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The Copper Coil Still & Grill, #ChickenWingsChallengeYVR

We were visiting Squamish for yet another Vancouver Foodster #ChickenWingsChallengeYVR contender, vying for the title of the best wing. And my job as one of the three judges was to try it and score it based on taste ?/20, presentation ?/10, and creativity ?/20.

One of the perks of being a judge is visiting places that you might not otherwise think to go and finding a new favourite, as was the case today. We came for the wings and fell for the BBQ, but more on that later.

Located in expanding downtown Squamish, I would not think to visit this Cajun inspired barbecue and smokehouse, if not for the Vancouver Foodster. I figured it to the be neighbourhood watering hole, but it turned out to be so much more. On the exterior, hung a collection of buoy, followed by Mardi Gras-esque masquerade masks and beads that direct you through to the entrance.

This is one of those spots that has your head cranking because there is so much to see. As per the owner, they have been collecting knick knacks and whatnots since 2015. And anyone can bring anything in to share and showcase. This community bar has a money wall with international currency, which makes for a great way to see who passes through. And a pet wall with photos of fur babies from the staff and regulars.

The day was warmer and dry so we were seated on their covered patio. And seeing as it was Sunday, I ordered their Copper Coil Caesar with Wyborowa vodka, Clamato, Worcestershire, and chipotle hot sauce. Garnished with an olive, pickle, and pepperoncini. I am typically a fan of the savoury cocktail that drinks like a meal, but I found this rendition flat. It was spicy, but it didn’t give me the depth of seasonings that I am use to with my Caesars. For this, I want a cocktail that drinks like a thin gazpacho. Sadly, this one didn’t hit.

I would recommend the Copper Cobbler instead. Flor de cana 7 year rum, orgeat, muddled peach, lemon, and thyme. It drank like a sweet peach soda water with chunks of canned peaches you get to nibble on, once the drink is done. This spoke more to their southern theme and worked better with the food. In hindsight I should have gotten their southern spiked tea as well.

Then we got into judging their Smoked hot blonde chicken. Available all year round these cold smoked chicken wings are dressed in a blend of hot sauce, blue cheese, and roasted garlic. The result, a thick and tangy, sharp coating that you lick off your fingers. This is completely up my wheelhouse as I am a fan of blue cheese and all the punchy flavours these ingredients had on their own, and even more so amalgamated. The carrot and celery stick side was a welcome break, injecting pockets of freshness though the raw vegetable and with the side of tangy dip. A Ranch dip with sour cream, mayo, garlic, tarragon, dill, grainy mustard, tarragon. As a whole, these made for a great accompaniment to a chilled pint of beer.

Considering they had their own smoker out back, we had to indulge in some of Copper Coil’s barbecue. I was hoping that they would have a platter to be able to taste and try their full collection in one go, but sadly their smoked meats are only available in pairs. My guest and I passed on pulled pork, both wanting something with more substance. The brisket came highly recommend by our server, so we had to get some of that. And we both preferred the rarity of ribs over blackened chicken, so through process of elimination we went for the Half Rack of Ribs and Brisket.

The order came presented like a platter with more sides than meat. The Cajun spiced fries were chewy. The slaw felt unfinished, dry and without any creamy dressing. The corn bread was quick to crumble, and could use more sweetness and/flavour. I like my corn bread as bold as the meat it is paired with.

However, sides aside, we were here for the smoked meats anyways. This was one of the fattiest and most tender brisket in have had to date. It was so easy to separate the strands of meat a part. The fattier pieces practically meted in your mouth. Here you were able to enjoy the meat, without a heavy char that typically sits on the edges and tip. You enjoy the brisket for what it is, and can inject additional flavour using their tangy bourbon sauce that comes on the side.

The Ribs were firmer, but also fatty and easy to pull from bone. These were not the least bit dry with the meat being fully coated in a familiar honey and barbecue sweet and tangy sauce.

We also wanted to try a dish that spoke to their Cajun inspiration, so ordered their New Orleans jambalaya. This is The Copper Coil’s version of the bayou classic, simmered with bell peppers, onion, celery, chicken, and andouille sausage. Finished with Cajun prawns, sriracha sour cream, and fresh herbs. Soft and mushy, this was comforting to the mouth. Although I could have done without the excess pools of neon orange grease that sat at the bottom of the plate. And more than just 3 pieces of shrimp. Although there was plenty of flavour that came out as leftovers, once reheated, and allowed to soaked in.

There was so much more that I wanted to try, and liking what we had today, will give me reason to come back to do so. We came in thinking this was just a simple bar with a pub-style menu, so the quality and diversity of the cuisine blown us away. Definitely one that I would recommend the next time you are in Squamish. And if you make it down between June 8th and July 3rd, 2022 be sure to try their wing creation and vote for your favourite with Vancouver Foodster, link below.

The Copper Coil Still & Grill
37996 Cleveland Ave, Squamish, BC V8B 0A7
(604) 892-0646

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