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Aug 16, 2009 03:00 PM

Richmond's Marina District: The BoilerHouse Restaurant ~ good food and a view

Had brunch at The Boilerhouse Restaurant, located in the old Ford Plant in Richmond’s Marina District, adjacent to the Craneway Pavilion. (You can read about the building’s history on the restaurant’s website at The Bay Trail runs alongside the building, so if you are walking or bike riding you cannot miss it. If you are driving, finding the restaurant is tricky. You have to go to the guard shack where they note down your license plate. From there you drive past the building, make a right and head toward the end of the building. If you are adverse to having your license plate recorded, you can drive down Harbour Way to the end, park and walk along the waterfront.

The restaurant has a very industrial feel to it, high ceilings, steel framework, old machinery, a boiler or two, too, and lots of windows to look out at the Bay.

Their brunch menu today listed about eight items. Their prices are very reasonable, in the 7.00-8.00$ range for their Semifreddi's Challah French Toast, griddle cakes and egg dishes, 4.50$ for steel-cut oatmeal, 5.50$ for their house-made granola. Our server informed us of the specials then took our order. We ordered two of their brunch specials and the eggs benedict.

Our food came quickly, the ingredients were light and fresh. Our friend ordered the frittata with summer squash, cheddar cheese, asparagus, and said it was very tasty. DH’s corned beef hash with poached eggs came with two thick slices of bacon. My eggs benedict came with breakfast potatoes. Both dishes our dishes had poached eggs that were perfectly runny. As we ate, an order of buttermilk griddle cakes topped with fresh fruit wafted passed me and they looked scrumptious, and the pint-sized bloody mary looked tempting. Hmmm … maybe next time.

I didn’t ask about details (unlike RWOrange ~ I’ll leave that for you to explore!), like what brand of coffee they brew, but it was fine. They do carry a selection of Numi teas in a box that our server presented for us to choose from. They also have a full bar.

Our server was courteous and friendly. Service overall was acceptable, although I had to ask for a refill on my coffee. Also, before DH could pull back from the table, the busser interjected into our conversation (in mid-sentence, a no-no in my mind) and asked to clear DH’s plate.

The atmosphere for brunch was relaxed. They had classic jazz (Miles Davis) playing in the background. If the restaurant is full there might be a noise factor because of all the hard surfaces, but it was less than half full while we dined, and three-quarters seated as we left. Another very important aspect of the restaurant: on a scale of 1 to 5 (with 5 being extremely comfortable), the chairs are a 4 for comfort level.

I have a lunch date tomorrow with a friend and will probably go here again, see what their menu has to offer.

The Boilerhouse
1414 Harbour Way S, Richmond, CA 94804

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  1. The BoilerHouse Restaurant
    1414 Harbour Way South
    Marina District, Richmond CA

    1. the website says they are open for dinner but no dinner menue
      Do they serve alcohol? and do they have a corkage charge. I tried calling but it goes to a mail box that is full. This place looks great. Love to hear more, especially Dinner/Pub Food

      1 Reply
      1. re: mustardgirl

        Yes, I noticed they do not have a sample dinner menu posted. While I was there for brunch, I did not think to look for a dinner or wine menu. I plan to have lunch there tomorrow and will enquire further.

      2. Sounds like a terrific find. Looking forward to your lunch report.

        That's some event facitily they have attached ... accomodating 250 - 5000. Nice tie in with Hornblower cruises so you can arrange ferry service from Oakland, SF or Marin to their private wharf. Nice to keep in mind for large company Christmas parties ... if there are Christmas parties this year ... or large companies.

        2 Replies
        1. re: rworange

          I'm glad someone wrote about this place! I've been here a few times for "dinner". The first time was the week they opened and the second about a week ago. I say "dinner" because they offer only pub fare, or snacks after 4. They have sliders, fried calamari, a chicken sandwich and a few other things. I've found the food here to be only okay and the service dismal, but I'm hopeful they will correct this soon since they're still new. The last time we went we waited a good 20 mins before we placed our order, even though we were only 1 of 4 tables. The food came out very slow, and the bar even slower. It's too bad because it's a great fun location and any new place to the area is welcomed. I plan on going to brunch here in the next few weeks in hope of a better experience.

