Gloucester Finds - Pleasant St Tea, Two Sisters, Ned's
A Belated Merry Christmas and a Happy Holidays to All!
My husband (a Rockport native) and I have lived on Cape Ann since 2001. We're not particularly thrilled with the food/dining scene and are always bemoaning the sacrifices we make to live in such a beautiful, quiet area. Being house poor we don't have much of an opportunity to frequent The Franklin, Duckworth's, Passports, Alchemy, etc. But we spent a few days at home around the holidays and I wanted to report back:
Pleasant Street Tea Co. - WOW, what a great new(ish) addition to the area. The space is warm, inviting, nicely decorated, clean, etc. The coffee and cappucino drinks are excellent. The baked goods (especially the scones) are very good. Their brie, apple, walnut sandwich on cinnamon bread is perfect and comes with a nice little side of dressed greens. There's wireless internet, comfy couches and an involved, at-the-counter owner who couldn't be friendlier. PLEASE GO!
Two Sisters - An old school breakfast place with amazingly friendly waitstaff and great food. They make several breads on-site so be sure you get an omlett so you can get toast! Hubby liked the blueberry pancakes, which he always tries first at a new place as an indicator of how good they are. Huge, filling portions, but you don't leave feeling like you've eaten a lead brick (all too common at breakfast places....).
Ned's Groceria - When I saw that Ned's had a year round, storefront location I almost cried, literally. The cheese case, the fresh baked breads (foccia was to die for), the gourmet goodies and the few small gifts are a huge addition to city. We got a few goodies for Christmas and we'll be back for New Year's Eve.
I want to spread the word far and wide (for news and as a reminder) of these great places so that they can all survive and thrive over the long, cold Cape Ann winter. If you're local go, if you're not, come visit!
Happy New Year!
Ned's is now located in what used to be Alexandra's Breads on Main Street. A few doors down from the Liquor Locker, near Sage Florist and Animal Cracker's. As a bonus there is usually a metered space or two available at that end of the street. I believe they'll be open again on Saturday. They took the Christmas week off, but are open Sat, Sun & Mon. Enjoy!
For a good deal and great meal, OOH.. nice rhyme there!, try Sugar Magnolias on Main St. for breakfast or lunch, right up there with 2 Sister's. Also, for seafood, none better than The Causway on Rt133 across from the harbor and next to the cinemas. And lastly, Halibut Point, for lunch or dinner, on Main St. All can allow for Rockport mortgages, and the house poor, to have a good meal. During the summer you should pay a visit to My Place on Bear Skin Neck, very good value for high-end dining and of course, the Lobster Pool on the Rockport/Lanesville line. Happy Chowing! You really live in good area for food.
We do like Sugar Mags, but Two Sister's has friendlier service and more of a homey feel. Sugar Mags wins hands down on atmosphere. The Causeway is on the top of our to-try list, we've heard many good things! Neither of us are fans of Halibut Point, although all my in-laws go there on a fairly regular basis. We preferred My Place when it was BYOB, their wine list is $$ and so-so (IMHO). The Lobster Pool is good, the view can't be beat!
I believe Ned's and Alexandria's are sharing the store...i've gone in a few times and they are still making the bread and Ned is selling her things up front. Both are a great asset to Gloucester...
I've heard a few good things about the Pleasant Street Tea Co. but have yet to go in. I'm planning to take a stroll thought downtown this weekend (I live in Gloucester) and will be sure to stop in for a cup of tea or a sandwich.
Alchemy has a great lunch menu that is very affordable. Dinner is on the expensive side but lunch is definately an affordable treat on a saturday or sunday afternoon.
The same goes for Passports...i like it better at lunchtime actually.
Charlie's (on Bass Ave - across from Stop & Shop) has great seafood specials and good quality seafood. always worth a stop...
Jalapeno's is really good too and affordable...and the drinks are GREAT!
I'm not a fan of the Azorean Restaurant. I had terrible service the two times I went and the food (for the price) was kind of disappointing. They have some authentic portugesse dishes but nothing really worth going back for.
if you want to try a good "hole in the wall" place....head to Maria's Pizza near the gloucester train station. GREAT pizza and specials, and seafood too. They have a great "grecian" pizza with sauce, light cheese, some feta, chicken, spinach and mushrooms. VERY good!
If not Halibut Point, then do the next best (or sometimes better) thing and go to Virgillio's (@ the bottom of Main St.) for a St. Joseph's sandwich (on a St. Joseph's roll). A true Chowhound classic.