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A Blast at the Barking Crab

I just wanted to drop in with a little report on the Barking Crab.

I know that this place is far from a Chowhound favroite, but with two out of midwestern towners and a young child in tow, looking for a casual, "real New England" type of experience "on the water," I couldn't think of a better place to bring them, especially after a fun afternoon with the penguins at the aquarium.

I really liked the atmosphere: with loud music, communal tables, fairly inexpensive beers, and a nice harbor view, the outdoor deck gave us just what we were looking for in terms of ambiance.

The food itself was fine. I had the fried clams and onion rings whick, while not up to Essex/Ipswich standards, were still good, especially since I was craving them. The onion rings in particular were very nicely done. My DC and one other in the group decided to forego the more traditional lobster for the buckets of Alaskan king crab legs, which they both pronounced yummy, despite the hard work involved in extracting the meat. I had a taste with some of the drawn butter and can attest that these were indeed some fine tasting king crab legs.

Rounds of chowder were also good, if not great or special, and the kids menu for the little offered chicken fingers, soda, and even a free sundae for about $5.

I think the Barking Crab is a nice place to have around. There's nothing else quite like it in the city limits, and if you don't have a car to drive up to the North Shore or Maine, this is a much more authentic and no frills seafood shack experience than, say, The Summer Shack, which isn't as fun, and where the food isn't really all that much better, despite the higher prices. I would defintely bring out of town guests here again, even if I wouldn't make it a part of my own regular dining rotation any time soon.

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  1. Thanks for posting Tamerlanenj! I find myself there when I'm riding my bike around the harbor and I'm looking to stay outside on a gorgeous day for a bite and a beer. The food is far from fabulous but I agree that it's somewhat unique to Boston and casual and fun if you approach it with the right set of expectations.

    1. I agree, it's a nice place to have in town. I go there about once a year. I like the raucous atmosphere and the views. My once-a-year visit occurred last week. I had lobster and it was great. I mean, you can hardly mess up a boiled lobster. We also had a bluefish pate appetizer that was very nice.

      1 Reply
      1. re: TheScribe

        I actually had a blast there on Friday right after work. It's kitschy but fun once in a while.

      2. Another thank you.
        I had two young nephews in town last week. We were at the Children's Museum and they chose Au Bon Pain (Flour was mobbed)
        It is nice to have some site/situation appropriate alternatives.

        1. Thanks for the report. I'm of course not fond of Barking Crab's view, service, cleanliness, or food and am pretty vocal about it around here, but I'm glad it worked out well for you.

          I personally prefer the No Name over this place, though it's not quite as shack-like as BC or Summer Shack in decor -- and I'm admittedly not ready to make any of these three a regular haunt. Was wondering if anyone here feels the same way.

          6 Replies
            1. re: Bighead

              yes...limited clearance because of the bridge..watch the tides. here's a boat that had a very expensive hamburger at Joe's yesterday

              http://flickr.com/photos/61246842@N00...

              I enjoy Barking Crab..not up with the best of the North Shore in terms of food but a great atmosphere..have had good steamers and fried plates. It's good for what it is.

              1. re: 9lives

                Ouch. Could have paid $30 to avoid this? Thanks for the pix.

                I went to the Barking Crab after the ICA last spring. Stuck to beers and simple food and it was a fun afternoon.

                1. re: 9lives

                  thanks! nice pics too LOL! did you call the CG and report the vessel aground? hehehe

                  1. re: Bighead

                    BPD was on the scene. There were a lot of spectators. There are a few safety measures to take; but basically they had to wait for the tide to come up..USCG can't do anything.

                    Barking Crab is fun but you want to be sure you can clear the bridge.

                    I haven't done it but friends do takeout from Eastern Pier Chinese. They just pull up behind the place.

                  2. re: 9lives

                    Hysterical.

                    I too like the Crab for what it is. yes you are going to pay more than you should, but it's nice to have some open air and music and fried seafood in the city.

                    I used to like the noname too... but it's fallen out of favor with me in the past couple of years (not clean, not THAT good, plus the pier stinks!). I've been meaning to try Yankee Lobster further down Northern Ave. I peeked in the other day... looks like it might be a great spot for casual seafood.

              2. I agree! This place is great as an overall experience, and I've had pretty good meals there. It's a great place for tourists to grab a quick seafood lunch or dinner.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Lucymax

                  That place is dreadful. That said, I enjoy the steamed lobster with the drawn butter. Perfectly executed. For what it is. (How's that for conflicted???)

                2. You know what Barking Crab has going for it? Location, location, location! It's a fun spot.