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Dec. 3, 2020

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Renegades Bar & Grill doesn’t thrill

Vancouver eatery’s offerings could use some improvement

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Renegades Bar & Grill in downtown Vancouver is pictured Friday, February 23, 2018.
Renegades Bar & Grill in downtown Vancouver is pictured Friday, February 23, 2018. Ariane Kunze/The Columbian Photo Gallery

Why: Renegades Bar & Grill in downtown Vancouver provides a place to sing karaoke, play billiards and poker and join in special holiday events in addition as well as Taco Tuesdays and Wing Wednesdays. The menu offerings are basic, and a full bar provides both alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages. 

Atmosphere: The building is clearly one of the historic structures of downtown that has housed many a business. Large plate glass windows wrap around the street-side corner of the building, and there is some outdoor seating along the sidewalk in a cordoned-off area. The space is very open inside. Bar seating is roped off from the main space. A stage occupies one corner, and two pool tables are located toward the rear. Walls are painted gray and trimmed in black. Metal siding has been utilized on some of the walls and to front the bar, which adds a bit of texture. Large-screen TVs are located in the bar area for entertainment.

What I tried: I tried the grilled cheese sandwich with tomato on sourdough bread with tots. My dining companions had a grilled cheese on white bread with fries, the chicken strips and fries, and the Renegade Kicker burger with jalapeños.

My grilled cheese sandwich had a good amount of cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese, and enough thin-sliced tomato was included to make it into each bite of the sandwich. The issue I had with the sandwich was the greasiness of it. The bread was saturated, and it had been allowed to cook slightly longer than necessary, so it smelled like a greasy kitchen. My dining companion’s grilled cheese, made on white bread, was not as greasy; but it, too, had spent too much time on the grill, which rendered it one shade away from burnt. Unfortunately, the tots were  extremely greasy, as well, and unlike the sandwiches, could have spent a bit longer in the fryer.

The chicken tenders were deep fried to a golden brown and enjoyed by my dining companion.

Dining out guide: Renegades Bar & Grill

Where: 115 E. Seventh St., Vancouver.

Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. Friday; 3 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Saturday. Happy hour is 3 to 6 p.m. daily.

Contact: 360-949-7259. You may find more information on Renegades’ event nights on Facebook.

Health score: Renegades Bar & Grill received a score of 5 on Aug. 24, 2017. Zero is a perfect score, and Clark County Public Health closes restaurants with a score of 100 or higher. For information, call 360-397-8428.

The Renegade Kicker burger consists of lettuce, chipotle mayonnaise, bacon, pepper jack cheese and jalapeños with the meat on a toasted pub bun. As the menu does not mention any type or size of beef patty, which is usually the case on a menu where burgers are offered, I think it is safe to say that the beef is not anything special. My dining companion said the bun was toasted too long for his liking, and the overall burger experience was not one he would choose to repeat.

Menu highlights beyond what I tried: Appetizers include pretzel bites, mozzarella sticks, buffalo wings and a cheese quesadilla. The Lowery cheeseburger is a basic cheeseburger, the Outlaw burger includes bacon, onion rings, lettuce, cheddar cheese and barbecue sauce. Sandwiches include ham, turkey, club, and BLT. Three pizzas are available in a 12-inch pie — pepperoni, sausage and pepperoni, and a three-meat (sausage, pepperoni, and beef). A wedge salad, a mixed green salad and a chef salad are on the menu.

Other observations: The waitstaff is friendly, but on the evening of my visit, the establishment was understaffed, and attentiveness was not very good. In a day and age where bar and grills are making a dining impression, Renegades has some catching up to do. Food preparation left much to be desired, and the prices are high for what is served. The atmosphere is casual and nondescript.

Cost: Appetizers are $5.50 to $10.50. Burgers cost $9.50 and $11.50. Sandwiches are $8 to $9.50. Salads cost $4 to $12.50. Pizza is $11 to $13 (additional toppings cost 50 cents each). Happy hour menu items are $2 to $5.50.

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