos. There's not a lot of places to eat here, surprisingly. We think it's because most folks have their own kitchens. Restaurants are only ever busy on Friday nights. All but one place have been here for years.

Raakel's & Coltino's are the bane of Big White's existence, since they're the only ones not partially owned by the resort. Accordingly, they're not advertised much. Raakel's Bar has the best view of anywhere to eat in Big White. The lunch food is OK, but it's well priced. Having been there twice so far, the service this year isn't very good; you really have to fight to get your waitress's attention. Coltino's next door has switched in my time from Greek to Italian to Steak. No matter what, the food tastes like bar food (they share the Raakel's kitchen). But it's cheap and quiet.

The White Crystal Inn has a beautiful lounge & restaurant. The food is generally the best on the mountain. However, their wine list sucks. It's all Okanagan, and WAY overpriced. No Canadian wine I have ever tried is worth $50, and that's a low end bottle here. We were in the dining room with Alan & Claire this week, and the service there was pretty poor, too. The bar's a little better, but not much.

Snowshoe Sam's bar has the best burger, without question, and it's also got the atmosphere of a real ski bar. Service here has been spotty this time, too. We didn't eat at the restaurant upstairs this year, but have really enjoyed our meals there in the past, though it's a little pricey.

I can't comment on the Kettle Valley Steakhouse. Every time I think about eating there, I look at the menu and gasp at the prices. Then I realize it's down in the ever depressing, remote, and inaptly named "Happy Valley". Wisdom causes me to go to Sam's for a good steak anyway.

There's a new place on the mountain this year: Pappa's Roasters, a small chain out of Kelowna. It took the place of Frank's Chinese Laundry, an awful chinese food buffet place. The menu says the place is a Swiss Chalet knock off. We like Swiss Chalet, so we tried it. In a word: don't. The service was terrible. They advertise a full bar, but had no idea how to make a martini, and had no vermouth anyway. I ordered the chicken & rib combo, and it came without the chicken. The lady sitting beside me ordered dinner with a salad that never came. In both cases, we had to work to find our waitress to get it fixed. They were out of the much vaunted calamari. The ribs were good, but the rest of the food? Yeuch. My "fire grilled chicken" was obviously par cooked earlier and reheated. Ditto for KC's chicken breast (rubbery pre boiled, then seared to get grill marks, though not enough to achieve being hot). The lemon potatoes were cold and rubbery, the pita like cardboard, the green beans revoltingly inedible. The wine list is 4 reds and 4 whites, all Jackson Triggs, which is OK as long as you like them. My bill in the end came without the wine on it; I pointed it out to the waitress, who "corrected" it, putting the wrong wine on it (at that point I gave up fixing her mistakes). There's nothing so unappealing during dinner to see an ill dressed, dirty chef come thought the dining room to help himself to the fountain pop, then return to the kitchen by kicking the door in. It looks and feels like a high school cafeteria (though I recall that my high school cafeteria had better food). Avoid at all costs..

We also wanted to get to Carver's this year, but didn't. It, too, has been Greek & Italian, but now it's Indo-Canadian. Would have liked to have tried their butter chicken.

In general, we have noticed the service in the restaurants, in the ski shops, in the rental shop, and pretty much everywhere has been poor this year. I used to have a high opinion of Aussies, but this year has turned me off, as many have been downright surly.

1 comment:

RyderDA said...

I updated this post in March 2010 at this link: