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Tackle Box

Has anyone been to Barton Seaver's new restaurant Tackle Box yet??

It's right next to Hook in Georgetown. Being a New England girl I'm really excited to have another spot in town to chow down when I get home sick (right now Hank's is my go to place.)

I have a reservation for Proof in 2 weeks when my bf comes in to town, but am thinking if the reviews sounds good maybe we'll check out Tackle Box.

Their website is: http://tacklebox-dc.com/

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  1. Also from Daily Candy:

    Fishing for your dinner would be great if there weren’t the matter of bait, Potomac pollution, and endless waiting for something to bite.

    Make things easier by getting your fresh fish at Tackle Box, the newly opened New England-themed eatery in Georgetown.

    The casual, self-proclaimed shore shack offers a rotating selection of fresh fish available wood grilled or crispy fried. Wooden picnic tables mean that you’ll have plenty of room for tasty sides like grilled asparagus and mac and cheese.

    You can also take the good stuff home with the Box’s signature lobster boil pots. Available for takeout or delivery, the boil includes Maine lobster, mussels, clams, chorizo sausage, grilled onions, potatoes, and the chef’s blend of spices.

    Looks like you’ve finally found the reel thing.

    1. I went to the Tackle Box last weekend for a late lunch/early dinner. It was very good and VERY reasonably priced! For $13, you can get a "Maine Meal" with your choice of fish, two sides, and one sauce. I got fried clams, grilled asparagus, and mac 'n cheese. Boyfriend got fried oysters, braised collard greens, and fries. The mac 'n cheese was just average, but everything else was top notch. They also had a great homemade lemonade.

      TB is VERY different from Hook and Proof--it's definitely a super casual environment, and it's not particularly date-friendly (it's mostly big communal picnic tables). So, if you have a free lunch with your bf, I'd definitely suggest it, but don't cancel your reservation at Proof. They are both awesome in unique ways!

      3 Replies
      1. re: bettyjoan

        That sounds good...and very affordable for fresh seafood. How were the fried clams? Do you know if they were real clams (vs. clam strips...shiver!)?

        I can't wait to check it out. How crowded was it when you went?

        1. re: Elyssa

          Was there for lunch yesterday. Has the potential to be a great, and much needed, spot, so long as Barton Seaver closely superintends the quality and consistency, which I imagine he will, since it's right next door to Hook. (Great frying, for example, is a matter of perfect timing and lots of changes of oil, either or both of which could slip very quickly without constant vigilance.)

          The belly clams were terrific, if not quite as plump and fresh (understandably) as what one gets at the best clam shacks in New England. Even better was the grilled calamari, which had a wonderful smoky flavor. Very good, if not life-changing, collards, too. Mac & cheese was ok -- nothing to write home about. I also heard others raving about the steamers and the lobster roll, which certainly *looked* good.

          My only complaint was that in the "Maine Meals," the portion size of the seafood is a bit skimpy for the price -- certainly far less than one would get in those aforementioned crab shacks (which do not, of course, have to deal with Georgetown rents).

          The "sides" of seafood, on the other hand (labeled as "appetizers," I think, although I might be misremembering), appear to be at least as large as the portions on the MMs, and are considerably less expensive. So, for now anyway, I think I'd advise ordering one or two seafood dishes, standing alone (and depending on your hunger quotient!), and a side of, say, greens, if you are so inclined.

          1. re: MartyL

            Thanks for the review Marty. Good to know the clams are the real thing :)

      2. I went there for lunch today. I got the Maine Meal ($13) with grilled tilapia, sweet potato fries, green beans, and the garlic aioli sauce. It was all really yummy! The tilapia was really good - it must have been marinated in something because it had great flavor that was more than just the flavor from the grill. I didn't even need the dipping sauce! The sweet potato fries were not super hot when I got them, but were nice. The green beans (I think a "special" side because they were written in on the menu) were sweet and salty and grilled.

        My only complaint is that the portion sizes are pretty small. I understand that fish is expensive, but they could at least give you a lot of the (inexpensive) sides to make up for it.

        1. We stopped by as well. I got the Maine meal with grilled calamari, greens, and mac and cheese. SO got the lobster roll.

