HOME > Chowhound > California >
What are you cooking today? Share your food adventure
TELL US

Big Bear Recs - one last try

m
Midlife Jun 15, 2005 03:16 AM

I posted a rec request for the Big Bear - Lake Arrowhead area a week or so ago and only one poster had a suggestion. I've since found a number of restaurant names that seem possible in BIg Bear itself, so I thought I'd try one more time and list the names. Maybe it will jar someone's memory.

Looking for a nice dinner spot for re-union with a friend and his wife who are driving in for a wedding in Big Bear this weekend.. Here's the list (I think they're all still open):

Barnstorm Cafe (CH rec from previous post))
Mozart's Bistro
Stillwell's (Northwoods Resort)
The Blue Whale
Old Country Inn
North Shore Cafe
Nottingham"s (Robinhood Resort)
The Captain's Anchorage

Thanks for any help. I'll post on the place we do try.

  1. p
    Paige H. Jun 15, 2005 09:48 AM

    I think this might need to be on a different board, but in any case, Big Bear in general has very disapointing food. The only place I would recomend is Pat and Mary's. I cannot recall the exact address, but is in the little village area.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Paige H.
      The Chowhound Team Jun 15, 2005 10:17 AM

      This is the appropriate board for Big Bear, Arrowhead, etc.

    2. d
      Diana Jun 15, 2005 10:34 AM

      Sorry to say, the pickings are below slim in Big Bear. The food served in most places just doesn't stand out.

      AVOID STILWELL'S AT ALL COSTS. It's awful!

      There is a sushi place up there that is passable, but expensive.

      If I were you, and you are staying in a cabin of rental with a kitchen, buy or bring some good food and cook a meal.

      Otherwise, your best bet is to find a nice resort hotel and eat there.

      I heard there's some place with really good Pot Pies on the North Shore, but I ever tried them...probably advertised in one of the visitor's papers.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Diana
        h
        Honeyman Jun 15, 2005 02:18 PM

        Is Paoli's still in the village? Their pie is pretty good, and sitting outside on the patio makes for an enjoyable dining experience.

        1. re: Honeyman
          s
          steph p Jun 15, 2005 03:04 PM

          paoli's! great red checker italian.

          their pizza is pretty great! i like it better than the LA pizza places i've tried -- the usual pizza chains, cpk, domenicos, petrillos.

          another poster mentioned in the past that she/he didn't like the other pasta dishes, but i don't think she/he had the pizza, so it's probably a one-item place.

          1. re: Honeyman
            n
            NAspy Jun 15, 2005 04:46 PM

            All of Paoli's food is "fine." Nothing is inedible or fantastic, but after a day of skiing, it's a nice place to go for pasta, pizza and red wine.

            Old Country Inn is heavy Germanic food, and if you don't have reservations, there's usually a significant wait. good martinis.

            I had decent King Crab legs at the Blue Whale -- it's a nice setting, with decent food.

            All of the above places are appropriate for kids as well, and The Blue Whale has a kids' menu.

            In many years of eating at Big Bear I have not had horrible meals, nor have I had anything particularly noteworthy.

        2. m
          Mr Grub Jun 15, 2005 12:47 PM

          Noting your need for a “nice” dining place in Big Bear, my Grubchoice last time, the Barnstorm Café, may be a bit too downhome for you.

          Here’s my take on your list:
          Barnstorm Café – best food choice, but ambiance is kinda Holiday Inn coffee shop
          Mozart's Bistro – enjoyed several dandy meals here 2 yrs ago, but last year thot the wheels seemed to come off. Can’t recommend any more.
          Stillwell's – bad, bad, bad in each & every sense of the word
          The Blue Whale – nice place, nice setting, truly homogenized food at premium (for BB) prices.
          Old Country Inn – nice watering hole, but food – German-ish – far from exemplary
          North Shore Café – no se. Has long been a “must try,” but haven’t
          Nottingham’s – again, very bland food.
          The Captain's Anchorage – prob best of the worst. Decent steaks & fish in funky, Tam O’Shanter-esque setting. Tchotchkes, button Naugauhyde. As Big Bear as it gets. [Another good local bar. BB does way better at bars – the aforementioned Old Country, Whale’s Tail, Murray’s, among others -- than dining rooms.]

