Cape Ann Chow Reports
Thanks to those who responded to my request for suggestions a few weeks back, and to the search function, I was well armed for my week on Cape Ann with the houndspouse and the houndlings. We enjoyed some good and not so good food during our stay:
Boulevard Ocean View, Gloucester: super fresh seafood Portuguese style. I had a mixed plate - haddock, scallops and shrimp, my wife just halibut - in a red sauce. Very nice. Sides were unremarkable. Service was very warm, and totally without pretension. Good value.
Essex Seafood: awesome fried and steamed clams and onion rings, the elder houndling loved her hot dog (the younger stuck to breast milk), the fries were eh. I went back and bought live clams from the tiny fish market and steamed them at our cottage, and they were among the best that I have ever, ever had.
Virgilio's, Gloucester: Went twice for the St. Joseph's sandwich and a loaf of semolina bread. Surly and disorganized service made up for by the high quality of the meats and bread. Canolli was passable, cookies from Cafe Sicilia across the street were better.
Village Restaurant, Essex: good salads, I had a "lazy" lobster which was very good, my wife some broiled halibut which was excellent. The grapenut custard brought me back to my youth in Connecticut. Friendly and engaging service.
Roy Moore, Rockport: hot take out lobsters were sweet and delectable, staff was friendly and efficient.
Flav's Red Skiff, Rockport: great linguica omelet, but they were out of all of their Portuguese bread-based deserts. They took good care of the houndling at an early hour for her.
Tom Shea's, Essex: super fresh fish lightly fried for an excellent fish and chips. My wife loved her salad with grilled shrimp. They patiently endured a super poorly behaved houndling. Man, did that Ipswich Ale taste good that afternoon...
Not so good:
The Greenery, Rockport: tired lunch meat on tired bread, no mustard, thin on the mayo, super slow and pricey.
Jalapeno's, Gloucester: okay food, but they charged me for a tiny ramekin of hot sauce. Ouch.
Walking Whale, Newburyport: good fries, eh sandwich, pretty slow service even though the place was basically empty.
Great run-down and about right on with my experience. What is up with the gruff and tired service at the Virgilio's take-out counter? Its almost like they are being bothered to take your order. The bread though - THE BREAD! so goood! I order the 'Sou'Wester' sandwich which is made with a little slice of heaven I think.
One overlooked place on the way to Ipswich is Eddy's in 1A in the Bruni's Marketplace.