Bob Dylan once said, “Inspiration is hard to come by. You have to take it where you can find it.” Luckily for us, Craig Marr found inspiration in something that was missing from his life: fish tacos. In 2010, he sat on the beach talking to a couple of friends about the fact he couldn’t find anyone serving fish tacos to the Rhode Island beach community. What was he to do? He decided the only solution was to open his own restaurant. He partnered with his long time friends Bob and Rick Harris and opened Charlestown’s Breachway Grill.
The Breachway Grill is located in a small plaza on Charlestown Beach Road, about halfway between Route 1 and Charlestown Town Beach. Walking into the restaurant, you immediately get the sense you are by the ocean. A giant wooden fish hangs over the bar, and the ambiance screams beach restaurant (from the tile floors to the ocean prints on the walls). There is a small bar, which appears to be the gathering place for locals. The bar was jammed all night, and people were consistently waiting for seats. The dining room is small, but there is additional seating available on the patio. During the colder months, the patio is tented and heated.
Like any beachside restaurant worth its salt, the Breachway Grill has an extensive drink menu. On a warmer night, I would have liked to have tried the Organic Cucumber Refresher ($10) with Square One Cucumber Vodka, St. Germain, lime juice and club soda, or the Cold River Blueberry Lemonade ($10) with Cold River Blueberry Vodka, lemonade and a splash of Prosecco. Instead, I picked a Shipyard Pumkinhead Beer ($6) with a cinnamon sugar rim. It tasted like fall. My friend wasn’t ready to say goodbye to warmer days, so she ordered the last of the Yuengling Summer Wheat ($4).
During the summer months, the restaurant offers a raw bar in addition to its regular menu selections. With so many amazing oysters being farmed within a couple of miles of Charlestown, it is too bad it couldn’t be a year round. Nevertheless, a cup of Captain’s Chowda ($5) was just was the doctor ordered on a crisp fall night. The cup was really a smaller sized bowl, so it was plenty of soup. The chowder was on the thick side and full of clam flavor. Since I had a hankering for oysters, I also ordered the Oysters Rockefeller ($14) and was glad I did. The six oysters were baked with a decadent Pernod white sauce, diced bacon, fresh spinach and topped with melted cheese. These were some of the best Oysters Rockefeller I have ever had. There was plenty of the rich sauce, so much that it spilled out of the oyster shells and onto my plate. I was thoughtfully given a handful of slices of foccaccia bread to soak up every bit of the delicious sauce. My guest decided to start with Stuffies ($7.50), which were a special that night. They were stuffed to the brim with chopped quahogs and crispy bread stuffing.
Many guests at the tables around us were ordering pizza, and we didn’t want to miss out, so I ordered a small Pepperoni Pizza ($13) to go. It made a nice lunch the following day. The pizza here is New York-style with a thin crust cut into large pieces. There were lots of options for toppings including a cheese pizza topped with Caesar salad, and one topped with chicken parm. They also offer calzones, which I thought was a nice touch.
Since the Breachway Grill was founded on fish tacos ($16), my friend wanted to give them a try. She was given three medium sized warm corn tortillas topped with grilled fish, sprinkled in Old Bay seasoning and accompanied by a tangy cole slaw and a flavorful cilantro and avocado cream sauce. The fish was fresh, and she thought the slaw and sauce all worked together nicely. The tacos were served with a side dish of black beans, rice and pico de gallo (which could have been substituted with mango salsa).
Even though the Breachway Grill is known for its fish tacos, the reason you should also sample their fantastic Lobster Roll ($19). Here, the lobster roll is offered two ways – warm with drawn butter, or cold with a lemon aioli, herbs and celery. I was torn with which way to go. They both sounded good to me, but I opted for the warm lobster roll. The sandwich wasn’t huge, but it was decadent. The soft roll was grilled to buttery perfection. What I liked about the warm lobster roll was that it was just lobster and no additional toppings to get in the way of its flavor. The drawn butter was on the side, so I was able to gauge how much of it the sandwich needed. In case you were wondering, it needed a lot, but only because I am a butter fiend. This was one incredible lobster roll and it is not to be missed. The sandwich was served with a good-sized portion of exceptional hand-cut fries and a small container of cole slaw. If you are a lobster roll fan, this one should be on your bucket list.
The Breachway Grill has become a cornerstone of the Charlestown dining scene and the community in general. The parking lot was jam packed on the Saturday night I was there. With their weekly lineup of special events, there’s always a good reason to make a visit. Monday nights they offer half-price pizza and free team trivia. Tuesday nights are date nights with dinner for two and a bottle of wine for only $45. Thursday nights you will find live blues music, specials on brews and barbecue. If those aren’t enough reasons to go, there’s always that amazing lobster roll.
1 Charlestown Beach Road, Charlestown