Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Boardwalk Grill, Madeira Beach, FL

Ordinarily, the only thing that seems less pleasant to me than wading through the sweaty, slow-moving touron masses of John's Pass Village on a 90+ degree Florida day is being chained up in a Super Wal-Mart on Black Friday...unless, of course, I'm seriously jonesing for a fix of the best smoked fish spread on the Pinellas Suncoast (maybe all of Florida) at Waltz Fish Shak.  I guess I'd better stuff my Pez dispenser with Xanax now because future hormonal cravings for The Boardwalk Grill are inevitable.

This little hole-in-the-wall is tucked away in the shadow of the pedestrian monstrosity that is Bubba Gump Shrimp Company.  Even if you stumbled across it, you might not be tempted to go inside (it's tiny and the decor is relatively spartan)...but you should, as the modest exterior belies the caliber of the treats awaiting within.

The Boardwalk Grill is a paper plates/plastic utensils kinda place...but, trust me, you won't mind.  We received friendly, attentive service from the two young ladies who served us. Cold bottles of Mich Ultra were quickly dispensed as we perused the menu, which consists mostly of sandwiches, fried apps and fresh seafood tacos.

We started with an order of house-made, beer-battered onion rings, upon which UD bestowed his coveted "best I've ever eaten" award.  Surprisingly non-greasy, the feather-light breading was crisp and delightful while the interior onion slice was tender and yielded easily to the tooth (nothing's more aggravating than biting into a ring and having the entire scalding-hot veggie center slide out of its crusty encasement and slap you on the chin).  Enjoyed with dipping sides of the house "Dang-Screwy" sauce and requisite horsey sauce, these were off the chain...fresh from the fryer and ridiculously HUGE, almost to the point of resembling donuts.

We also ordered a basket of the Famous Boardwalk Fries to go with our sandwiches (hand cut and fried twice, just as God intended). We loved these golden slabs of goodness, even if we weren't able to polish them all off (portion sizes are quite large at The Board Grill).

My Pennsylvania boy made a beeline for the Authentic Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich.  He ordered the pizza-steak application with mushrooms, onions, provolone and zesty marinara sauce...and "authentic" it was, right down to the Philly-based Amoroso's Baking Company hoagie roll. Juicy, tangy and delicious, this thing is huge...truly a man's sandwich.  Underdog did the best he could, but ultimately admitted defeat and brought half of it home with him.

My Traditional New England Lobster Roll was just that...traditional.  No one is cavalierly throwing around adjectives like "authentic" and "traditional" at The Boardwalk Grill without having the goods to back them up. A full half-pound of sweet, chilled, lightly dressed lobster meat was presented on a warm and toasty buttered roll with a little celery and lettuce thrown in for crunch factor.  At $12.99, this may be one of the best deals on the beach.

The Boardwalk Grill serves up high-quality casual fare at surprisingly reasonable prices considering its tourist-dense locale.  Their pride is evident in the care they take to ensure that even the most seemingly simple menu offerings are fresh, done right and prepared to order.  This pleasing, waterfront lunch with two beers apiece set us back around $50 before tip.  I'll be back for the Fried Oreos.

The Boardwalk Grill on Urbanspoon
My blog entries contain the unmitigated, and sometimes unforgiving, dining truths and perceptions I experience as an ordinary restaurant patron. Every meal I post about has been fully paid for by one of the participating members of my personal dining party. I do not engage in the gratis blogger freebie dining events I'm constantly invited to attend and never will. If I ooze font-like love for a restaurant in my blog, it's because they totally earned it…not because they gave me free food or knew I was going to share the experience on the internet.


  1. Oh my goodness. My Philly-born hubby would be in absolute heaven for a honest to goodness cheesesteak. I would swoon over an authentic lobster roll. I don't know if I'm brave enough to face the crowds. It is so bloody hot already.

  2. It's just a short walk from the parking wasn't THAT horrible. It was cool inside and they have cold beer!

  3. Thank you for the "walk" update. I do believe I can convince him to go now.....he never turns down a cold beer. Happiness is a good eats find.