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Essex Seafood

143R Eastern Ave., Essex, MA - (978) 768-7233
Posted By Michael Stern on 7/9/2007 2:20:00 PM
Essex Seafood is primarily a lobster pound, where you can buy them live or already boiled and ready to eat. Adjacent to the market and the big holding pens is a quiet dining room with a window to the kitchen. This is the order window, where you select from a straightforward menu of various-sized lobster dinners, as well as fried clams, scallops, and shrimp, plus chowder and corn on the cob. The lobsters are impeccably fresh; and the fried seafood plates are beautiful to behold: a layer of French fried potatoes, topped with a layer of onion rings, topped with a heap of your seafood of choice. Eat inside, at booths in the wood-paneled dining room that is decorated with charming nautical bric-a-brac, or choose a green-painted picnic table outdoors in back ā€“ a breezy retreat from Route 133 near the Essex-Gloucester town line.

Service is eat-in-the-rough, and everything is cooked to order, so you may have a wait if you get a good-size lobster, or even a fried haddock plate. This is an excellent opportunity to dip into a bowl of clam chowder: buttery and creamy, but not at all artificially thickened, and redolent of the perfect ocean ā€˜nā€™ oink harmony of chopped clams and a salt-pork base. Also take the opportunity while waiting to help yourself to pickly tartar sauce, ketchup, and ice water ā€“ all available at a self-service bar at the back of the dining room.

You will have a simple meal; in our experience, a flawless meal: exactly why we like eating our way along Cape Ann.

23 out of 23 people found the review helpful. Was it helpful to you?

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Scorecard

5 - Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
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Essex Seafood may be mainly a lobster pound, but this is the North Shore of Massachusetts and their fried clams (here mixed with onion rings) are world class.
"Essex Seafood may be mainly a lobster pound, but this is the North Shore of Massachusetts and their fried clams (here mixed with onion rings) are world class."
Cliff Strutz





Though not as generous with the clams in their chowder as other local places, it is still very creamy and delicious.
"Though not as generous with the clams in their chowder as other local places, it is still very creamy and delicious."
Cliff Strutz


Even though there is a large selection of seafood and non-seafood to choose from, the lobster and fried clams remain the essential
"Even though there is a large selection of seafood and non-seafood to choose from, the lobster and fried clams remain the essential "must eats.""
Cliff Strutz


This happy little lobster pound also makes excellent fried seafood. Dine in this building, or around back at picnic tables.
"This happy little lobster pound also makes excellent fried seafood. Dine in this building, or around back at picnic tables. "
Michael Stern


Unlike many of the other North Shore seafood restaurants, Essex Seafood is open year round.  Note the happy fish with the frying pan.
"Unlike many of the other North Shore seafood restaurants, Essex Seafood is open year round. Note the happy fish with the frying pan."
Cliff Strutz



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