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Jul 22, 2007 01:20 PM

Summer Shack- Crabs

We know Summer Shack is not a popular topic on this board.With that said, on their website it states that they have Chesapeake style steamed crabs with 'old bay' every Wednesday and sometimes on Thursdays. Has anyone tried them, if so, how are they?
Thanks in advance.

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  1. just joined today 7/22 caught this post about the summer shack and
    please i must ask why it is a sore subject in the forum

    7 Replies
        1. re: StriperGuy

          It's a decent place to eat if you are waiting at Logan airport, but I would not plan a destination visit otherwise.

      1. re: foodperv

        If you search the boards you'll find many opinions like tamerlanenj's. I personally have always enjoyed the raw bar, fried seafood, fried chicken, and the grilled clams with garlic butter. I find the grilled fishes underwhelming, and have never ordered any of the lobster dishes.

        Note that I have only ever been to the Alewife location.


        1. re: foodperv

          To give a bit more history. Place was founded by Jasper White, a (deserved) New England legend. His original restaurant Jasper's in the North End changed the landscape for NE Regional seafood cooking. So when it started hopes were high.

          In general, there are those in the "it's pretty good" or "it's okay for some things" camps.

          I myself, and numerous others, have found it just plain mediocre and varying wildly from one visit to the next: bad greasy fry jobs on the fried foods. Icky french fries at times. Understuffed not very good tasting lobster rolls. I gave up on the place a while back. With all the other dining options I don't really have much of a desire to give either branch another whirl. With the Fresh Pond location they have a captive audience; there is not much else nearby. I work nearby and won't go on principle, having been burned more then once. Would be great if Jasper White actually whipped these places into shape. After he was Exec. Chef at Legal's he seems to have just gotten lazy.

          1. re: StriperGuy

            i was at the alwife location once my opinion was /is that at the time i found the prices a tad steep for what you get. the food was on a 1-10 scale about a 5.5
            if it was a another rest. and cheaper i would say well... at least i got my moneys worth
            yes for what i was charged iand for who he is i would expect better

            off topic but
            i have not seen him in about 20 or so yrs i knew him way back but i saw him on tv last sunday he is looking very very tired and maybe even sickly

            1. re: foodperv

              I'm a bit in BJK's camp, we enjoy the Shack every once in a while, not only for the food but also the atmosphere. I agree, it's expensive for what it is, but it scratches an itch, and we live quite close to the Alewife outpost. I think those who declare the food there sucky are being hyperbolic. I've never had a sucky meal there, though there have been times I'd wished for something more exciting on my plate. The seafood is incredibly fresh, which I appreciate.

              I wouldn't suggest it as a destination place, but if you can't get up to Ipswich, it absolutely serves the fried clam, oyster, hush puppy, etc cravings.

              It's also great place to take kids.

              HopeRI: I can't speak to the crabs, but having just eaten a mountain of them on a recent trip to MD, I don't know that I'd rec Summer Shack for your MD-area friend. They surely won't be as good as the crab house fare s/he can get at home. Take him/her somewhere for lobster rolls instead -- that's definitely something we do better than Maryland.

        2. You have piqued my interest, jandj. My eating pal is from Baltimore, MD, so that would be a great find for us. Enough snarky-ness - how are the damned crabs?!

          2 Replies
          1. re: HopeRI

            I haven't been but they are rock crabs loaded with old bay, not Maryland Blues.

            1. re: HopeRI

              If you want great crabs, crab cakes or other crab dish, take the train to Baltimore. Local ingredients are ALWAYS best. My wife is a huge crabcake fan, but after a few trips to Baltimore/eastern shore, will not order them anywhere else. I don't know how the crabs at summer shack are, but I can assure you that anyone from Baltimore will be disappointed in them.