          1. re: calalilly

            I've been here once for lunch and once for dinner. Both times a healthy crowd, local folks and families who work or live in the area it seems. The sleek modern warehouse look is attractive and the recycled glass tabletops are from the green business next door (Terazzo ?) Dinner is full service and lunch is order up at the counter and take a number. I agree service is sincere and friendly, but not polished.

            "Specials" are listed at the front.. For dinner we had sweet potato fries ($4.5) with honey/mustard dipping sauce. Perfect with our cocktails. We shared a green salad ($6.5) and a fettucine special with asparagus and four cheeses.($8.5) Our server was the bartender filling in so he didn't mention the specials and our neighbors were quite envious. At lunch we had a cobb salad with chicken ($7.5) and a tri tip sandwich special served with bbq potato chips ($9.). Salad was generous, a tad salty. Sandwich was on a soft grilled torpedo roll, but the meat lacked flavor with too much gristle.
            Prices are reasonable (sorry I may be off on the exact prices) and the location perfect for an after meal walk along the Bay Trail. I will be back to try more. Important to remember - you need to pass through a gated parking lot and register with the guard unless you walk or bike from the marina.

        2. Drove by this afternoon. Really a great location-Very Industrial
          No happy hour-apparently they had a happy hour with 50cent tacos
          But according to the person I spoke to, it was TOO popular so they nixed it(Makes sense)?
          Food looks basic and reasonably priced -not a great selection-Probably better for Brunch-
          Drinks $6-8 range Beer $5 will try to go wendesday eve

          1. We arrived there kind of late for lunch - 1:30pm - so it was not crowded. They had a copy of the specials displayed on the ledge where you first enter and were also written on a couple of overhead boards by the bar. For whatever reason, I did not really look at their specials, but noted on the way out that they had a pasta dish and a couple of other salad options.

            I ordered a bowl of their chicken tortilla soup and the field greens salad with house dressing, my companion ordered the grilled chicken cobb salad. Food arrived fairly quickly, I thought they were generous servings for a midday meal. The chicken tortilla soup was tasty and contained fresh ingredients, but had my head that it should be a red broth. My garden salad was nice, not overdressed. I would order the salad again, and maybe the soup in a cup size, not bowl. I'll be back again and explore their pub fare/dinner options.

            On both the lunch and dinner (pub fare) menu, they list:

            COMING SOON
            'catch of the day'
            'carnivore special'
            'pasta du jour'

            I noticed a burr grinder at the bar. They feature Peerless coffee. Their wine and beer selection is small, their corkage fee is 15$. I'll list the lunch, pub fare and drinks menu in a separate post.

            5 Replies
            1. re: AntarcticWidow

              Lunch (11am – 2pm)

              Chicken tortilla soup – cup 3 / bowl 4.5
              Fresh chicken simmered in house-made chicken stock. Finished with avocado and tortilla strips

              Roasted vegetable du jour – 4
              Seasonal vegetables seasoned with fresh herbs

              Field greens salad with house dressing – 5.5
              Fresh tomato, cucumber, shredded carrots, red onion and Point Reyes blue cheese on top of a bed of spring greens with house sherry vinaigrette

              Grilled chicken cobb salad – 7.5
              Grilled chicken, hard-boiled eggs, Point Reyes blue, avocado on top of romaine, butter lettuce and watercress

              Pepperoni pizza – 6

              Margherita pizza – 5.5
              Tomato, basil and fresh mozzarella

              Caprese sandwich – 6.5
              Tomato, basil and fresh mozzarella on ciabatta with balsamic vinaigrette

              Niman Ranch 1/3 lb hamburger w/french fries – 7
              Hand formed burger, grilled, served on challah bun
              Add cheese – .50
              Sub garlic fries – 1
              Sub sweet potato fries – 1

