Change is often a difficult thing for people. Remember when Daniel Craig became 007, lots of very upset people complaining he was too old, too aggressive, too blonde. What about when Adam Lambert started singing with Queen. Now accepting that no one would ever be as good as Freddie he has worked out rather well. Two World tours certainly suggest so. Oh and don't forget when David Moyes took over from Sir Alex, that went… hmmm, yeah, less well.
But anyway, change, evolution, succession, replacement, is an inevitably. Sometimes it goes very well and sometimes it doesn't. There's always that risk, especially when you change an old favourite, that you don't improve, and in the restaurant world that upsets a lot of previously loyal customers. Boardwalk know this only too well, after a stunning (and I imagine very expensive) remodelling of the Falkirk favourite, The Wheelhouse, they reopened and social media was not kind. Some of the ridiculous negative reviews based on the fact that their aunt's sisters cousins maw had been and had a bad meal, resulted in one star reviews from people who had never even set foot in the place. Someone even went to the effort of starting a Facebook account in the name of the owner to say rude things to negative reviewers and stir the pot even more than the Russians did in the US elections, allegedly…
Obviously this meant we had to pop down and see what it was really like, you know rather than just believe what in the interweb tells us. Oh and in the interest of transparency it's probably worth mentioning we went to the Wheelhouse a lot, we had breakfast there almost every weekend, it hosted birthday parties and anniversaries, Mini-SFR stood up on her own for the first time there, crawled, then walked across the lounge carpet and developed her love of Hollandaise sauce there, so the closing of the Wheelhouse was the end of an era for us. Straight away then you might be thinking this review is going to be a particular vitriolic affair, along the lines of our Five Guys review.
Well sorry to disappoint, the only thing in common is that I had a burger, because actually Boardwalk isn't bad at all, in fact it's rather good. There I said it. It's good. We even went back a second time to check, it was still good. It does exactly what it says its going to do. It's a restaurant and carvery. It's not fine dining and if you want to feed a family of four for under a tenner you may want to try the golden arches, or Lidl. Boardwalk does popular food, catering for the masses, expect a menu of soup, steak, fish and chips, pies and burgers, because that, and a decent carvery is what a lot of folk, me included, generally want to eat.
On our visit exactly seven minutes after ordering, a Bacon Cheeseburger and a Fish and Chips were delivered to the table, which fortunately was exactly what we’d asked for. They were sizeable portions and with everything you need for a meal, the burger accompanied by chips coleslaw and topped with onion rings. The fish was served with lemon, tartar sauce and salad, oh and of course chips. Which meant there was none of this current trend of having to buy sides to make up a proper meal. The food was hot and tasted exactly how you would expect, no surprises, no frills, just solid effective plates of tasty food. The burger, a handy benchmark of a restaurants offering, was a decent size and chargrilled for a deep flavour. The mozzarella and cheddar mix maximised the cheesy taste and combined well with the smoky bacon rasher for a very tasty burger.
Not too long after we finished our table was cleared and dessert menus requested, well we didn't have starters so we felt we could spoil ourselves. As before a remarkably short time later our puddings arrived, and this wasn't an empty restaurant, despite it being a midweek lunchtime the twenty eight folk in when we arrived (yes, I counted) had swollen to nearly fifty. Whilst the numbers were easily accommodated in the large space it still takes an effective kitchen to be able to keep on serving good food quickly.
Two more staples of the populist food menu were delivered to us, a Sticky Toffee pudding and an ice cream Sundae. These again were exactly what you would expect them to be. The ice cream was cold and sweet, the pudding was hot and, umm, sweet. Perfect.
Every member of staff was lovely and we got to meet almost all of them and that's my only criticism. From being welcomed at the door to being given the bill, seven different members of staff looked after us. It kind of makes it hard to feel like your getting a personal service when you keep seeing different people.
All in all Boardwalk is a great restaurant, the prices are reasonable for the portion sizes and represent good value for money. The burger was £12.99 and the fish and chips, which I reckon will be a big seller, was £11.99. The atmosphere, environment and sharp new interior is both family friendly, or there are plenty of tables out the way that would keep a couple happy on a date. Boardwalk is definitely catering to the masses, the menu plus the carvery should mean very few people would not find something they like. I would certainly recommend you give it a try for yourself and make up your own mind.