Restaurant News: Two Openings and an Odd Phone Call

BigRiverBy its nature, the landscape of Corvallis restaurants is in constant flux, so the offering of an occasional field guide seems a useful endeavor. After all, we wouldn’t want you to miss anything. This time around, an old fave goes on the block and two newbies open for business.

Big River Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Dat
Big River for sale, what? That’s right, the beloved Big River Restaurant & Bar has been listed on the Willamette MLS for $925,000.

Big River celebrated its 20-year anniversary just under a month ago and, apparently not wanting to dampen our holiday spirits, offered gift certificates and dessert sales on Christmas Eve. Listed on the Willamette MLS only days after Christmas, one can only wonder why the owner of a Corvallis cornerstone like Big River would be looking to get out of the game.

Owner Brant Pollard was less than enthused when asked to comment on the sale of his fine dining establishment. In fact the term used was “confidential” quickly followed by the click of his phone. Equally dismissive, realtor David Herber would only say that Big River is 5,000 square feet, seats 160-plus, has outside dining, and includes two bars. Thanks for the tip.

Big River takes pride in its use of local and organic fruits, vegetables, and meats as well as offering fresh craft-baked breads. The operation benefits many local farmers and producers in an effort to provide quality and sustainable foods. It would be unfortunate to see those values lost; time will tell if whoever purchases Big River maintains the same standards.

The Show Opens
Craving Chinese fast food but want to feel good about yourself afterward? Check out The Show at 1915 NW 9th Street. For a quick, healthy meal full of authentic Chinese flavor, The Show really takes the tea egg. The place is right down the street from Panda Express, but a world away in terms of authenticity and service—the Panda has been much maligned on our pages in the past.

The Show may not have the biggest menu in town, but it offers hearty options geared for those seeking nutrients along with flavor. While The Show offers a juicy pork rice bowl or braised beef and potatoes for those yearning for meat, plenty of vegetarian options are also available. These include Chinese crepes, bean curd jelly, seaweed and egg soup, and the cauliflower stir-fry. If those options don’t cut it, one can dive into the anti-aging, immune system-enhancing, cancer preventative Sweetened Snow Soup. Either way, don’t forget to grab a glass of their fresh, homemade soy milk served cool or warm and good anytime.

The Show does offer ample indoor and outdoor seating; however quick service is their calling card. The Show offers what some mid-ticket places do, but as a healthful fast food alternative, The Show wins against Panda, handily. Hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week. Stop by and support a local business and your mind, body, and spirit.

Coffee Break Opens Fresh
If you are looking for a coffee shop with the flavors of home, check out the newly opened Coffee Break Café. Located on 4th Street between Monroe and Madison, the Coffee Break had its grand opening on Jan. 1.

The Coffee Break Café offers a selection of homemade pastries, breads, and cookies baked fresh each day. It is their baking philosophy that fresh ingredients outweigh sugar and artificial sweeteners. “A can of soda has 90 grams of sugar, that’s the same as three slices of our apple pie,” said owner Nate McDaniels. It may sound bold, but McDaniels explained that the use of real pumpkin, real blueberries, and real milk chocolate provides such rich, wholesome flavors that frosting is entirely unnecessary.

 Stop by and pick up a bag of Coffee Break’s own coffee blends ground fresh to order. In January McDaniels plans to add an espresso service and a selection of vintage and craft sodas featuring cane sugar, no artificial sweeteners, and no high fructose corn syrup. The Coffee Break offers a cozy seating environment including outside seating in spring. Open 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day, the Coffee Break Café has the right flavors, the right prices, and the right hospitality to make your day.

By Anthony Vitale