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Best of Tacoma 2016: Boathouse 19

Best Place To Watch The Game, Best Place To Meet Someone

Diners soak up the sun on the deck of Boathouse 19 in the Narrows Marina. Photo credit: Molly Gilmore

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Ah, the joys of a sunny day at a marina: the smell of the water, the sounds of the seagulls, the sight of the water.

That appealing atmosphere is bound to draw appealing people, right?

Apparently that's the case at Boathouse 19, voted Best Place to Meet Someone in the Volcano's Best of Tacoma poll.

"It's like the beach place you wish you had, but you don't have to take care of it," said Katie Driscoll, co-owner and operations manager of the restaurant, located at the Narrows Marina.

"It's a casual restaurant," she added. "It's a really comfortable restaurant. Families come here; high-school kids come here; college kids come here."

It's also a popular spot for singles meeting dates they found online, she said.

In other words, it's a meet market, not a meat market.

Drawing diners from both land and sea, Boathouse 19 offers stunning views of the Narrows Bridge and keeps the nautical feeling going with rustic décor, including tables made with repurposed wood.

Another secret to its appeal might be the happy hour, which happens daily from 3 to 6 p.m. and again from 9 p.m. on.

And then, of course, there's the food. Given the setting, it's no surprise that seafood is a popular option.

"We don't buy our seafood from people coming off the boats," Driscoll said, "but people are hauling up crab and hauling up clams, and those are some of the things we sell a lot of."

Octopus tacos are one of the more interesting options. "The octopus population under the Narrows Bridge is one of the largest in the world, and we serve octopus tacos because of that," she said.

Salmon is popular, too. "We're a quintessential Northwest restaurant," Driscoll said.

For those who'd rather go turf than surf, the Boathouse also specializes in burgers made from Angus beef.

And it's been lauded by diners and food critics alike for its pickled vegetables, which includes cauliflower, cucumber and onion, as well as sometimes other vegetables, depending on what's in season.

"The truth is it's very simple to do," Driscoll said.

Dessert delights include peanut butter pie served in a mason jar, a banana split and milkshakes in flavors from salted caramel to blueberry enhanced with brown-sugar ice cream.

Surely, that's enough to win a kid's heart - or a grown-up's, with the optional addition of Kahlua, rum and other spirits.

Boathouse 19, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mon-Thurs, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fri and Sat, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, 9001 S. 19th St., Tacoma, 253.565.1919,

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