          The Maine Meal was a great deal at $13. The grilled calamari was a substantial portion (5-6 whole small squid). Fantastic taste. Nice flavor as noted by Martykl. Really exceeded my expectations. With some hot sauce, greens were better than I usually get at local establisments. Mac and cheese was fine, but not superlative. Certainly not a waste of a side dish though. I also really liked the simple dressed greens that accompanied the plate. Not sure what they were dressed with, but they provided a fantastic bite to the grilled goodness of the calamari.

          The Lobster roll and fries were good, but a bit small for $19. Yes, I know it's lobster, but for $13 you get a whole plate of food. $19 gets you a tasty, but small lobster roll and some french fries. They should really accompany that with either a choice of 2 sides or some coleslaw (anything, really!) with the fries. SO's plate looked sad and small compared to mine. But the lobster roll was good.

          The only other request is for some beer. Even if they did the bottled beer in the refrigerated cases behind the counter a la Chipotle. I liked the sweet tea, but the food really calls out for beer.

          Would love to hear if others try the bluefish. I'm not familiar with bluefish and looking forward to giving it a go on a future trip. It's nice to have Tacklebox as an easy option in Georgetown and I'm sure we'll be back sooner rather than later.

          2 Replies
          1. re: takajin

            I understand that Tackle Box has applied for a liquor license, so look for beer and wine in the future!

            Also, we had the bluefish when we were there earlier this week -- yum! Bluefish is an oily, fishy-tasting fish, which is nicely moderated by grilling with herbs (their basic prep) so that you could almost eat it without the sauce on the side.

            Also between the three of us, we had fried, hush puppies, potato salad, collard greens, coleslaw and grilled asparagus. I didn't get to try the asparagus, but the potato salad, hush puppies and greens were terrific. The fries were fries, and the coleslaw could use a little punch -- I added some of the malt vinegar on the table, which helped.

            OH! And I had fried oysters, which were perfectly done. Nice flavor, very meaty specimens. We were wondering if they'd ever do a raw bar. I hate Georgetown and avoid it at all costs, but Tackle Box might just draw me!

            1. re: ksherk

              Thanks for the info on Bluefish. To be honest, oily, fishy-tasting fish doesn't completely draw me in, but you're probably right that that the prep suits it, so I'll give it a go next time.

              Re. Georgetown: I was surprised and pleased that the place wasn't mobbed since it was reviewed in the paper this past week. I think since it's not a set-up that encourages people to linger, the crowd moves through rather steadily.

              A completely preferrable experience to Eammon's where people stare daggers at you while they wait for you move so they can pounce on your spot - though I'm guilty of the same activity.

          2. Elyssa, if you haven't been to Proof yet you should keep your reservation. It's really great for the wine, food, service AND the high backed booths mean the noise from the bar doesn't intrude on the dining room. i really like Proof and think you would too.

            i haven't tried Tackle Box yet though.

            1. We are New England transplants. Decided to go to Tackle Box for a "taste of home" on Mother's day. Here's my report:
              1. Lobster roll was adequte, not great. The roll was not very well grilled and somewhat stale. The $19 price tag was a bit hard to take.
              2. Clam Chowder - excellent, served very hot and the most authentic I've ever had in DC. Unfortunately, you get a tiny styrofoam bowl of it for $6
              3. All the fried items we had were served between slightly warm and cold. This was disappointing, considering the quality was very good, especially the whole fried clams.
              4. I was looking forward to a cold draft beer with this meal and was crushed to find out they don't have a license. I hope they get one.
              5. The home-made lemonade is great

              All-in all, it left us disappointed, but I think we went in looking for something more like home. I would encourage anyone who wants to taste REAL New England clam chowder to give it a whirl.

              2 Replies
              1. re: HSBSteveM

                Ooooo I didn't see the chowder when I was there. Will have to check that out since I'm a bit of a chowder snob and usually won't eat it outside of New England (unless its at Legal's).

                1. re: Elyssa

                  I like Legal's too. I think they thicken theirs a bit. This one is not thickened and more authentic.

              2. I checked out Tackle Box on Saturday for lunch with my bf. I liked this place and look forward to returning, especially when I'm home sick for the flavors of my childhood. We got there around 1:30 on Saturday and while it was certainly crowded we didn't have a problem finding a seat at one of the picnic tables. We felt the entire vibe was very relaxed, fun, and perfect for a Saturday lunch.

