Boat House Pub- Grant/Valkaria-1.75-Stars
Way down south, almost directly across from Floridana Beach on the mainland, sits Boathouse Pub. Known locally as more of a biker hangout than anything else, I almost rented a Harley when it popped up on my greasy spoon generator as the next place to be reviewed, but as I do not have a motorcycle endorsement on my license I entered the BBDO cage and headed south on US1. Pulling in I noticed the parking lot, while not packed, was certainly busy perhaps an indication of the comestibles offered inside? We shall see.
If I thought the outside was quaint, I found the inside to be comfortable. The wall facing the river is pretty much all windows providing the diner with spectacular views and the sunset must be amazing. Be that as it may, I was here for an early dinner and after being seated and handed a menu, it was time to get to work.
Perusing the menu I found the average, casual dining bar/pub items with nothing really standing out as unique. As such, I decided on the traditional fare of a Bacon Cheeseburger and an order of Fried Ravioli (OK, that sounded moderately interesting). Soon after reaching this conclusion, I was approached by my server, Crystal. Crystal was engaging, polite, menu knowledgeable and just an all-around amazing server. To start things off (As they touted a full bar) I placed an order for a Single Malt (neat) and followed that with the aforementioned bacon Cheeseburger (which Crystal assured me was homemade) and order of Fried Ravioli.
As you can see by the pictures, while it was an extremely generous pour, it was served in a (shudder) plastic cup. I am not all that horrified that it was plastic and all that entails for the environment as much as it is against the laws of Scotland to serve it in anything other than glass or, better yet, crystal. In spite of the material of the goblet, it was a damn fine drink. Now, onto the eats.
The Bacon Cheeseburger was actually made in house, however, the bun was lacking. the burger was cooked perfectly to order (medium-rare), however, the bun tasted a tad on the stale side and it certainly would have done wonders for it had it been grilled for 10 seconds. Alas, it was not and as such took away from the overall deliciousness that is a Bacon Cheeseburger. Let's face it, anything with meat candy (bacon) in/on it is going to be fantastic..if, and this is important, if, the bacon is fresh and properly prepared. As this bacon was fried to the perfect crispiness, I can only attribute the slightly off taste to the fact that it had gone bad, to begin with. Bacon is just one of those foods that need to be fresh in order to be awesome and this tasted like it might have been a few days old at the least. Overall I would say that this was a let down as I had extremely high hopes going in, as, once again, it had meat candy on it.
Moving on the next plate to be sampled, I procured my eating apparatus (who eats a burger with utensils?) and dug into the Fried Ravioli. Frozen ravioli? Check. Canned marinara sauce? Check. Pre-shredded, pre-packaged Parmesan cheese? Check. Can you see where this is headed? If this was made in house, or at the very least the sauce was, this could have been an extraordinary sample of "bar food." Being that it was not while being a fine example of tasty bar food, it was nothing to get excited about. I am sure they are popular with the drinking crowd, and face it, how many of us go to a non-gastro-pub expecting gourmet food?
The Big Boy says, "For your average bar slop, spectacular view of the river, fun crowd and exceptional service, make a trip to Boathouse Pub down in Grant." #iamthebigboy #bigboydiningout