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Markey"s vs. Brown's- The Battle of the Lobster Pounds

Is this really a competition anymore? It seems over the past few years that every die hard Brown's fan whom I have coaxed into Markey's has become an instant convert. Even this week, my nephew's wife who grew up going to Brown's declared after lunch that Markey's was definitely better.

I've been to Brown's twice in my life and was not impressed.. I simply like the food, the cleanliness and the service much better at Markey's Lobster Pound. This is the place where I got DH to try steamers for the first time..and now we split an order every time we go.
They have a nice bar that serves beer and wine so he can enjoy a beer with our steamers. I am not a huge fan of fried seafood but I can't resist the scallops at Markey's. I tried a bite of the fried fish this week and it was excellent..although it's tough to beat their baked haddock. The only drawback I can see is the chowder. It's just not all that good.
Another plus for Markey's is that they are located next to an ice cream stand and a Tripoli Bakery location..that is if you have room for dessert.
Compare that to Brown's. Brown's fried seafood simply isn't at good, at least in my opinion, it is BYOB (no thanks!) but they won't let you bring in your own water bottle. Brown's also..for some strange reason..serves pepper steak subs. What self respecting lobster pound adds pepper steaks to their menu? If you want dessert then you have to cross busy route 286 to get to the ice cream stand and bakery.

I will say..it's somewhat disappointing that kids can no longer toss their leftover fries off the porch at Markey's for the seagulls to catch..although I completely understand the decision :-)

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  1. Where are these located?

    4 Replies
    1. re: catsmeow

      Google says Seabrook NH.

      1. re: Allstonian

        Not only have I never heard of either place, I don't think they've ever been mentioned on this site until now. ???
        If I'm ever in Seabrook and need a fix, I would try one. Have friends nearby and would inquire about a recommendation first.
        Enjoy,
        CocoDan

        1. re: CocoDan

          CocoDan, being a "transplant" to NH from Southie, I had never heard of either 'till I moved up here. Still haven't tried either one - I usually go to the Hingham Lobster Pound if I have have a 1/2 day off work (I work in Downtown Boston) & am craving clams ......... well, actually clam strips but THAT'S a whole different discussion! : )

      2. re: catsmeow

        You may find comments on the Northern New England board.

      3. I though you were making reference to the MA US Senate race with Ed Markey running for what was Scott Brown's seat - which lobster pound does each candidate prefer? Doh!!!!!

        1. Neither.They've both gone downhill drastically the past few years,and Markey's chowder (IMO) wasn't great to begin with.

          1 Reply
          1. re: mollydingle

            I agree both places have gone downhill the past few years. It's been about three years since I last visited each too, and I have had to been to each place at least 50 times over the past 25 years. If I ever do go again it will definitely be in the off season

            I don't think Brown's is as bad as the OP thinks it is with only 2 lifetime visits. I don't doubt both visits were not that impressive either.

            I've had numerous non-impressive visits at both locations over the years, but I wouldn't say one place is better than the other.

            To me the only difference is Markey's you buy your wine and beer, and Brown's you can bring your own, and Brown's has more parking.

          2. Grew up going to Markeys. But last two trips we visited Brown's instead. I prefer the chowder at Browns, lobster roll at Markeys. I don't do fried food, so I can't compare that.

            1. We've only gone to one of them several years ago but maybe we went to the "wrong" one. In the meantime, we discovered Petey's. How does Petey's compare with Markey's?

              1 Reply
              1. re: dfrostnh

                I prefer Petey's...we enjoy sitting outside and ordering a platter and XL chowder for everyone to just share. I actually enjoy Brown's for the byob, I hate over paying for a lousy alcohol selection. We haven't been to Markey's in awhile, and it's not my favorite, but I'd go there if I'm closer to Seabrook than Rye.

              2. I'm a Markey's fan.
                We tried Brown's, just for the heck of it, about 2 weeks ago, and the BYOB crowd was over the top. 2 in the afternoon, and we watched a group of three college-aged kids consume most of a case and two six packs of beer while noshing on an order of fries and an order of steamers. They were boisterous, to say the least.

                The crowd is certainly more unruly at Browns, and usually younger than the Markey's crowd (not unrelated points).

                Brown's also does not offer steamed mussels, which we love, and get regularly at Markey's.

                Markey's chowder is watery compared to Browns, but their lobster bisque is quite good.

                I'd take Markey's any day (location, food, ambiance)....but also, it's the place I grew up with.

                1. We were at Brown's last week and could not believe $96.00 for two large containers of fried clams. We are Midwesterners now but grew up in Boston and had one chance for clams with real bellies. What a ripoff. Breading was too thick and I swear some of the bodies were quahogs. The strip part on some were hardly chewable. If I had known our itinerary I would have checked with hounds. "Don't leave home without them!!" Chowhounds rock!!!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: mgebs

                    over in the next town, Amesbury, the local secret is Route 110 Roast Beef and Seafood - excellent fried seafood (clams at 27.00 per large order)