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Jun 25, 2008 08:19 AM

Tackle Box In Georgetown

Well as Flavor Flave of Public Enemy said, "DON'T BELIEVE THA HYPE". The Tackle Box is a "rip-off." My wife and I have enjoyed our family's Martha's Vineyard cottage in Oak Bluffs, Mass. for years. As a little boy, I can remember the lobster rolls (all the way back to 1965). Today, the best lobster rolls are at John's Fish Market and Sandy's Fish & Chips in Vineyard Haven (on State Road). So when my wife told me about the Tackle Box in Georgetown DC, I got really excited. Well, on June 24, 2008 around 10pm my wife and I took the our standard sized dachshund (Cousteau) with us. I went inside and ordered two (2) lobster rolls, two (2) orders of cole slaw, and two (2) orders of fries (while my wife and the four-legged poocher/chowhound waited outside). The total price came to $63 and change. I'm thinking "gosh daggit" (you all know what I really said), that's really expensive. But if it tastes half as good as the lobster rolls in Martha's Vineyard we will be straight. Well we get home and I realize that the New England style hot dog bun which is holding in the lobster salad is stale and hard as a rock. The lobster salad is mediocore at best, no celery, and not creamy. For the money we spent, I gave those lobster rolls a grade of D(minus). Oh, by the way, I don't know about you guys, but I am a huge fan of cole slaw. The cabbage was not fully cooked and it was old with a slightly brown color. This place sucks! (Big Time). I could open up a better place than these people and run them out of business, just by applying good customer quality ingredients and excellent customer service and food quality processes. THE TACKLE BOX SMELLS LIKE FISH, THROW IT BACK. Go to Martha's Vineyard instead. Just my family's humble opinion.

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  1. I have spent 52 summers in Brewster, Mass., and lived on the North Shore of Boston, where I ate at places like "Freddie's Lobsta-land" in Gloucester. Tackle Box was a big let-down (which I have detailed in another thread). I will reiterate that the chowder is spot-on authentic, but it's not enough to make up for all the other un-authentic aspects of this place.

    1. $63? That's alot more than what's posted on their website. The website had lobster roll and fries at $19. A pint of slaw is $5. I guess if you had another side of fries, you're at $29 per person before taxes.

      Anyway, I'm always glad to read reviews that don't fawn all over everything. However, I do want to try it out for myself and I'm more interested in clams than lobster.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Ericandblueboy

        Hi Ericandblueboy,
        I didn't realize that fries came with the lobster roll. I should have asked. Yet the establishment could have told me. So without the extra fries it would have been around $55 bucks. Guess what , they still suck!

        1. re: DCgourmet

          So in addition to serving you crappy food,they ripped you off?

          For a second I just thought you and your wife really love fries.

          1. re: Ericandblueboy

            I must admit his fries were pretty darn good!

        2. re: Ericandblueboy

          BTW Ericandblueboy- I had the clams the second time we went, I wasn't thrilled with them, they were ok, nothing special. If you want a good experience I would get grilled fish.

        3. Just out of curiousity, you mention the cabbage not being fully cooked in the cole slaw. Cole slaw is generally made with raw cabbage. Am I missing something? Thanks for the report, I have family from Maine visiting this summer and am contemplating taking there.

          3 Replies
          1. re: dcskinsfan

            Hi dcskinfan,
            you are correct, I should have said that the juice from the mayo had not been fully absorbed into the raw cabbage. It just had that "not fully cooked taste to it." But in actuality a portion of the cole slaw tasted like raw cabbage instead of moist juicy fully hydrated cabbage (not cooked cabbage) thanks for clearing up my foggy thought process on that statement

            1. re: DCgourmet

              Their cole slaw is unbelievably bad. I don't know how you can manage to make cole slaw so bad, I make it much better at home and have only just started making it. It almost had a chemical taste to it, although I had no problem with the cabbage itself, just the flavor of the sauce really.

              But I have had awesome fries and really good bluefish there (with a little aioli on the side that I didn't use much of).

