Mac and Cheese Madness: Boathouse 19

By Ron Swarner on December 5, 2014

It's a well known fact that cold weather = comfort food.

And what's more comforting then hot and cheesy mac and cheese?

On a recent rainy night, Boathouse 19 shone like a lighthouse for those craving comfort food. Next to the Narrows Marina, tucked behind the massive Narrows Brewing Co., you could see the glow through the windows that become live paintings of nautical themes.

Boathouse 19's mac & cheese may not have a stadium named after it, but it takes the afterschool snack and hangover helper to a whole new level. Maybe the Boathouse 19 Mac & Cheese Bowl? It's certainly worthy.

Eating Boathouse 19's three-cheese macaroni and cheese ($13) is an out-of-body experience. Upon completion, it's a full body experience. The waterfront restaurant offers a rich, filling dish of elbow macaroni bathed in silky, cheesy goodness and served in a cast-iron pan. Maybe the secret to this mac & cheese greatness is the caramelized onion and huge chunks of ham. Maybe it's the thick blanket of panko, that is the perfect contrast rather than steel the show. Maybe it's the dish's fine balance of being cheesy but not cheesy, creamy but not creamy. No need to twist. No need for a spoon. Pepper jack, American and cheddar, blended all together, served by the happiest server I have ever met.

Seriously, this is worth a trip to Boathouse 19 all by itself. This is mac and cheese that makes an impression.

BOATHOUSE 19, 11 a.m. to close Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, 9001 S. 19th St., Tacoma, 253.565.1919

LINK: More mac and cheese dishes in the South Sound

LINK: The answer to why this mac and cheese column exists