Wallow has several meanings. It can be the place where large animals, such as elk, roll about or lie relaxed in mud or water to keep cool and avoid biting insects or spread their scent. It can also mean to take unrestrained pleasure, to delight in something or to indulge oneself, such as wallowing in self-pity. Or, it can mean a place to meet or gather with the purpose of indulging. That's the definition you'll find on the homepage of The Wallow grill's website.
The Wallow is a locals' spot on Spring River Road in Sunriver—the kind of place where everybody might know your name, unless you happen to be a Central Oregon tourist just passing through who got lucky enough to have a meal there. It's a warm, welcoming place with a bear rug on the wall, a long bar and plenty of tables for family and friends to come together and enjoy a hearty meal and a good time.
The bar and grill is not out of the way at all; a little way past the Sunriver Resort area. It's a gathering place for those in the neighborhood and a destination for those of us from around Central Oregon who live elsewhere who crave things like chicken wings and elk burgers and pulled pork nachos. We're talking generous portions of comforting foods that one can't help but indulge in at least once in a while.
The Wallow's team prides itself on its use of local, fresh Pacific Northwest ingredients including beef and chops sourced from local butchers and processors. But let's get back to the wings, one of my go-to favorites. The Wallow's Signature Wings come with your choice of sauce – Asian glaze, chipotle BBQ, house buffalo, garlic habanero and XXX orange habanero. Other appetizers include Pulled Pork Nachos with house-smoked pork and crispy jalapeños and Spinach Artichoke Poblano Dip with three cheeses.
The menu also includes abundant salads such as Cobb, Thai Chicken and Caesar. There are large plates featuring Shrimp & Fries, shrimp or fish tacos and a five cheese Macaroni & Cheese among others. Steaks offered are a 12-ounce New York and a 12-ounce Choice Ribeye with sour cream horseradish mashed red potatoes. The burger selection includes an Elk Burger topped with crispy bacon, caramelized onions, grilled mushrooms and mozzarella as well as a Veggie Burger made in house with black beans, corn, rice and three cheeses.
Speaking of cheese, there's an Adult Grilled Cheese on the sandwich menu with three cheeses, ham and bacon, oh my! There's also a Wild Caught Salmon BLT, a Spicy Chicken sando and a Corned Beef Reuben, among others.
Open at 11 am Monday through Friday and 8 am on the weekends, the Wallow's breakfast menu is hearty. Signature omelets include a Cheese Steak option with shaved prime rib and a veggie omelet with a variety of vegetables and Swiss cheese. There's also Honey Glazed Chicken & Waffle and a Stuffed Waffle with bacon and cheese smothered in sausage gravy and topped with two eggs. Eggs Benedict, French toast, a breakfast burrito and other classics are offered as well. The Locked & Loaded Bloody Mary or the Wallowing Manmosa are perfect accompanying drinks.
But wait, there's more. The Après Ski Menu, available from 3 to 5 pm daily, is delightful with The Wallow version of Poutine (crispy fries, cheese curds and house-made brown gravy), a Chicken Quesadilla, Spinach Dip and pulled pork nachos.
Desserts and seasonal fall cocktails are also an option. The Wallow Hot Buttered Rum is an option after a chilly day on the mountain, or a glass of the Wallow Fall Sangria with house-infused ginger brandy invites people to warm up on a cold winter day.
There are always weekday specials and daily rotating lunch and dinner specials. I enjoyed a recent Prime Rib Quesadilla Appetizer special and would certainly have it again. Nice, juicy chunks of prime rib along with grilled mushrooms in a grilled tortilla served with sour cream and salsa make for a perfect snack. Every Thursday diners can get a half-rack or full rack of Baby Back Ribs at a special price and Friday's Prime Rib Dinner is only $27.
Food you want to eat. That's what you'll find at The Wallow. It's worth seeking out.