On the Cheap: The Boathouse

Basic pub food and nautical ambience to suit the Square's rowers and beer lovers alike
By ALEXANDRA CAVALLO  |  November 7, 2012

FOOD_OTC_BoatHouse-4_cMelissaOstrow

I hit the Boathouse just two days before Hurricane Sandy hit the Eastern Seaboard. It was an unseasonably warm fall afternoon, but once inside the pleasantly dim bowels of the dark-wooded pub, it wasn't hard to imagine battening down the hatches and hunkering down with a hoppy beer or five to wait out a Nor'easter. It would be sort of like The Perfect Storm, minus Mark Wahlberg and all the carnage at sea.

The new pub is owned by the same Irish brothers who own Daedalus next door, though you wouldn't know it from the quaint Nantucket-ready décor: an old nautical compass here, a weathered buoy there. But the menu is Irish-American, offering some dependable comfort-food fare, from fish 'n' chips to truffle fries and mac 'n' cheese with Gruyère. The Boathouse might be more of a great brew pub than a great eatery (for a small bar, they have an impressive craft-beer selection), but nothing is priced above $15, which more than softens the blow of food that's hearty if somewhat uninspired and under-seasoned.

That latter descriptor can be applied to the popcorn chicken ($7), juicy bites of white meat that, while perfectly fried, were oddly flavorless. That must be what the two dipping sauces — a spicy barbeque and a cool chipotle ranch — were for. When I inadvertently upped the flavor ante by spilling my Full Sail IPA into the basket of chicken whilst gesturing at the aforementioned décor, our bartender/waitress was quick with a roll of paper towels. I should disclose that I continued to eat the beer-logged (beer-battered?) chicken bites and polished those suckers right off.

Also notable were the fish tacos ($7), two soft tortillas stuffed with lightly battered tilapia, cabbage, and onions in a zesty chipotle sauce. One IPA-spattered friend ordered the pulled-chicken quesadilla ($8), a savory, markedly inventive take on the 'dilla, which we all agreed was the highlight of a generally pleasant meal. So reads this captain's log: simple, satisfying food that complements an afternoon spent throwing back good beers in what should prove to be a solid addition to the Square's pub scene.

>>ACAVALLO@PHX.COM

THE BOATHOUSE :: 49 Mount Auburn St, Cambridge :: 617.349.1650

  Topics: On The Cheap , cheap eats, pub food
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY ALEXANDRA CAVALLO
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   KEEPING TIME WITH FASHIONABLY LATE  |  March 06, 2013
    Some — ahem, everyone in NYC — would say Boston isn't a fashion-forward city.
  •   INTERVIEW: NICK OFFERMAN, THE MAN'S MAN OF PARKS AND REC  |  February 15, 2013
    Is Ron Swanson the manliest character on TV right now?
  •   THE TNT SHORT LIST: ARTSEMERSON'S NEXT THING  |  February 12, 2013
    Mike Daisey's anthropologic commentary on American culture is just the beginning of what ArtsEmerson has in store for festival-goers at The Next Thing (TNT) Festival.
  •   COMMON THREADS: BLOCK SHOP TEXTILES  |  February 15, 2013
    This past November, two giant burlap parcels — hand-stitched together and sealed with wax — arrived on Hopie Stockman's Cambridge doorstep.
  •   REVIEW: MAMA  |  January 22, 2013
    This creepy Guillermo Del Toro-produced horror flick (his hallmarks are all around the smudgy edges) demonstrates convincingly that step-parenting is a real bitch.

 See all articles by: ALEXANDRA CAVALLO