          Since this has turned into a BB roundup, a few others are worth a Grub mention:
          Cowboy Express (from 1st post) – steaks, steaks, pls only steaks. Good beef, always properly charred. If a poly picnic table on the deck is available, nice way to spend an evening.
          Grizzly Manor (also from 1st post) – one of the absolute best lumberjack bkfsts you’ll eat anywhere. & a hoot to boot. Mostly bkfst – closes at 2. Bring a book.
          Firehouse Ribs, Big Bear City – lots of rib joints hiding out in BB. Firehouse is best of bunch, altho sauce at the biker bar mid-BBBlvd (Suzie’s? Sally’s? Sandy’s?) is terrific. Unfortunately their cooking is, um, distracted.
          Vintage - the "special event" resto for locals. Not so special.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Mr Grub
            c
            Chino Wayne Jun 15, 2005 01:16 PM

            WLA, King of The Links, bookmark this, finally a rundown of the victuals up there in them thar mount'ns.

            Link: http://www.indefatigable-indolence.org

          2. j
            Judy Jun 15, 2005 01:23 PM

            We had a great meal back in October at The Mandoline Bistro. Not sure if it is still open, but I highly recommend it.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Judy
              m
              Mr Grub Jun 15, 2005 03:00 PM

              Ah, Judy. Thx for stimulating my wine-addled mind. Mozart's Bistro, which I mentioned in my prior post, is now indeed Mandoline.

              Unfortunately, we seem to disagree on its chowworthiness. We Grubs thot the Mozart gang's attempt was superior to Mandoline incarnation. YMMV. I guess Mozart failed cuz it's tough selling that-there fancy food to the good ol' boys.

              1. re: Mr Grub
                s
                sammyla Jan 27, 2008 08:09 PM

                Boo to Mandoline. It's fine, don't get me wrong. But snobs will be sorely underwhelmed by the Ruby Tuesday's-quality cuisine.

            2. g
              Ginger Wolf Jun 15, 2005 03:19 PM

              If the Iron Squirrel is still there, it is/was considered a better eating establishment, on the main road right in town. White tablecloths. I've had good Chinese lunches at the place out at the airport, upstairs. Actually has fish tanks with lobsters and crab. The consenses is right, though, pretty sorry state for fine food. In Arrowbear, had good sandwiches at Blondies. Enjoy the fresh air and pine trees, and pack it in I always say.

              1. y
                You could always try the Mountain Brewery Jun 15, 2005 05:58 PM

                The food is probably nothing stand out (if there is any, we never eat there), but the beer has actually improved a good deal over the past few years, and they now have some pretty tasty brews.

                Big Bear Mountain Brewery -
                (909) 866-2337
                40260 Big Bear Blvd.,
                Big Bear Lake

                1. m
                  Midlife Jun 16, 2005 03:32 AM

                  Thanks for all the recs. I've gone from just a couple to quite a few. I knew I could count on the hounds to come through.

                  Leaning toward Paoli's, but we'll bring all the menus and posts and decide over drinks at the hotel.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Midlife
                    m
                    melovechocolate Dec 29, 2006 05:22 PM

                    Hi Midlife-I was wondering what you found on your last trip to Big Bear? I've been checking the posts because i'm looking for a decent place to eat as well, since we're going next week. What did you think of the restaurants?

                  2. v
                    vewyfunny Dec 29, 2006 05:34 PM

                    I was in BB a couple of weeks ago and tried a new BBQ place that ROCKED. Of course I cannot remember it's name, but it's on Big Bear Blvd. right across the street from Snow Summit, and next door to the American Legion. Awesome baby back ribs. And I dream about the cheesy potatos...

                    1. r
                      RBCal Dec 29, 2006 09:37 PM

                      The Blue Whale is closed and now a BBQ place is located in its old location. I suspect that this is the BBQ place described.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: RBCal
                        v
                        vewyfunny Jan 1, 2007 04:27 AM

                        The new BBQ place is called Outlaw BBQ and is where the Munching Bear used to be (next door to the American Legion on Big Bear Blvd). The Blue Whale did close a long time ago but from what I heard is now an old BBQ place from near Big Bear City.

                      2. w
                        woodlandkate Jan 4, 2007 06:46 AM

                        My husband grew up in Big Bear, and his family is still there. I was there over Christmas and there is a great new barbeque restaurant in town. It's all wood smoked barbeque, and both the pulled pork and the pulled turkey were amazing.

                        Jasper's Smokehouse and Steaks www.jasperssmokehouse.com

                        Definitely worth stopping at!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: woodlandkate
                          v
                          vewyfunny Jan 4, 2007 04:52 PM

                          The one I referred to is called OUTLAW BBQ on Big Bear Blvd. AWESOME.

                        2. m
                          melovechocolate Jan 7, 2007 04:23 AM

                          Thanks for the recommendations!!

                          1. abacal Jan 28, 2008 03:42 PM

                            As of about 8 m os ago there was a spectacular place on Big Bear Blvd. called Mambo Cafe, I think (or cafe Mambo). It was lating food and the sweet potato side was the best! Try it if it's still there!

                            Show Hidden Posts