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Legal Seafoods or Summer Shack

Would you prefer to eat at Legal Seafoods in Harvard Square or at the Summer Shack at Alewife. I know there are many altneratives out there, but please choose between these two restaurants because that's what I have to do.

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  1. I honestly would go to Legal Seafoods. Summer Shack has tended to dissapoint, and at least at legal you get a broader menu, and hopefully a staff and manager who is more than willing to please you if there is a problem.

    2 Replies
      1. re: Sal Monella

        I'm not sure if this is a possibility, but the brunch at the Harvard Legal's is really not so bad. Also, they have popovers.

    1. If you've got kids with you, summer shack, if not, legal's

      1 Reply
      1. re: sflory

        Even with kids I might still pick Legals as Legals kids menue is quite good (and on of the true values on the entire menu). Legals kids' menu is also healthier than typical kids' menus at other places.

      2. Not even close - Legal's by a long shot.

        1. Legal Seafoods. The only Summer Shack I like is the one at Mohegan Sun (not an option for you that day!)

          1. Legal's for sure. It's not the greatest place, but it's better than Summer Shack, IMO.

            1. Definitely Legal Seafoods - and if it's still on the menu, get the grilled squid appetizer.

              1. another for Legal's. SS is a loud place that i ONLY go for steamers/oysters/big lobsters and datz it.

                  1. I stop at Summer Shack occasionally for lunch - the food is always fast, and honestly, I've never been served a hotter meal that I didn't prepare myself. That being said, I had fried smelts a few weeks ago, and they were fried to the point that you couldn't taste the fish - just the breading/batter.
                    But, they'll serve dishes that you won't make at home - cod cheeks, shad roe, etc...
                    I just wish they hadn't take PBR off the bar menu, and learn that Tremont Ale doesn't get served in a frozen glass....

                    1. And another for Legal Seafood. Summershack can be good on occasion. (I frequently wind up meeting folks who live out Rt. 2 there.) I agree that you want to stick with steamers, oysters, and lobsters.

                      The chowder, and I forget the name of the other regular soup at Legals, are both good. Their menu will also have more fish variety than you typically see at SS. And IMO the Harvard Sq. location is the best locally.

                      1. One more vote for Legal for all the reasons given.

                        Especially at this time of year, in addition to all its other problems, SS tends to attract loud office parties.

                        1. This is starting to get ridiculous, but I have to chime in too: Legal, hands down.

                          1. Legal! Unless kiddos need to run around/watch lobsters.

                            Better flavor, better value for buck spent.

                            1. Legal. Kids can watch the aquarium.

                              1. yet another vote for Legal. Better menu, better atmosphere.

                                1. While I prefer Jasper White's lobster roll (maybe just because of the tarragon) I've mostly had bad experiences at the Summer Shack, I can't think of any complaints about Legal.

                                  1. I think you already have your answer but - Legals - not much contest. Can't figure out why I loved Jasper White's original restaurant and Summer Shack is so - disappointing.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: ptrefler

                                      As has been iterated & reiterated on this thread Legal, please!
                                      Jasper may still be a genius but I'll take chances on my own not with others in-tow.

                                      1. re: ptrefler

                                        While this might belong more on the "Controversial Opinions" thread, I think the Summer Shack is disappointing because it tries so hard to be "authentic" that it becomes weirdly artificial.

                                      2. Legal's tuna burger. Drooling.....

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: greenstate

                                          yes, yes and more yes! it's so vividly flavorful.

                                        2. As much as I always prefer local restaurants over chains I would pick Legal over Summer Shack. I had a really bad experience last time at Summer Shack and will probably not go again.

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: smari

                                            My paper place mat tells me that the original Legal fish market opened in Inman Square in 1950, so at least the chain is local.

                                            1. re: finlero

                                              Quite true, I grew up a block away from it. It was originally just a fish market, then started selling take-out fish & chips in the late '50s (one of my proudest responsibilities as a little kid was when my mother would give me a five-dollar bill and send me over to pick up a few orders for family dinner - nowadays you can barely get an order of fries for that kind of money!), and opened their first dining room next door in the '60s.

                                            2. re: smari

                                              Summer Shack's a chain too, though: they have a location in a casino, for Yahweh's sake!