                We both decided to get the lobster roll (one of my all time favorite things to eat in the world. Growing up in Boston I lived on these things so I feel like I'm a bit of an expert). Instead of the regular fries I decided to get the grilled asparagus and my bf got the sweet potato fries.

                1st the lobster roll--it was good but could have used more meat. I thought the bun was done very well..very important with a lobster roll. There was meat and not to much filling which was good. It was just on the smaller side and not as good as say Hank's roll or even Legals. The lobster roll is $19 so I guess that makes sense that there is less meat---because Hank's is around $22-23 and has much more.

                The grilled asparagus was DELICIOUS! Very seasonal and simple yet yummy. The taste on the sweet potato fries was good but we had to wait at least 5 minutes before all the grease fell off. I think they were straight out of the fryer and didn't have time to have some of the oil fall off. My bf almost sent them back but I told him the paper they were on would hopefully soak it up. Probably won't get those again though.

                We also got the lemonade (very good) and the sweet tea (waaaay too sweet for our Northern tastes). The drinks were greatly improved when we decided to mix them together and make an Arnold Palmer.

                Our total bill was about $50 which is a tad pricey but we were getting lobster rolls after all. Service was very friendly and I chatted with the guys behind the counter for awhile discussing the various dishes and the concept etc.

                Tackle Box is a nice addition to the area. There are a ton of items I want to try so I will certainly be back. I look forward to them also getting a liquer license since beer would be great with this type of food.

                1. My boyfriend and I went last Thursday and thought it was good overall, but not amazing. I had the bluefish, the sweet potato fries and hush puppies and he had fried oysters, mac and cheese and fries. The bluefish was good, but I wasn't wowed by it. I thought the hush puppies were pretty good and we thought the mac and cheese was very creamy. We also shared a slice of the blueberry pie, which I highly recommend. It was a good combination of crust and berries without being overly sweet like a lot of fruit pies are.

                  1. I disagree with all the positive posts. I went last week and was extremely disappointed. My wife and I each had the bluefish grilled, which was salty,dry and over cooked. Sides were a terrible corn bread that was dry and tasteless, grilled asparagus that was the only worthy item and a dirty dish water tasting sweet tea. The portions were very small and even though I'm not a big eater, I was still hungry after the meal. The prices are way out of line with the entire experience. The table set up probably seemed like a good idea at the time but just aren't practical as seating. The place looks inviting but that's about it. I like Hook very much and I think the TB concept is a good idea but is poorly executed. Hank's in Dupont blows TB away.

                    If I had a choice between paying 3x at Proof and the TB, I wouldn't blink twice and I would head to Proof.

                    1. Just to put in my 2 cents, some mixed news from Tackle Box.

                      First the bad news: Something must have gone wrong with the hush puppies. They were the worst form of insulting foodstuff ever passed off as HPs. I imagine this was just a mistake by the kitchen, and the next time I try them they will actually have some flavor. But in the frist go round, they were a curious waste. Cole slaw is also not a wise order. A bit too creamy, and yet with a spicy aftertaste? No thanks. Blue fish was ok, but maybe I'll echo the comments of marytd when he said 'salty and overcooked.'

                      Calamari, as others have said, is a better selection, as is the grilled asparagus and sweet potato fries. They don't make me want to run back, as I live not far from Clare and Don's Beach Shack in Falls Church.

                      1. Went yesterday evening for the first time.........fried clams, french fries, hush puppies........truly awful........dont understand at all the buzz about this place

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: maypo

                          I think the buzz about the tackle box is well deserved. In addition to good food, it serves up a sense of place for those who long for New England. My full review is here. :)


                        2. Tried Tackle Box today, got the bluefish with garli aioli and sides of fries and cole slaw. The blue fish was awesome, even without the sauce it was so well seasoned and so good, but the sauce was good with it too. Fries were crunchy, well seasoned (love the old bay wish they had more in shakers), but the cole slaw was awful, it had no taste, even with some Texas Pete and pepper it was still pretty bad. I don't know what was missing, but ti just didn't taste very good. But all in all I really liked it. The mac and cheese looked good might have to take a gamble on it next time as I like creamy cheese mac and cheese (and if it is a little well done on top like Mom's oh yeah), and a friend had sweet potato fries that were good not soggy and she had some great looking broccoli, that might be my veg next time. I like the casual setting though and the fact that you could just get seafood without paying a ton for something simple.