Editor’s Note: Boiler Nine is closing. The last day of service is Feb. 23, 2019.
Drop everything and call a friend now. You are going to want to make lunch plans at Boiler Nine Bar + Grill soon.
Boiler Nine, a steampunk fever dream bathed in natural light, sprawls across four floors of the old Seaholm Power Plant. It boasts a discreet basement bar and a cozy rooftop patio, along with two dining rooms and a regular patio. Places this pretty sometimes have difficulty ensuring the food is as appealing as the space itself. However, Boiler Nine more than meets the challenge.
Wake Up the Taste Buds
Executive Chef Jason Stude–formerly of Second Bar + Kitchen and a “Chopped” winner–and Chef de Hype Emily Maddy have created an inventive lunch menu featuring both familiar and international flavors. Some Boiler Nine favorites, like the beer bread, remain, but several new items have joined the lineup.
The beer bread, though, has quickly become one of the most raved about dishes. Stude explains it’s their savory take on a cinnamon roll. The rich bread has Lone Star in the batter, and is topped with BBQ salt, caramelized onions, and a wicked beef fat butter. Beer jam with Yellow Rose IPA is served on the side.
Boiler Nine’s play on a seven-layer dip is a lighter starter. This delectable dip starts with chunks of avocados, then a creamy hummus, sprinkled with cilantro, pumpkin seeds, and dried cherry tomatoes. With sesame crackers on the side, it’s a fun mix of textures and flavors. For Brussels sprouts fans, Boiler Nine’s crispy sprouts combines an Asian taste, black sesame Furikake, and a southwestern chile lime vinaigrette.
Sandwiches and salads are no basic affair at Boiler Nine. The smoked whitefish has a mild but herbal taste with a pleasant texture. I loved the pickled cabbage for a little tang and the watermelon radish to add crunch.
Veggie lovers may want to go for the goat cheese + zucchini sandwich with mint pesto, basil, and eggplant. The coconut + curry quinoa with jicama, mango, and candied grains is also a good option. I personally liked the Beet + Bibb salad, with tangy and sweet flavors to complement one another.
For me, though, the B9 burger is where it’s at. I can’t stop telling people about it! The Comeback sauce and onion jam elevate the burger to the heights of yumminess. Make sure to order housemade potato chips or steak fries. The chips are crispy, and Stude describes them as a cross between salt and vinegar, plus sour cream and onion chips. They may sound salty, but they’re actually well-seasoned.
The steak fries are ridiculously good. The potatoes are parboiled first, then the fries are baked until they’re almost cooked through. Finally, they’re quickly fried to get them crunchy on the outside. The fried rosemary, Aleppo pepper, and Grana Padano on top work perfectly with the aioli.
A Hearty Meal
If you like to have a hearty yet somewhat healthy meal, I recommend the oak roasted chicken. This generous portion of chicken is first soaked in its own brine—a method Stude came up with—then sous-vide, then cooked over oak and mesquite wood. The chicken is juicy and packed with flavor. It comes on a bed of tomato panzanella.
Another popular option at Boiler Nine is the salmon nicoise, with a piece of Faroe Island salmon served on a marigold mustard, with an egg yolk made into a version of Bearnaise sauce, green beans, potatoes, and pickled mustard seeds. The subtle marigold mustard is the most interesting element to me. The marigolds came from planters in front of the restaurant, as do many of the herbs diners enjoy.
Cheers to Boiler Nine
Boiler Nine has two gorgeous, well-stocked bars, and a selection of pretty craft cocktails. The Devil’s Cup is an eye-catching drink in a copper cup with white Pimm’s, and fresh mint and berries to round out the ginger beer. This drink will appeal to a sweet-inclined palate. The Green Velvet refreshes with hints of grapefruit, basil, and chartreuse. Boiler Nine also has a full wine and beer menu.
The ambience is lovely here, and the service is friendly. The chefs, managers, and staff members show pride in their work and food. With dishes that live up to their promise, Boiler Nine fires on all cylinders.
800 W. Cesar Chavez St. – Website – parking validated for first hour
@theAustinot wants to know:
What is your favorite lunch dish at Boiler Nine?
Disclosure: Boiler Nine comped my meal for the purposes of this review. All opinions are my own.
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