              2 taco plate – 5.5
              2 corn tortillas with your choice of chicken or beef, served with rice and beans

              Burrito – 5.5
              your choice of chicken or beef, rice and beans wrapped in warm flour tortilla

              1. re: AntarcticWidow

                Pub fare (2pm – 9:30pm)

                Garlic fries – 4.5
                Shoestring fries with fresh chopped garlic and parsley

                Sweet potato fries – 4.5
                Golden sweet potato fries with side of house-made honey mustard

                Fried calamari – 7
                Hand cut calamari rings, lightly battered, with tartar sauce

                Mini-sliders – 6.5
                Two mini sliders, with tomatoes, onions, lettuce and housemade pickles

                Chicken soft tacos – 5.5
                Three mini chicken tacos on soft corn tortillas, topped with roasted salsa, onion and cilantro

                Chicken quesadilla – 5.5
                Chopped grilled chicken and cheese in a warm flour tortilla with pico de gallo
                Add quacamole – 1

                Texas chili – 4.5
                Niman rance ground chuck simmered with chilies, peppers and beans

                Wings – half dozen 5.5, dozen 10.5
                Plump chicken drumettes covered with buffalo, BBQ or teriyaki sauce

                1. re: AntarcticWidow

                  Drink Specialties

                  Bay sunset – 6 (Kettle One Citron vodka, lemonade, cranberry)
                  Bloody Mary – 6 (Boilerhouse style; nice and spicy)
                  Rosie-Rita – 7 (Hornitos tequila, fresh lime juice, simple syrup, splash triple sec and cranberry)
                  Rockstar Vodka – 7 (Classic pick me up to start the evening, keep it going or finish it off)
                  Lemon drop – 8 (Kettle one Citron vodka, fresh lemon, triple sec, sugared rim)
                  Poma-tini – 8 (Hanger One vodka with pomegranate juice and fresh lime, shaken)

                  Italian soda – 3 (Raspberry or pomegranate)
                  Boilerhouse lemonade – 3
                  Soda – 2 (coke, diet, sprite, fanta, root beer)

                  House Red and Whites – glass 5, bottle 18
                  Mas Wine, CA

                  Red table wine – glass 6, bottle 22
                  Tableaux, France 2005

                  Tableaux, France 2007 – glass 6, bottle 22
                  Snapdragon, CA 2007 – glass 7, bottle 28
                  Ventana, Soledad, CA 2007 – glass 10, bottle 40

                  Sauvingon Blanc
                  Napa County, Sterling Vineyards, 2007 – glass 9, bottle 36

                  Rosenblum, CA 2008 – glass 9, bottle 36

                  Pinot Noir
                  Chalone, Monterey, CA – glass 10, bottle 40
                  Rancho Sisquoc, Santa Barbara County, CA – bottle 40

                  Rutherford, Napa Valley CA – glass 8, bottle 32

                  Bell, Sierra Foothills, CA – bottle 54

                  Sparkling Brut
                  Salmon Creek, CA – glass 6, bottle 24
                  Chandon, Napa Valley CA – bottle 32
                  Veuve Cliquot, France – bottle 145

                  Draft beer – glass 5, pitcher 18

                  Stone Pale Ale, Escondido, San Diego
                  Racer 5, Bear Republic, Cloverdale
                  Downtown brown - Lost Coast, Eureka

                  Manager’s selection
                  Seasonal selection
                  Bartender’s selection
                  (Please ask)

                  Anchor steam – 3.5
                  12 oz bottle

                  Budweiser - 3.5
                  16 oz aluminum can

                  1. re: AntarcticWidow

                    The bottle of house wine is NOT a bottle but a 3/4 carafe
                    another kink in the palce-They do not have their act together at all

                    1. re: mustardgirl

                      If they are using 1 liter carafes then 3/4 would equal a 750 ml bottle of wine.