              The Mac and Cheese looks really good, I saw it the first time I went tried it second time and it was just under seasoned, if they had salt on the table, I could have doctored it up pretty well, but they only have pepper and other seasoning. But the fresh fish was really good, I think that is where they shine.

              I will be sad if the chef leaves Hook, I absolutely LOVE Hook. I have never had a bad first or second course there. They have some dishes that are just amazing... so I hope they work something out. I would hate to see the menu change or someone come in who couldn't execute the same dishes, as well. Tacklebox I think still has some glitches, but has really good potential.

              1. re: DCgourmet

                Thanks DC, didn't mean to nit pick or anything, I was just curious if there was a new kind of slaw I was missing out on.

                Too bad about Hook and Tackle Box.

            2. Plenty of breaking news today.

              Tackle Box's chef Barton Seaver has left the on the heels of chef Richard Bechtold a couple of weeks ago. Could explain some of the issues you had last night.

              8 Replies
              1. re: crackers

                Just read that on Washingtonian. He's still under contract. If Pure Hospitality wants to play hardball, they can prevent him from working anywhere else.

                Pure Hospitality is trying to control the damage by saying that Seaver wasn't in charge at Hook anyway. Regardless, Hook and Tackle Box are off of my to do list for now.

                1. re: Ericandblueboy

                  I doubt Chef Barton Seaver will need to work in a kitchen during the remainder of his contract. He was reportedly finishing his cook book & could spend his time doing appearances or a book tour and speaking engagements about his favorite cause, Sustainability. With his looks and talent he could certainly follow his mentor, Chef Jose Andreas into the world of celebrity Chefs, if he wanted.

                  1. re: oldbaycupcake

                    Good for himmmmmmmmm, you can tell him to give me a refund

                    1. re: oldbaycupcake

                      Good Morning oldbaycupcake,
                      What does that have to do with poor customer service? If he doesn't "need" to be in the kitchen he should at least supervise the quality of his kitchen. Otherwise, when the word gets out about the consumers' dissatisfaction, he may "need" to get back in the kitchen.

                      1. re: DCgourmet

                        My comments were in response to Ericandblueboy's comment about Seaver still being under contract & the possibility of Pure Hospitality preventing him from working in another kitchen. I was only speculating on what Seaver might do if he was prevented from taking another position.

                    2. re: Ericandblueboy

                      Hook is (and has been) going strong under Chef de Cuisine Josh Whigham. One would hope that Seaver's departure as exec would not become cause for lemmingish histrionics and unfounded negativity.

                      1. re: crackers

                        such as "oh no, the sky is falling"? okay, maybe I'll go try Hook.

                        1. re: crackers

                          That's what Washingtonian said, hopefully... I hope they continue with the sustainable message though that seemed to be a rub, but was something I really admired and enjoyed about it. Yes it is all about the food, but I want to be able to enjoy that same food for a long time.

                    3. Hi, DCgourmet,

                      I actually went here a couple of weeks ago and really enjoyed it, overall (though please read on). I got the grilled Tilapia with broccoli and asparagus (yes, I had to battle with myself not to get the fries or the Mac and Cheese!). Everything had a very smoky taste to it, like it was right off the grill, and it was all cooked perfectly. It was approx. $16 total for the fish, two sides, the spicy marinara sauce on the side (though the basil-walnut pesto - redundant much? - was tempting as well) and a soda.

                      HOWEVER, my friend went back to get a lobster roll to split between the three of us and, I have to agree, it was not good. It was quite bland and boring. I just looked on Menupages and, 19 bucks for that...seriously? Best to stick with the grilled items, I suppose. I can see how this item (plus the rip-off factor) would turn you off, but there are certainly items on the menu worth trying.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Melanie

                        Good Morning Melanie,
                        I will definitely take your advice on the broccoli and asparagus, we both love those two vegetables, along with chinese pea pods (not to be confused with snow peas) and brussel sprouts. Also your suggestion of the grilled items truly makes sense, both on food value/pricng as well as the Tackle Box's ability to properly prepare. However, I give credit to your positive experience at the Tackle Box, more to your smart food choices rather than to the Tackle Box's customer service. Again, thank you for sharing the information and your positive experience at the Tackle Box.