Recently I had the pleasure of taking a couple of my New Westminster clients out for a working lunch. Seeing as they were based in New West, I thought it might be nice to try out something other than the River’s Reach Pub. So we made our way to the Terminal Pub.
Now I have to admit that I have some distant history with the Terminal Pub. Many of the men on my mother’s side of the family have a long tradition of working on or along the Fraser River; mostly longshoremen and fishing boat operators. The Terminal Pub was a working-man’s drinking hole and many from my past have tipped a more than a few back in the Terminal Pub.
So I was curious to see what the recent makeover of the Terminal Pub had done for this formerly very working class drinking hole. My overall impression was that it has been a successful makeover. Lots of stonework inside, dark wood furniture that made me think of a New York steakhouse, and wood highlights on the walls, on the floor, and along the bar. The televisions mounted above the bar and in various other places around the room were not obtrusive. Overall, the look is pretty classy.
Funny thing though, I remember so many years ago when the Reef Hotel on the Surrey side of the Patullo Bridge did a major renovation. The place looked like a million bucks. However, I’m told that on the grand opening night the same crowd who had been chased out to do the renovation wandered back in and took up residence once more. Really what was the purpose of the reno when the same crowd wanders back…and not the most desirable crowd.
So while we were lunching I watched who else came for lunch and I saw a mix of working class people in their dirty dungarees as well as professional people, a retired couple and a large group of what appeared to be Douglas College students all enjoying their lunch break. A comfortable mix.
I asked the server if it got busier in the evenings and weekends. She said that it definitely did. She added that they do all sorts of special fund raiser events and sport events like the UFC. Those evenings in particular draw in the crowds.
But how was the food? Well, seeing as I wanted to try a number of dishes, I thought it prudent to order the appetizer sampler. On that platter we got the tempura calamari, yam fries, chicken wings and nachos. I am a nacho fanatic and the menu said that they make their tortilla chips in house, fresh daily. That screams must try. The menu also said that they have house-made Kennebec potato french fries. Add in an order of fries and I am in heaven.
First the not so successful; the calamari. It just didn’t taste right to me. My clients didn’t voice any concerns but to me it had an odd taste. Not a spoiled taste, just odd. Strike out on the calamari.
But then the french fries…oh my word…heavenly flavours. Nicely seasoned, perfectly cooked with skin on…perfect except that they were all short pieces, short like half an inch or shorter. And there was no cutlery brought to the table so I could have eaten them with fork. But that flavour…perfection!!
The yam fries were good. Good not great. The chicken wings were a hit with my clients who said it took them back to their first year university (I’m assuming that was a good reverie). Of course I cannot pass judgement on the wings because I do not eat the flesh of the bird (being a vegetarian, one who eats seafood).
And the nachos? Well, it was only a sampler plate size so I cannot really say. The tortilla chips were very delicate and fine. Not those thick store bought chips so many places sell, these were delicious, home-made tortilla chips. The cheese was think and gooey, the tomatoes diced and spread around quite nicely and the jalapenos perfectly distributed on the chips. So were they nachos good enough to bring me back? I do not know. I would have to order a full plate of the nachos in order to really say if they are return for nachos or not. I guess that means that I will be returning to the Terminal Pub at least once more!
And one more thing, although I did not sample any of the available beers, I did see that there was a great selection of beers that would likely please any palate. Another good reason to return is for me is to analyze the beer selection.
Overall impressions? In the day time the room looks great. How does it look in the evening with a crowd of people jammed inside? Perhaps I will have to venture back into the Terminal Pub some evening to see how it looks and to try a big old plate of nachos on my own.
Disclaimer; this review is based on my personal opinion. I did not receive any form of compensation from the Terminal Pub or anybody else for writing this review.