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RESTAURANT OF THE WEEK
This is yet another one of those "we're hungry, we just happened to pass by the place and it looked good so we tried it" type of meals. And it was a 9.5 on a scale of one to ten.
I had to subtract a half point over the drill they put you through as you enter the place. A harried woman approaches you and greets you and asks: "Have you dined with us before?" If you say "no" you are sequestered off to the side and the procedure is explained to you. You first grab a large, laminated, plastic menu and look over the many options while standing in the way of other arriving and departing diners. You then look at the chalk board and check out the specials of the day. Then with that big menu in hand, you approach the cash register, place your order and pay for the food. Next the harried woman who greeted you at the door takes you to your table. From that point on, it's pretty normal. Doing it the way they do creates a logjam at the front of the restaurant and in my opinion, is just plain stupid. But onto the food!
Standing in line at the cash register waiting to place my order, I felt rushed because there were many people waiting behind me. I started with an cup of clam chowder "made fresh daily" and for my main meal chose New England fish and chips featuring haddock. My meal came with fries and cole slaw. My wife ordered a fish sandwich (haddock, too) and ordered cole slaw and onion rings as her two side dishes.
The chowder arrived with lightening speed and was thick and pretty good. It had plenty of clams in it but it could have had just a bit more clammy flavor. There was no bacon in it, which is fine with me, but many New England chowders do come with it. It was also just a wee bit on the salty side. Having said that, it was good and I'd certainly order it again.
When my fish and chips arrived at the table it looked a bit weird. Instead of long fillets of fish, it was more or less fish chunks about two inches each and plenty of them. The fish was piping hot, perfectly fried and delicious. Perfect. My wife's haddock sandwich came with a long, crunchy filet on a French roll or something like that. It was a bit hard eating the fish because when she bit down on the roll, it kind of squished the delicate fish. But she loved it. And if you dine here come hungry -- the onion rings on my wife's plate were more than two people could eat!
The menu had many, many choices and in retrospect, I'm sorry I didn't get some steamer, or as Bostonians call them locally, "pisser" clams to start out with. I saw several orders going out to other diners and they looked just great! I remember the first time I had them in Boston as a rookie. The waitress asked how they were and I said a little tough and gritty. You must peel the skin off the snout. I didn't know that and was eating the whole, nasty mess. It would be like eating peel and eat shrimp without peeling them first. My brother-in-law actually did that one time at our house, the big doofus! It was his first experience eating that type of shrimp.
We used to live in Boston and know all about the seafood there and this restaurant appears to be the real deal. The only thing that was totally not authentic about a Boston experience was the politeness of the restaurant crew here. In Boston people tend to be rude and arrogant. I can say that from personal experience!
Lunch on a crowded Saturday afternoon came to about $30 for two with no beer or booze. Well worth every penny.
We highly recommend Boston's Fish House to you in New Smyrna Beach. They also have one in Winter Park near Orlando and we can only imagine that it's as good as this one.
Their web site is here with all the details on directions, menus, etc. Enjoy!!!!
This is New Smyrna Beach and the Atlantic water looks tempting. However this beach just happens to be the shark attack capital of the world! As I write this, there was another attack this week and several over the past few weeks. Most of the sharks doing the gnawing are small and most of the injuries are minor and not life threatening. But keep all of this in mind when the kids start screaming that they want to take a dip. More on sharks in New Smyrna here---if the link holds up.