The Coquitlam Grill came highly recommended as a great restaurant in North Coquitlam. The restaurant is in a well-traveled location (Barnet Highway near Coquitlam Centre) and always has people going in and out. It seemed a good choice.
The first thing you'll notice is that the menu is way too big and varied. Ever see a 'food reality show' where a celebrity chef goes into a failing restaurant and yells about the size of the menu? I can see why now.
First off, the service is great. All of the serving staff projected a small town diner type of welcome and were very proactive about looking after their tables. We never once felt like we were being ignored, nor were we being pestered.
The decor inside leaves something to be desired. It's very dark and the various treasures hung on the wall are unremarkable and don't give a sense that they belong to any sort of theme.
The food was awful. Priced extremely well, but extremely bland. Quantity trumps quality.
We tried the calamari as an appetizer. It was so salty we could barely eat it. Texture and doneness were about right, but it was hard to get past the salty batter.
For entrées, I had a buffalo chicken burger with fries. The fries were awful - powdery and soggy at the same time. The burger itself was loaded with so much sauce and mayonnaise that the bun disintegrated after a couple of bites.
My wife ordered the lasagna. The serving was enormous (about the size of a pie tray), but the filling was mediocre. The tomato sauce tasted like it came out of a jar and there were so many noodles it was almost funny.
The restaurant has a lot of potential, but seems to be stagnant with a bad menu, bad ingredients, and cut throat prices that don't leave them with a lot of food for quality improvements. It's basically a local eatery for seniors who get the same thing every day. I'm not being ageist - we were in fact surrounded by seniors, many of whom didn't even need to tell their servers what to bring.