We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Nice surroundings with poor food.” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Boathouse 19

Boathouse 19
9001 South 19th Street, Tacoma, WA
Improve this listing
Ranked #90 of 668 Restaurants in Tacoma
Cuisines: American
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
University Place, Washington
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
“Nice surroundings with poor food.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2014

I actually ate at the 19 twice so I'll capsulate my experience by describing the premise's. The restaurant is loated at the base of 19th Street West in Tacoma WA. Thus the name Boathouse 19. It is part of the Narrows Marina boating complex and is on the water. The interior of the restaurant is nicely done in wood and a not overpowering nautical theme. Seating is in 3 separate areas and assignment is at the wait person's discretion. The whole area has the feeling of upper class yuppie. Parking near the restaurant is premium and when the place is busy you may find yourself walking a distance.

Our first visit was on a Saturday evening and we shared the place with what obviously was a school prom group. The first thing we noted when seated 20 minutes past our reservation is the noise level is almost unbearable. Conversation is almost impossible without yelling across the table at your dining partners. Once the waitress took our drink order it was twenty minutes before we saw her again. We ordered from the menu various items that arrived after a far too long wait. I had a breaded fish dish and it was a complete waste of money. A small fillet (one inch in dia. and three inches long x3) was so encrusted in batter that the fish couldn't be tasted and was overpowered by the batter. But the clincher was when I ordered a banana split. We waited one hour (that's one hour) and finally cornered our waitress and informed her we were leaving. She informed us that the split was on it's way out, that they had run out of banana's, and the managers wife had brought a banana from home. Are you kidding me? Anyway the banana split was great. But even after waiting one hour the cheapskates didn't comp me for the desert. Great business practice.

My second trip was for a birthday party and not my idea. That time I ordered a chicken sandwich which came with a requested wedge of watermelon. The watermelon was great, the sandwich was terrible. The chicken breast was one complete piece of gristle and unedible. I mentioned this fact to the waitress who brushed me off with a giggle and figured, " what the hell I'm not coming back here anyway".

In conclusion I won't be back again. This place is more for the beautiful crowd who somehow can nurse a drink for 2 hours and constantly check their I phones. Save your money and go to one of the quality establishments on the Tacoma waterfront.

  • Visited April 2014
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

68 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Carlsbad, California, United States
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Brunch on the Bay”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2014

Great view and good food. Seafood chowder excellent. Good service. Most food a B~. Kind of out of the way. Might me hard to find. Cute boat decor.

Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
111 reviews 111 reviews
81 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
78 helpful votes 78 helpful votes
“3 strikes and out”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2014 via mobile

This was my wife and my third trip to Boathouse 19. With a lack of any real decent sit down restaurant in UP, I have wanted this place to succeed so bad. But no matter where you are, to succeed, you need to be good. Boathouse has the bones to be a great restaurant, but lacks character, ambiance, fastidious service and most of all, good food. There's hints of these things... but no actual delivery.

Character and ambiance. Is it a restaurant...a pub...a bar and grill...a sports bar... who knows? What I do know is it's loud, stark and plain.

Service. Ordinary. Two degrees over a greasy spoon...A degree above a Denny's...a couple degrees below an Outback... and a thousand degrees from true customer service you get at places like Pacific grill, JW, Brix, or El Gaucho's.

Food. Blah. I had a homemade chicken noodle soup that was bested by Campbell. My wife started with the chowder which was slightly salty and overly thickened, but still the taste highlight of the evening. For entre wife selected a beet salad which strained for flavor. I've had incredible beet salads (see Pacific Grill) that begged you to return. Boathouse beet salad was flavorless and totally unmemorable. I chose the fish and chips (they just call it a fish fry. Why???) and wished right away I had gone to Steamers down at Titlow Beach. The fish was mushy; the batter way too thick and overpowering; the cole slaw a useless, overly sweet addition; and the chips overly spiced. After all the disappointments, we opted to not get desert.

Again, it was our third time back over two years...always hoping for better results. We've been disappointed every time. To avoid being accused of being insane by constantly repeating failures, we won't be going back again. That ticks me off since the area could really use a decent restaurant.

Visited February 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
48 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“One of the best local restaurants”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2013

Food here is very good. I am especially fond of the philly cheesesteak and the fries. Outside during a beautiful day is very pleasant but you need to get there early for lunch. Prices are very reasonable. Happy hour has some good values. A little noisy inside but not unpleasant. Good selection of beers. Great service.

  • Visited October 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
University Place, Washington
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Delicious and relaxing”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2013 credit card Amex Card Member Review

Great service, delicious unusual spin on usual food, beautiful views.
We liked that you can take out to brewery next door!
Good for families as well

Visited August 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Boathouse 19 also viewed


Been to Boathouse 19? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Boathouse 19, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.