Laurie brings us her review of Big River Grille.
Big River is located on the Boardwalk with sidewalk cafe seating for viewing tourists and the scenery. I sat in the bar which serves dinner and lunch from the regular menu. Overall the restaurant is disabled friendly with good lighting and comfortable seating. I wish I had sat in the main dining room but I did not want to wait. The staff was helpful, cheerful, and knew their menu. They serve tortilla chips with dip, nachos, salad and soup as appetizers. Entrees are their awesome burgers, Caesar Salad, sandwiches, steak, ribs, and other American Diner type entrees. They run a tight menu with entree having mashed potatoes and vegetables or potato chips. They have a couple of desserts, but honestly, I feel like they are running a factory line.
The overall feel is an upscale American Diner that one visits after work at the office. They really try to have a classy place despite the tight menu. I can recommend this restaurant based on staff, theme, disabled friendly, and overall experience while dining. However, before the confetti and celebrating I have to address issues with the menu for Vegans and special diets that leave me puzzled.
After much work they gave me a hamburg steak with toppings and mashed potatoes. Hamburg steaks are ground beef patties in a rectangle much like a Salisbury steak but no gravy. They are usually topped with gravy as Salisbury steak or plain with onions and mushrooms. The creamy mashed potatoes had pieces of skin and chunks with hints of butter. I loved the potatoes and had to stop eating just potatoes. This is one of the top five cheeseburgers in WDW. The burger was slightly smooshed but the grind was that loose, juicy meat that falls apart in your mouth. The charred parts were flavorful, savory, and well seasoned. Overal,l this was one of the best meals I have had but having to eat a hamburg steak with burger toppings is messy, hard, and does not allow a balance blend of toppings and meat. If this was served on a GF bun or in a wrap I would say it was the second best burger in all of WDW but it was a hamburg steak, sigh.
RECOMMEND except for vegans, vegetarians, and those on a limited diet such as allergies and sensitivities. Upscale but kid friendly with great food and service. I would love to sit out front on a warm day and people watch. This is American Diner food with a tight menu so you won’t be able to get a wide range of substitutions unlike Boma or Pop Century. They can handle no-sodium requests with ease. Getting there requires a bus to Disney Springs or a park, then a bus or ferry to Boardwalk, Swan, Dolphin, Beach Club, and Yacht Club. One can walk from Hollywood Studios.