“Boardwalk brought me back to the local seafood joints”

Stephanie Hollman, Staff Writer

Located in downtown East Grand Forks and surrounded by a myriad of dining options, Boardwalk Bar and Grill has got some competition when it comes to the local culinary scene. It’s variety of better-than-average tasting and moderately-priced American entrees, however, puts it above most when it comes to casual dining downtown.

When I arrived there on a busy Saturday afternoon, I was welcomed with a family-friendly atmosphere and a cheery hostess who sat my party in a booth of the main dining area. Customers filled the restaurant and everyone seemed to be having a good time, either chatting in the multiple dining areas or watching local sports while enjoying a drink at the bar. Overall, the layout of the restaurant, tall and plush booths and dim lighting created an intimate atmosphere that encourages conversation between restaurant-goers.

To start, my party ordered the seafood lahvosh ($13) from the seasonal section of the menu, which features a rotation of seasonal appetizers, lahvosh, and “Boardwalk Favorites.” The traditional Armenian flatbread was topped with imitation crab, baby shrimp, chopped scallops, and melted havarti cheese. It was large enough to serve as an appetizer for a group of three, but flavor-wise, the seafood taste lacks when compared other kinds of lavosh I’ve had which were topped with meat. For that reason, I recommend trying the cheeseburger, which is described to be loaded with all the makings of a burger, the chicken bacon ranch (CBR) which features grilled chicken and bacon bits, or even the veggie lavosh.

The restaurant’s namesake, the Boardwalker burger ($12) was served open-faced and with a hearty serving of steaming hot french fries. The burger consists of pulled pork, lettuce, tomato and mayo. All of the vegetables were crisp and fresh, and the pulled pork was melt-in-your-mouth divine. The sauce was delicious, but it was a bit overdone, as the entire burger fell apart after a few bites. I suggest using any leftover bun to soak up the pulled pork sauce to maximize your experience. For $2, other side options include fried green beans, sweet fries, onion rings, mashed potatoes and a house salad.

I steer clear of ordering salads when dining out, but when I saw the words “ahi tuna” on the menu, I decided to order the ahi tuna salad. At $14, the salad was pricey. It was the second priciest item on the entire menu, after only the 10 oz. sirloin. Despite the price, the salad was completely worth it.

Grand Forks is a landlocked town, and I knew when I moved here that fresh seafood was a culinary sacrifice that I had to make. The seared ahi tuna at Boardwalk brought me back to the local seafood joints in my beach-city hometown. Cooked medium-rare, the flavor of the meat was retained and complemented with a light lemon pepper seasoning. The generous slice of tuna sat atop a bed of fresh spring greens, mixed in with sweet mandarins and topped with toasted almonds. All of this fresh deliciousness came together with a light and gingery Asian dressing. If you are ever craving something healthy and want something with flavors that will take you away to a coastal city for a moment, treat yourself to this salad.

Overall, Boardwalk Bar and Grill’s family-friendly atmosphere, quality menu items and excellent customer service makes it a solid option for casual dining in the downtown Grand Forks/East Grand Forks area.

Stephanie Hollman is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected]