Today Diana of @foodologyca, Joyce of @vanfoodies, and I were in Chilliwack for the day. Looking for lunch around noon, we visited Bow and Stern as recommended by Tourism Chilliwack.
This bar and seafood restaurant is located in the new Chilliwack Hub: District 1818, named after its year of origin. Like all the other buildings, this one is built with a certain aesthetic, and it certainly pulls the area together with crown mouldings and archways. More on the whole of District 1818 in a future post.
As for Bow & Stern, they don’t brew their own beers, but have 4 under their name, each brewed by other local breweries. The best way to get a taste of all 4 available is via one of their flights. The Amber ale is by Old Yale in Abbotsford and the other 3 by Russell Brewing. All easy drinking.
As for food, given the name of the restaurant, we focused more on their seafood options like the battered cod fish and chips. As the fish is unseasoned and the batter bland, I appreciated being given a whole bottle of tartar sauce to dress our two large pieces of cod with. Flaky and light, best fresh so they don’t go soggy.
We all fully enjoyed the smaller, sweeter oysters on the half shell. They are creamier in the summer with all the accompanying sauces to dress to taste.
The calamari was done classically, we found them a step up from that of regular bar offerings. Fried crispy and served with tzatziki for dipping.
Our Baked Mac N’ Cheese was without seafood, but we easily added lobster to the casserole. House made with plenty of gooey and creamy cheeses, finished with a sheet of slightly singed cheese on top. Though sadly, we could not make out much of the lobster flavour or see many of the chunks. Just a few strands that speckled the assortment. I was actually hoping for the claw or the tail to be laid out on top of the pasta. and had to check with the server that the baked pasta did include our add-on.
Their tacos are some of the heartiest I have seen. We went with their prawn and mango salsa option stuffed thick with pico de gallo, guacamole, house coleslaw, jalapeño, and hot sauce. I would have liked the prawns done up crispy for a nicer texture and some crunch in the otherwise soften assembly. As is, these were more like large cocktail shrimp, soft and less exciting in the mouth. It also had a lot more heat than expected for a slow back of the throat burn.
The taco typically comes with either regular fries or an upgrade to yam or poutine. We substituted all the above for their clam chowder, to be able to fit in more seafood to this meal. It was a wonderfully done chowder. Thick and creamy with chunks that melted on the tongue. You can make out bits of potatoes and the chew of clams, there was no side stepping the flavour of either.
For our non-seafood options we went with their B&S chicken wings, which was one of the more memorable items we ordered. With the salt and pepper there was plenty of meat on bone, which wasn’t dry or overcooked. Flavourful as is, but a whole other level of tang when dunked into their ranch dip dressing on the side.
And whenever I see them on any menu, I have to get them. Bow and Stern’s deep fried Brussel Sprouts are seasoned with honey, citrus, and cracked chillies. This was one of the tastiest and crispiest renditions I have had to date. The majority of the sprouts were cooked right through to the centre, with plenty of crispy loose leaves to munch on. Hot tip, they are great in the air fryer the next day.
In conclusion, a solid local bar located in downtown Chilliwack, great for familiar bar snacks and seafood options. Can recommend!
Bow & Stern
46130 Yale Rd, Chilliwack, BC V2P 0J6, Canada