WaterBarge is Vallejos upscale restaurant poised on the waterfront with harbor views. Midweek on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, blue plate specials for $9.50 are offered. Recently, I dropped by for the Popeye Pot Roast Thursday night special.
The dining room was already closed off by 8:30pm, but table service was still available in the Tavern room. Several wood tables in seating alcoves, plus the long bar, were bathed in the warm light of the gas-fired stove. The crowd was a mix of mariners relaxing after a day of sailing and couples making googly-eyes over a nice bottle of wine.
The pot roast was excellent, made with well-browned and braised brisket, sliced and fanned over a huge mound of mashed potatoes. Fork tender, the meat was well-marbled and intensely flavored. Key to the success was the beefy, rich brown gravy. Sauteed carrots, celery and sugar snap peas were scattered round the deep plate.
With this I had a glass of 2002 Rock Rabbit Santa Barbara Syrah, $5.50, chosen from about a dozen selections poured by the glass. The wine list is arranged by style, and this was in the Spicy and Rich Reds category. Jammy and very ripe with a meaty undertone, the wine was all forward fruit with little finish, but still easy to like and good for the price.
Service was professional, friendly and competent. All in all, a satisfying meal and a good deal.