Situated at the edge of the tiny resort community of Put In Bay on Lake Erie’s South Bass Island, The Boardwalk is one of the prime seafood destinations on the island. Among the primary boat pens and docks of the island, the facility sits on a pier jutting out into the lake, the multi-storied complex sells an array of seafood and souvenirs, as well as taxis to neighboring islands and entertainment. As far as views of beautiful Lake Erie, this pier offers some of the best. I think the same can be said of its menu.
It’s hard to really identify what comprises the boardwalk, but I consider the whole facility to be one establishment. There are about half a dozen different walk-up stalls selling different seafood, possibly from different vendors, but they all share the same central dining mall as well as website. The central, unifying theme to all of these is that a legendary lobster bisque can be found along the boardwalk. Inevitably, I gave it a try, and I was just about blown away. This is the best lobster bisque I have ever eaten. It’s served overflowing in a bread bowl. It’s messy, and easily eaten as such. I had a hard time fighting off the temptation not to lick the plate. The bisque is amazingly creamy; almost like a thick stew, and the abundant lobster meat gives the gravy an irresistible aroma of seafood you’ll find nowhere else. The lobster meat is soft and moist, like butter, and as you pluck every morsel you can find, you’ll taste the delicate ingredient at its best. I’m going to have to agree, this is some seriously good bisque.
Unfortunately, some of the other items on the menu leave something to be desired. My biggest complaint lies with another big crustacean on the menu; the shrimp. See, the shrimp which are not fried are served “fresh,” that is, unshelled and uncleaned, only with their heads removed. I would understand this presentation if they were “fresh” out of the lake, but shrimp aren’t fished out of Lake Erie like the trout, walleye and bass. These shrimp are therefore brought in from the ocean, and likely frozen and unfrozen in the process. Not only are they therefore not “fresh,” but it takes a substantial effort to eat each individual one. You pull off the legs, the shell, and the very disgusting vein before you can eat it, getting you-know-what all over your hands in the process.
I like the Boardwalk, I find its signature dish above average. In spite of some of the flaws, it’s still a must-go for visitors.
- The lobster bisque is the hyped main dish at the Boardwalk, and it lives up to this reputation. I would call it an essential item to get if you’re on the island.
- Beyond that though, the rest of the seafood is only all right.
- The view here is probably my favorite on the whole island, and this is the place to hang out and relax.