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Plum Island (and thereabouts)--eating advice?

hounds,

I am taking my wife and our 11.5 month old daughter to stay on Plum Island, for my wife's b-day; we'll cook a bit, but I'd also like to go out. No babysitter so all options must be reasonably kid-friendly--she's a good baby, but still, a baby.

A review of the boards and elsewhere reveals the Clam Box, Bob Lobster, Farnham's; Mad Martha's for breakfast. Any dinner suggestions? Plum Island Grille--the menu suggests overpriced-ness but is the food good? And where else would you suggest in the area for breakfast, lunch, dinner? Glad to drive up to 20-30 minutes.

Most specifically, for my wife's birthday, she and I going snazzy back in Cambridge on Friday night, but would like to go to the perfect funky-family-friendly place on Saturday night. Where would you suggest a happy new family go to be even more happy?

Thanks for any advice you can offer--

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Mad Martha's Cafe
10 4th St, Newbury, MA 01951

Clam Box
789 Quincy Shore Dr, Quincy, MA 02170

Bob Lobster
49 Plum Island Turpike, Newbury, MA 01951

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  1. do a search under newburyport for a few recent threads. glen's galley has alw had v good dinner food, w/ international influences and excellent music(both recorded and live).

    fyi, we went to the Clam Box (the very best, imo) right after their once a day frying-oil-change (2:30) and clams are at an all time price high right now, with signs posted about that. have no idea if that will be in effect when you go, but just fyi. American BBQ in Rowley is surpringly really good on most all fronts and is open lu. and dinn.

    I would urge you to go to Black Trumpet 15 min. north in Portsmouth- for elegant spectacular food.

    If you can dine early w/ your wife or family, i would suggest the charming patio at Oleana in Camb. for Fri. or Sat.night
    Fantastic and unusual Mediterranean/Turkish fare (but they don't reserve the patio.)

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    Clam Box
    789 Quincy Shore Dr, Quincy, MA 02170

    Oleana
    134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139

    American BBQ
    950 Cummings Ctr Ste 96X, Beverly, MA 01915

    1 Reply
    1. re: opinionatedchef

      thanks! we've been long-time oleana patio fans from way before we were married--but doing ten tables cambridge on friday night since i think i've reached my limit on oleana patio dates... in our particular relationship that raises the suspicion that i just didn't get it together to make an actual reservation!

      thanks for the info--very helpful. (esp the frying oil change time!).

    2. The food is excellent at The Plum Island Grille, albeit a little pricey.

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      Plum Island Grille
      2 Plum Island Blvd, Newbury, MA 01951

      1. In addition to the places you've already listed, be sure to check out Newburyport for dinner. Michael's Harborside is decent...as is the Grog for more casual pub style food.
        Also, in my opinion, the best breakfast in that area can be found at Village Pancake House on Main St. in Rowley. From Newburyport just follow route 1a into Rowley and it is located right after the junction on 1A and 133. Don't let the name fool you. This is a very pretty and quaint place to have breakfast ..very pretty country style decor, great service and unbelievable food.

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        Village Pancake House
        26 Main St, Rowley, MA 01969

        3 Replies
        1. re: BlueMagic

          thanks for the tip! from that suggestion i see that yelp reviewers say the village pancake house has "screaming babies" so we will look like angels since our little angel, of course, would never ever scream.

          1. re: aquariumtown

            In Nbry'port i would definitely not send you to the grog or michael's.Not. also not the mexican place on state st., or ceia.
            plse do report back on your experiences!

            1. re: aquariumtown

              Do they really? I have been there several times and never heard a baby screaming. Of course, perhaps that's because I tend to go earlier in the morning.

          2. Plum Island Grille is very good, and yes a little pricey.

            Mad Martha's for breakfast....YES

            Here's a list of my usual spots.

            Anna Rosa's Bakery - Must go. Great bakery for your breads, and great croissants.

            http://www.annarosas.com/

            Joppa Fine Foods - Excellent selection of cheese, cured meats, pate, lunch sandwiches.
            http://www.joppafinefoods.com/product...

