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Turner's seafood

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I happened upon their website and wondered if either the Gloucester or Melrose location is worth the trip?

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  1. I guess it depends on what you consider worth the trip, and I can't speak for the Gloucester location, but. . . . . in our opinion Melrose is a keeper.
    Mrs and I stopped there last Friday nite and went right to the Oyster bar. The standard seating is fine and the food is always fresh, but the bar area is more fun. Got two seats at the bar at about 6:30, before the Friday rush. Started out with a dozen of the freshest, sweetest oysters we have had in a long time, $20. Mrs had cod cakes with baked beans and homemade sweet relish. I'm not a fish cake fan but she was highly impressed. I had "Spicy Calamari", gently fried calamari with olives, tomato, pepperoncini, and melted cheese on top. Wonderful!

    1 Reply
    1. re: powerfulpierre

      I'm pretty sure Gloucester is just a fish market. Heard nothing but good things about Melrose.

    2. I have been to the Melrose location numerous times and in my experience it's a) loud and b) fine. Not great, but fine. My main complaints would be: sloppy shucking (but fresh oysters), the fried selections come off as really greasy, and there is an overall lack of creativity. It's not bad, but I just don't feel like they take much care when preparing food. This is ambiguous I know, but..the best way I can put it. I never leave mad, but never impressed either.

      Not sure where you are coming from, but I usually prefer to head down to Neptune or out to Cape Ann for a clam or lobster shack, as opposed to heading to Turners. I live in Malden.

      6 Replies
      1. re: lisa13

        "I never leave mad, but never impressed either", Well put, Lisa. I felt the same the last couple of time we sat in the dining area. "Loud" is also correct and maybe that just doesn't fit as well in a dining room as it might in the bar area. On a Friday nite at the bar with a beer and a plate of fresh oysters, loud and a bit hectic can be OK. And, at $50 for oysters, a couple of entrees and beers, it can be more attractive than truckin' into Neptune.

        1. re: powerfulpierre

          Have you tried Catch in Winchester? I haven't been to Turner's, but I absolutely left Catch impressed. More fine dining than Neptune, and less hectic. No raw bar, but solid selection of fish.

        2. re: lisa13

          I agree that Turner's suffers from a lack of creativity. The menu has changed little over the years. The seafood is fresh, but the sides are particularly lame (for example, the rice pilaf is obviously Sysco's version of the stuff in a box in the supermarket). You won't have a bad meal, but you won't have a memorable meal either. Which is what a lot restaurants aim for deliberately.

          1. re: Karl S

            I've found that it's a good place to take my Mom if she's down in the area. Fresh seafood, and the "basic sides" works for her. (Although I agree with you Karl - that rice pilaf is abysmal!). I've not been to the bar, but have stopped in the past to pick up fresh seafood to make at home; and their chowder is good as well.

            1. re: Karl S

              Based on my exoerience, you might be wrong about the pilaf. Last time we were in there, I asked the waitress if there were peppers in it and she swore up and down there weren't, but when it came, there were. She went to check what was up and said that the recipe does vary so sometimes it will, sometimes it won't. That's not really the Sysco model.

              They're advertising an Oyster Festival in the windows right now, September 6 (or 9) through 30th or so. Not sure what that entails.

              1. re: Chris VR

                OK. I am still underwhelmed by their sides.