Saturday, August 9, 2014

Fun Playing With Seafood and the Glouster Fisherman

Continuing our Boston odyssey, we were on our own on Monday, as our hosts in Jamaica Plain had to work. With the sun shining, what could be more fun than to play with Ipswich clams and visit Gloucester? I had always hoped to someday see Cape Ann, the setting for the Harry Chapin song "Dogtown." And I had no clue what a "clam belly" was - aren't clams just, clams?

Our first stop

Fish/seafood chowder
J. T. Farnham's is an old-school shack overlooking the Essex Salt Marsh. This sweet broth was chock full of scallops, clams, lobster, fish and potatoes. Every bite, except the two bites of lobster, was pristine and melted in the mouth (the lobster was ok, just not so perfect as the rest). 

Clam belly plate with fries and housemade onion rings.
Because we were "food touring," we were going to stick with the smallest plates to share. But the counter lady strongly recommended that we get the "dinner" plate, so we could try their freshly made onion rings and sample both the "strips" and the coveted claim bellies. A great call! And now, I know what a clam belly is!

The onion rings stayed together (don't you hate when you bite into an onion ring and the middle comes out leaving you with a fistful of fried batter?) and screamed with both freshness in the cooking process and great flavors. As good as they were, they did not overshadow the plump clam bellies which were impeccably fresh and perfectly fried. I wished that they had a better quality of tartar sauce, but that is a minor quibble. 

We had fun with the clams, onion rings and seafood chowder at J.T. Farnham's, but beware that they are cash only and not a cheap date. Beer and wine are available, though we stuck with freshly brewed ice tea. 

J.T. Farnham's
88 Eastern Ave
Essex, Massachusetts 01929
(978) 768-6643

Gloucester MA Lost Fisherman's Memorial

We spent some time walking around Gloucester harbor and the monument here.

Lobster Pool Restaurant
Rockport, MA
We were still so full by the time we got to Lobster Pool that we almost just used the restroom and passed on the food. Then, we saw their menu hanging by the door:

A "no-nonsense, no-celery" lobster roll? This, I had to try.

They do catch the lobsters right off their back porch.

Best lobster roll evah - fresh, fresh, fresh lobster, a little mayo and a slice of lettuce. At $18, not cheap. But so worth it!

The cole slaw, on the other hand, was right off the Sysco truck; we didn't even taste it. (It "came with" the lobster roll.)

Our last stop on this crawl would be The Clam Box. This was the most touristy looking and feeling of the three places, but Bob felt they had the best clams. I liked Farnham's a little better, but different strokes for different folks!

Fried Clam Bellies

Clam Box of Ipswich
246 High St
Ipswich, MA 01938
(978) 356-9707

So, who offers the best Ipswich clams? Like mom's meatloaf, that may depend on your taste. But both Clam Box and J. T. Farnham's offered fresh, well prepared food with a smile. And dining in Gloucester ain't cheap. But it is fun!

1 comment:

  1. Great post. We did this a few years ago...