            Mr. India - Indian and Himalayan

            http://www.misterindiarestaurant.com/...

            Stella's - Breakfast/Lunch

            http://www.stellasofmiddlestreet.com/...

            Fowles Diner Downtown - Breakfast

            http://www.fowlesdiner.com/

            Fowles Meat Market - excellent homemade sausages, and anything else you want to grill.

            http://www.fowlesmarket.com/

            Tendercrop Farm Rte. 1A heading to or coming back from the Clam Shack

            http://www.tendercropfarms.com/

            Cathy's Country Kitchen - Rowley

            Breakfast

            Fishtale Diner for breakfast on the deck if it's nice out http://bridgemarinasalisbury.com/fish...

            The Grog and Michael's are alright, especially with a 1yo. Average food you can find in any town though. I like the menu at Glenn;s Restaurant better.

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            Plum Island Grille
            2 Plum Island Blvd, Newbury, MA 01951

            Mad Martha's Cafe
            10 4th St, Newbury, MA 01951

            Cathy's Country Kitchen
            300 Newburyport Tpke, Rowley, MA 01969

            Fishtale Diner
            177 Bridge Rd, Salisbury, MA 01952

            1. atown,just fyi, a close friend/gourmand had this to say about dining in his hometown:

              "Oh God. Could go on forever. Mr. India is OK for takeout but is a dump,Jewel in theCrown or whatever it's called is better. Grand Trunk for cheese and interesting but small beer/wine selection. David's for seafood market in Salisbury. Anna Rosa right on, but it's in Amesbury. Park Lunch for fried seafood and Red Sox, now there's a local find, esp. the fried shrimp; clams a little inconsistent. Leary's has best wine selection, NE Wine & Spirits by rotary very good on beer. Plum Island Grill overrated AND overpriced but yes I will go there for sunsets and location and a bit more creativity than you usually find elsewhere."

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              Park Lunch
              181 Merrimac St, Newburyport, MA 01950

              6 Replies
              1. re: opinionatedchef

                Are you quoting your close friend/gourmand verbatim from a recent conversation, or are you gathering this quote from an old post on your own, and if so could you could share it, because Annarosa's is in Salisbury now, if that mattters to anyone.

                I think the OP would be happier at The Grog or Michael's than Park Lunch. Park Lunch is locals place and nothing special to anyone visiting For fried seafood you want to go to Bob Lobster.

                Jewel in the Crown doesn't deliver on the spices that Mr. India is putting out now, and while Mr. India is better for take-out, it won't kill you eating in. I'm living proof.

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                Park Lunch
                181 Merrimac St, Newburyport, MA 01950

                Bob Lobster
                49 Plum Island Turpike, Newbury, MA 01951

                1. re: Infomaniac

                  not an old post; hot from my frnd's lips.so to speak.

                  1. re: Infomaniac

                    Jewel In The Crown lit us up a few weeks ago per our request. they seemed genuinely pleased that we asked for them to turn up the heat.

                    1. re: ScubaSteve

                      I'll take your word for it, and I have nothing against JITC. I like their location better. I was there with my GF last week, and she doesn't like her food to spicy, so I'm convinced they tame it for me too even though I ask for punishment.
                      The reason I like Mr. India better is they know me when I come in or order on the phone, and I don't have to ask for them to be a little heavier on the spices.

                  2. re: opinionatedchef

                    gourmand's right about Davids but you have to have a lot of $$$ to shop there ... $ 25.00 gets you 1 lobster tail if you're lucky .... better to go to Market Basket in Newburyport for your seafood... PIG is a place to go when you want to be seen - the better of Chef Broadbery's places was Powow River Grill in Amesbury (now closed)

                    1. re: MABMAQ

                      The only thing I'll buy at David's is the octopus which is usually frozen. Everything else is way over priced compared to every other seafood place in the area.
                      I sort of forgot about Powow River Grille until you mentioned it. PRG is one place in this area that I really miss a lot.

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                      Powow River Grille
                      33 Main St, Amesbury, MA 01913