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Oct 18, 2008 11:06 AM

Gloucester/Rockport/Cape Ann-Ethnic?-Vegetarian?

I will be staying in the Gloucester/Rockport area next tuesday and wednesday nights and need some recs for good ethnic type restauants on cape Ann, as well as vegetarian if any. iam not a vegetarian but can certainly go without meat, even a rec where there are good variety of veggie selections would be great. I guess by ethnic i would be thinking Greek, Portugeeses, Middle eastern, not run of the mill italian etc. Places for lunch would be appreciated as well, i would also prefer they would be "local" type eaterys as opposed to one that would cater exclusively to tourists. I know it may be blasphemous asking for non sea food resataurants so close to the ocean and all, but i have a few in mind already, unless anyone could recommend an out of the way place that has incredible fried or baked fish and out standing onion rings and incrdeible tartatre sauce! thanks a lot!

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  1. I don't know the ethnic food scene in the area, but my wife is a vegetarian and we've been VERY happy with My Place by the Sea in Rockport. Great food and spectacular food. NOT a tourist trap like many of the places in the area.

    1. Alchemy in Gloucester is a decent bistro which does some mildly ethnic-y things (under the rubric of being eclectic) and has pretty good vegetarian options.

      3 Replies
      1. re: fesenjan

        Nice! maybe i'll be able to try both! they are the kinds of place iam interested in. I'll let you know!

        1. re: pepbobfirst

          Franklin Cape Ann check out the menu. lots of vegetarian options.

          1. re: chefbrendan

            Franklin is solid for veg-heads.... I'd put it very high on the list...

      2. My first choice is always The Franklin. There's an acceptable Thai restaurant on Main Street called Thai Choice. My Place by the Sea is very expensive and the one meal I had there (off-season) was truly terrible. There's a Brazilian restaurant called the Azorean but I have never been. Actually, it's a little counterintuitive but I have found few places in Gloucester that cook seafood well.

        6 Replies
        1. re: resipsaloquitor

          Just curious, what month did you go to My Place?

          1. re: treb

            I think it was about a year ago, it was definitely cold out. An incredibly disappointing meal, but granted, only one.

            1. re: resipsaloquitor

              Are you sure it was My Place, they're only open from April to Oct. Only one try, you seem to be more forgiving to Alchemy, 4 trys? You should give MP another try next summer, in prime time.

              1. re: treb

                I've had consistently great meals at MP....but I have seen a number of CH posts to the contrary over the past year....Either I've been incredibly lucky or my standards are MUCH lower than other Chows who ate there...At the risk of sounding pompous, I'll stick with the former....

                1. re: pondrat

                  I've been going since they opened, never had a bad experience.

          2. re: resipsaloquitor

            I would say that Azorean is Portuguese, not Brazilian.

          3. I would definitely recomend Alchemy I have had a lot of great meals there (just a heads up compared to most places in the area the portions are smaller for the price- similar to what you would find in Boston,but unusual for Gloucester) - Lat 43 also has options as well (same owners) but I haven't been happy with anything I have ordered there really. I second the recomendation for thai choice- its been a favorite of my family's for years. Also, Jalepeno's on main street is really great - i love thier veggie enchiladas (if you order them with mole sauce there are fantastic) as well as thier cactus salad. I know you said not really italian- but if you are in the area you have to grab a sandwich from Virgilio's bakery- thier eggplant supreme is to die for! and its served on thier fresh baked St. Josephs rolls. you can walk across the street and get some half-dipped in chocolate cookies from cafe sicilia (sorry the name of the cookies escapes me) and have a great lunch - if its warm enough i'd suggest a picnic by the water.

            Beverly is also a quick drive- if you take route 127 from Gloucester its a gorgeous route along the water and there are several veggie options there- Organic Garden on Cabot Street is an amazing raw restaurant and Tapas Corner (which is just off Cabot- not sure what street, but they do have a website) had great wraps and serves lunch.

            for the outstanding onion rings and incredible fish i would definitely stop by Lobsta Land- thier onion rings are highly addictive and they also have great veggie options

            5 Replies
            1. re: winstont

              Great note except I'm less enthusiastic about Alchemy. I agree with the rest of your great posting. I had a West Ender from Virgilio's last weekend. To die for!!

              1. re: resipsaloquitor

                I was not a fan of Alchemy at all, but recently have had two really good meals there- once for lunch and the other take out dinner. Prior to that my dinning experience there had been either nothing special or outright bad.

                1. re: winstont

                  Maybe I will give it a fourth try. I desperately want them to succeed. It's hard to believe it's owned by the same people who own Lobsta Land.

                  1. re: resipsaloquitor

                    thats a common misconception- the owner of Lobsta Land is the brother of one of the co-owners of Alchemy, which is owned by a husband and wife along with another financial backer (i think he is still involved).

                    1. re: winstont

                      Oh!!!!! That is helpful. I could never understand how the same guy who made heavenly gingerbread pancakes could also make soupy pizza.

            2. I would also highly recommend Jalapeno's as one of the finest Mexican places on the north shore. The food is terrific and the waitstaff is friendly. As far as Virgilio's goes, they have the greatest chicken salad I have ever tasted. The pizza is also awesome.

              4 Replies
              1. re: drewinmrblhd

                Jalapenos, Franklin, Thai Choice are all good dinner choices. I would also add Petit Robert Bistro. Virgilios (fab!) and Lobsta Land (good for your fish and onion ring fix) are good places for lunch. Other good local lunch spots are Sugar Magnolias, and Passports. I would avoid Alchemy and Lat 43, particularly since there are so many other great places to try. Have fun.

                1. re: greenstate

                  Petit Robert Bistro? Where? Do you mean Duckworths

                2. re: drewinmrblhd

                  My recent trip to Jalepenos was less than memorable. We waited an hour for a table (granted it was Friday night) but once seated it took at least 10 minutes for drink orders to be taken. After that we were barely visited by our server, which is a shame for them because we would have liked to order more drinks.
                  Our group of 7 went through 2 bowls of their tasty pico before the server showed up.
                  I also found their prices a bit higher than I would expect for staples such as quesadillas, but fortunately I was so full of salsa by that point, we all shared plates.
                  Note: I as well as my boyfriend are both veg, and admittedly there were lots of options.