Monday, July 16, 2012

A Chance Encounter Goes Bad

The Boat Yard Bar and Grill
1308 East Main St.
Stamford, CT 06902

Being in a new city for the first time presents the interesting challenge, “where do I find a place to eat that isn’t completely boring and will actually serve food that has flavor?”

Well, try as I might to find a place that fit the bill, Stamford CT just lacks for originality. Searching high and low, I just couldn’t find a place that was different than the run of the mill “trying to be Irish” bar.

If you’re in the mood for American staples, served in a place that thinks the Shamrock and tri-color Irish flag are the only decorations ever invented, go to Stamford CT. I think I saw 13 Irish pubs listed on my GPS.

Miraculously, I happened upon the Boat Yard.  Not exactly a “hole in the wall” but it is hidden from the beaten path, and if I’d been driving faster than the posted speed limit, I probably would have missed what appeared to be a welcome reprieve from faux Irish accents and the ever present notion that the only beer in the world is Guinness.

As the name would suggest, the place has a distinct nautical theme. Sadly the theme does not extend further than the decoration. The only water the restaurant can see is the creek just outside of the dining room windows.

The beer selection in this particular establishment sadly lacks. On tap they had Land Shark and Harpoon. Not the greatest beers to be enjoyed alone, but when paired with fish they are passable. 

Starving as I was from searching for a place where the food wasn’t served with a side of green sprinkles, I ordered the fried fish platter, hoping against hope it would be heaping full of cod and coleslaw.

I was deceived!  Not only did I get a mere three pieces of fish…they were only the size of chicken nuggets! It would seem to me that a place called the Boat Yard would be able to serve at least a whole fish to for lunch. Guess the ocean is running low on cod.

The coleslaw was also a dramatic let down.  Served in a tiny cup, it was more of a relish than slaw. In fact, I asked the waitress if it was relish and she informed me that it was the slaw. 

WOW, I've had vinegary coleslaw before, but it was more potent than any other I've ever had. I didn't even need to use the malt vinegar they provided with the three fish-nuggets. I'm fairly certain the vinegar content of that slaw will be giving me ulcers in the distant future.

Small as the portion of sea life was, it was tasty but heavily over breaded. 

I can't let the Boat Yard suffer too much in this review. The food was very artistically arranged. If I’d been looking for a fish platter to put on an advertisement or in an art museum, this would be the one to choose! If I hadn't known better, and just guessed on the size of the meal, I would have thought it was ordered from the seniors' menu or maybe the kid's menu. It was tiny!

The service was also very slow. Now it was the middle of the day, and there was one other customer in the whole restaurant, so I can’t completely fault the staff. You know how hard it is to make sure the water glasses of two people are always full. 

Glad they didn’t ask me to buy the t-shirt, because I would have to say, “I’d use your shirt to clean my grill.”

Oh well, lesson learned. Next time I'm going to look for a place that's more run down and has more than one car parked out front. 

Rating: Used the t-shirt to clean my grill!

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