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Aug 26, 2012 06:06 AM

Nordic Lodge

Anyone know of a place in RI called Nordic Lodge, and does it still exist? I'm from NJ, but approximately 20 years ago, a guy I worked with from Brooklyn told me about it--- he had gone up there on a bus with a group, and for about $30, they had been able to eat unlimited quantities of food-- chicken, steak, ribs, etc. Well, not quite unlimited- I believe there was a 2 hour time limit. And I think there were restrictions on alcohol. But I was young and intrepid in those days, and I decided to check it out with a few like minded friends.

If I remember right (again, this was 20-plus years ago, so forgive my absent mindedness), it was located in a place called Charleston (or Charlestown) about a half hour away from Newport. We did eat like pigs, and I had always liked the ambience and atmosphere of RI, so I was happy. As were my friends (I was doing the driving, so they were even happier; on the road back to NJ, they were soon asleep in a food dazed slumber while I tried desperately to keep my eyes a hopefully wiser middle aged adult, I wouldn't attempt this same driving "feat" of 4 hours there and 4 hours back today). In retrospect, I'm not sure how good the food really was, or whether it was really quality cuts of meat, etc.--- I'm sure I was dazzled simply by the amount of food available for not a ton of money. And, given the number of chartered buses in the parking lot from NY and other areas, I wasn't alone in feeling this way.

Haven't heard about this place in years, and I'm wondering whether anyone else has memories of it, and whether it still even exists? And, if it does, is it still $30 for all the food you can eat (in 2 hours)?

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    Never been, so can't comment, but this looks like the place?

    1. It's still there, however, this price has changed. I went there a couple of years ago so that I could say I tried it and the price was $75 per person. I wasn't aware of any time restrictions while I was there.

      1 Reply
      1. re: RIRider

        Yes, dennisl, that's the place-- thanks. And thank you, RlRider, too--- I guess it was too much to sorta hope they'd keep it at $30. I haven't had any great desire to sample its fare again, but every once in awhile, friends will say to me, "Remember that time you drove 8 hours just to eat at some restaurant?" Ah, yeah, I do...

        I guess it's nice that a place from your (not too distant) past is still open for business and thriving...well, at least open for business.

      2. Its now $85 P/P I dont know about a limit only once about 20 plus years ago all lobsters were then culls or soft shell which dont yield much meat and the lobster men tomd me they sell them just to restaurants for just above cost price.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Frank Terranova

          They advertise a two-hour time limit. When I go out to dine, I do not want an hourglass on my table. For $85.00 per person, I can select virtually any fine restaurant in the area and enjoy a relaxed dinner with food worth eating and decent service, and be assured of having a comfortably full tummy. Now and then a buffet suits the mood, but you can eat your fill at several local buffets for $6.95-$9.00 p/p. Why battle at the trough for mediocre food?

          1. re: oystertripe

            Correct. I am glad someone thinks somewhat like me.

        2. It used to be called Custy's and offered unlimited lobster.. it wasn't bad 30 or 40 years ago, if you avoided the read, salad, etc. I have often thought about bringing my lobster crazy son there, but these reviews are weak. We'd be better at LobsterFest in Maine- he ate 3 the last year we were there!

          11 Replies
          1. re: shadowandmolly

            Custy's and Nordic Lodge are two different places. Custy's used to be in N. Kingstown RI then they were on the road to Foxwoods but are now closed.

            1. re: shadowandmolly

              Why on earth would you pay $85 for 3 lobsters? Hell, you could get not one, but two twin lobster dinners here on the Cape for half of that.

              1. re: CapeCodGuy

                plus shrimp, crab, scallops, oysters, excellent prime rib, fillet mignon, etc. Way too much food for me, but it's more than a few lobsters and does not compare with a typical low end, $10 buffet.

                1. re: Clams047

                  Meh. I would hope it doesn't compare with a crummy $10 buffet. I just don't understand the attraction to a place where the idea is to gorge yourself on way too much food. I don't need to eat lobsters, steak, crab, shellfish shrimp, scallops, etc. when I go out to dinner. I'd much rather spend twice the $85 price and have exquisitely and thoughtfully prepared bites from a chef's tasting menu vs. unlimited food by the pound.

                  1. re: CapeCodGuy

                    Obviously, if you don't like shellfish, it's not going to be of any interest for you. $85 will be a lot for a water cress salad with artichokes or to just eat steak, salad & baked potato.

                    Personally, I'd rather have / much more enjoy three (single entree) $30 meals, but sometimes people occasionally just like to pig out with a wide variety of samplings at one sitting.

                    Then again, I can't imagine any meal being worth $170. Simple clam bakes are now going about $50-60 pp with much more limited quantity and selection. Personally, I'm just as content steaming two lbs of mussels at home for about $2.50 plus a little melted butter vs. any meal out. White linen tablecloths & extensive wait staff service have little interest for me.

                    1. re: Clams047

                      I LOVE shellfish, but one can get lobster, or surf and turf, and a magnificent seafood tower that is all prepared to order in a fine dining establishment for what Nordic charges for mass produced fare at the glutton trough. To each his own I guess.

                      And before you make an assumption on the value of a $170 tasting menu (a bargain if it includes a wine pairing btw) try the 7 course meal at Troquet in Boston as prepared by the very skilled hands of a Michelin trained chef in a beautiful room with impeccable service.

                2. re: CapeCodGuy

                  Why stop at 3 lobsters?

                  It's a great place to go with a bachelor party or similar event. You're not getting great food, but the food isn't bad. And the 2 hour limit is not a factor, since it's buffet style you're not waiting for food to come, and the atmosphere doesn't lend itself towards lingering.

                  1. re: CapeCodGuy

                    Hell this year the lobsters are so cheap up north that you could get them for $2/# and cook them yourself for 20 people - - just sayin

                    1. re: few

                      Still haven't seen any lobsters <$4.99 here in RI (they are about $5.99 currently), but if all you want is lobster and have a big enough pot, it does make little sense to go there. As I've mentioned before, it's way too much food for me to appreciate, but having all the unlimited shellfish with quite excellent beef to go along with a few lobsters helps justify the price. (Plus no cleanup & smell from the discarded shells, etc).

                      1. re: Clams047

                        Just cook over an outdoor fire and dump the shells in the river or sound....LOL

                        1. re: Clams047

                          Demoulas' Market Basket has live soft-shell lobsters for $3.99/lb. (no culls). They are advertised this week, but they have had $3.99 lobsters unadvertised for much of the summer. They move thousands of the tasty critters, so they are always very fresh and lively. Closest store to RI is in Bellingham, MA, just off Rt. 495. Not too far if you live in northern RI.

                  2. Been here...yes, you can go up for lobsters, etc over and over, etc...but I thought for the price, the place was old, tired and kind of gross. Ambiance is like a big cafeteria...not very clean. Very dated decor. For that price, go to a restaurant for some ambiance....unless your nay goal for going there is to see how much lobster you can eat...!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: bostongal

                      I remember going into the men's room there about 30 years ago and the walls of the stalls were covered with shag carpet. Amazing. I counted seven buses coming into the place last weekend, so they are obviously doing well.