Restaurant Review

Tacoma has no lack of restaurants on the waterfront.  I do think it is a bit of a universal truth that when you have a great location, you can overcharge for mediocre food.  But being on the shore for a meal is one of life’s little pleasures.  And you can’t go wrong with Boathouse 19 - at the Narrows Marina – 9001 S 19th st., Tacoma, WA.  I took my Grandma here nearly weekly till she kicked the bucket at age 99 (she made it to 100 if you count gestation, which she did).  Anyway, I’ve meandered through the menu a good bit.  My go-to choice is the southwestern prawn salad.  They used to have this amazing bean salad with all kinds of great stuff in it, but they discontinued that.  I still think of that salad.  I’m also a fan of their prawn po’boy – it will be the death of me, but some foods are worth slicing a few days off the old lifespan to enjoy.  My grandmother was a soup fan (Grandma: “do you think they have clam chowder?”  Me: “Yes.”  Grandma: “I think I’ll have that”.  Me: “Great.”  2 minute pause.  Grandma: “do you think that comes with oyster crackers?”  Me: “I do believe it does.”  Grandma: (with widening smile) “mmm”.  Same conversation – nearly every visit… I used to order an Irish Death Porter-ish beer with lunch – she thought it was root beer, and I thought it was a pretty effective coping strategy).  There is a view of the water and the Narrows Bridges from the restaurant, but a good chunk of the windows face the marina as well.  If you’re lucky, there will be some boats coming in and out of the marina.  I like boats.  Otherwise, it has pretty standard fare – usual seafood-restaurant-on-the-water-priced-to-make-you-nearly-bankrupt menu – alder planked salmon, burgers, trendy weird stuff (octopus tacos…) and well above average fish and chips (not as good as mine, especially since I switched from beer batter to flour-egg-bread-crumb coating).  Most entrees are between $10 and $20.  They have a gluten free menu, even.  It can get a tiny bit busy on a sunny day, but there is plenty of parking for everyone (and it is free – just saying).  The large bar has plenty of room, but the restaurant side has the better view.  The restaurant was quite noisy when if first opened, but they put some hanging acoustic panels in and it is better.  The same people own the Lobster Shop on Ruston Way.  Boathouse 19 feels very Tacoma to me, and is worth the trip.      

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