Seafood Restaurant recomendations on the cheap
- Albert Apr 4, 2002 04:12 PM
Hello Chowhounds!I will be visiting Boston next weekend. I will be staying in a hotel in Brookline. I am interested in a cheap seafood restaurant in the area (in the $15-@25 dollar price range per person)I have heard that the No-Name Restaurant is a good place to go. I am not looking for a fancy atmosphere, just a great seafood place to eat that is affordable. I don't mind if the restaurant takes only cash. I just would like the restaurant to be accessible to public transportation since I hear parking in the Boston area can be tough.
If anyone can offer their comments about No-Name Restaurant as well as any others you might have in mind I would appreciate your help.
Thanks for your help Chowhounds.
No Name is good. Not as cheap as it was, and a long haul if you're staying in Brookline. Best bet for seafood in Brookline is Village Fish, in Brookline Village, and in your price range. It's where I go..Grilled, broiled and a few fried items; a lot of stuff that's fish and pasta style, like Clams or mussels and pasta, Seafood Fra Diavolo, Scallops Marsala. Their grilled stuff really shines too.Their Grilled Marinated Swordfish Tips are the best thing on the menu. And they do a fabulous grilled bluefish! If you see anything on the blackboard that appeals to you; get it!
I'm guessing that you're staying at a place on Beacon St, you could almost walk! The Captain's Wharf in Coolidge Corner is closer to the No Name kind of style, a Greek seafood place...It's recently reopened under a new owner, and I haven't been yet..
Besides Galleygirl's Brookline recommendations, I'll give my umpteenth rec for McCormick & Schmicks. It's not a dirve at all, a nice restaurant where most entrees are <$20. Their fried oyster appetizer for $7.95 is amazing. Easily accessible by T, get off at the Arlington stop and go to the Park Plaza hotel, it's located inside. Also a location at Fanueil Hall that I can't vouch for.
There is no "Good seafood on the cheap"
IMHO NoName is fine if you want greasy diner food. It is priced accordingly. You didn't come this far just to get a cheap meal, I think.
NoName is mostly favored by tourists who are delighted to discover "a real find".
In fact, there are hundreds of local joints; diners, fastfood drive-ins, and neighborhood taverns that serve this low quality of quick food.
There are so many alternatives. I hope you dig a little further on this board.
If you do go to NoName, please don't judge us by this experience.
Good seafood is served locally in virtually every good restaurant. But, GOOD seafood is not cheap. And most restaurants that call themselves seafood restaurants are tourist traps. Sorry!
The bottom line is:
Find a "good" restaurant: It will have good seafood.
Find a "seafood" restaurant: With a few exceptions, it will cater to tourists and not be very good.
In other words, CHEAP and GOOD seafood are generally mutually exclusive.
If you are on the waterfront, try the Barking Crab, reasonable prices and a great view. A lobster in the rough right in the city. easily accessable by the T. Better yet, rent a car and drive to Essex on the north shore, dozens of seafood restaurants, my latest favorite is Essex Seafood on Rt 133. Lobster, steamers, and fried stuff.
Keep in mind as you visit Boston that the best seafood is nowhere near the water. In Brookline, Skipjacks and Daily Catch are good choices too.
another thought...Chinatown has some excellent seafood restaurants..and very reasonable. Favorites are Peach Farm and East Ocean City.
We live a ten minute walk from the Village Fish and I agree with galleygirl. It's by no means an unforgettable eating experience but it's good and should suit both your budget and location requirements. Similar to the Village Fish and in my opinion a bit better (and also within walking distance of where you'll be staying) is the Daily Catch. For better and worse, It's smaller than than the Village Fish but their food, like Village Fish, is almost always good although by no means spectacular. We've always liked their calamari and if you're in the mood for black ink fettucini Alfredo as an appetizer, I think it's as good as any that I've had in the area.
If you want to go into Cambridge, the Dolphin, on Mass Ave just outside of Harvard Square, is also good although the atmosphere won't prompt you to write home (which is also true of both the Village Fish and Daily Catch).
I'd avoid Legal Seafood. Thirty years ago you probably would have liked it ; now it's a factory.
As to the No Name, the food is still pretty good and we like to go there every so often, if only for old times sake. In the mid-60's, the place didn't seat more than thirty people, catered only to the workers on Fish Pier, closed at six and wasn't open on weekends. Several of us used to rush there from work and get to the door just before they closed and independent of what we'd order Nick Contos( then the cook as well as the owner and a Harvard MBA before all those types went only to Wall Steet ) would send out to us (at no charge) plates of all sorts of tasty things that were still in the kitchen. Nick's elderly mother used to bake the pies they served and I remember eating three pieces of incredible fresh stawberry pie one wonderful late Friday afternoon. All this while seagulls cavorted outside the window. Galleygirl and her pals would have loved the people, the food and the scene.
Actually, I WAS lucky enough to go to the No Name just once about 25 years ago, so I remember those pies, and the fish chowder, which was unbelievable. It was like a pilgrimage, because I used to hear them advertised on Sports Huddle, which I devoutly listened to, as a die-hard Bruins fan during the Derek Sanderson era ..I remember a one-floor rest. right on the waterfront, and sitting at a counter.. A totally different place than it is today; I wouldn't go out of my way now, but I didn't want to rain on anyone's parade...
I missed that era entirely, but used to go there for lunch back in the late 80s when I was working over on the next pier. I remember being served a nice plate of bluefish one time, indifferent fried clams another. Weekday lunchtimes it was still mostly fishermen, with a sprinkling of office workers like me.
Just a thought, how about Chinese seafood? Many of the restaurants in Chinatown focus largely on seafood and they aren't that expensive.
I just wanted to say thank you for taking time out to read my post and respond with your suggestions. As one Chowhound posted there is no such thing as cheap seafood. I realize and appreciate that you get what you pay for. I will write back as to the restaurant I picked.
Many thanks again.
Hands down this is the deal in the the metrowest area. Broilded fish dinner potato and veg $6.95.