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Black Cow in Newburyport a disappointment

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Went to the Black Cow in Newburyport yesterday for lunch. Had never been to that Black Cow, only the Black Cow in Hamilton. We last went a number of years ago, always yummy with imaginative items on the menu.

Yesterday we ordered clam chowder to start, daughter had chicken fingers off the kids menu, son and husband both got the chicken Parmesan sandwiches. I got the crab cakes with salad.

The chowder was very thick and flavorless - very few potatoes or clams. The few clams we found were not fresh, but of the minced, preserved (canned or frozen?) type. My (three) crab cakes were very small, and again, not much flavor and plenty of breading/filling besides crab meat. The crab cakes came with a mixed field green salad; the greens were fresh as was the grated Parmesan on top, but the dressing was just oily with no flavor. The chicken Parmesan sandwiches consisted of a deep fried chicken breast, with some marinara sauce and cheese on top. Chicken a bit on the dry side, and somehow we didn't think it would have emerged in such a state of - well, deep fried. The sandwiches came with a ton of french fries and some (you guessed it) flavorless, mayonnaisey cole slaw (all cabbage no carrots). Daughter's meal was as one would expect (deep fried chicken tenders and a ton of french fries), although when we last went to the Black Cow the chicken fingers were perfectly pan fried chicken tenders, lightly coated with bread crumbs, and served with tasty dipping sauces.

Has there been a change in owners in the recent past? Have they overextended themselves? I was so very disappointed in the Black Cow yesterday. The prices are still the same (a bit on the high end for this frugal family), but the quality was poor. The one positive - the waitress we had was lovely and provided us with excellent service.

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Black Cow
54 Merrimac St, Newburyport, MA 01950

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  1. Not surprising, the Black Cow in Newburyport is always hit or miss. Very pricey for what you get. It's sad, because which such a fabulous location, if they would improved the food, the place with do very well.

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    Black Cow
    54 Merrimac St, Newburyport, MA 01950

    1. our first meal (~3-4 years ago) at the Newburyport BC was excellent but subsequent visits declined so quickly that we now only go for early drinks on the deck when the weather is nice.

      1. We have a little saying in Gloucester about restaurants -- the quality of the food is in inverse proportion to the proximity to the water.

        1 Reply
        1. re: resipsaloquitor

          Have been a few times. Irresistable in the summer because of the location, the food has never been anything but mediocre at best. The menu is good but execution has been awful