Archive for the 'Chowders & Bisque' Category

Lazy Man Lobster Bisque

6 1/2 ounces fresh or frozen lobster meat
1 can condensed cream of asparagus soup
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 cup light cream
few grains cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons sherry
2 tablespoons minced chives
Parmesan cheese croutons
Blend together soups, cream, lobster and cayenne and bring to a simmering point. When mixture is hot, stir in sherry. Serve with sprinkling of chives and Parmesan croutons.

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California Lobster Rush:The Best Spots for Maine Lobster

These days, minor indulgences that don’t break the bank are important. It doesn’t get any better than a dinner of fresh lobster – but even with its amazing, expansive coastline, finding the best lobster in California can be tricky. The Golden State is chock full of outstanding restaurants and fish markets, but where can a seafood lover find the best lobster at the most reasonable price? We investigated, and what we learned is that not all lobster joints are created equal. Here’s a summary of what we learned.

Lobster California California Lobster Rush:The Best Spots for Maine Lobster

King’s Fish House has 11 locations scattered throughout the whole of California.  The common positive points of all of the restaurants are spacious booths and period décor with gorgeous dark wood.  The common negative point, however, is that it is so loud in these restaurants that you can’t hear your dining companions over the din.  Though you might think this is because of the awesome, budget-friendly prices at King’s Fish House, you’d be wrong.  The lobster is okay, but pricey: $40-$44 per plate minimum. You’d probably do better to cook at home and turn the television up loudly to get the same quality and atmosphere at a lower price.

The Lobster in Santa Monica (1802 Ocean Avenue) boasts an incredible view of the ocean from nearly every table. The lobster is only mediocre, which is somewhat to be expected in a place that looks like a tourist trap.  The prices and service are great – but only during happy hour.  If you plan to dine outside of that narrow time window, be prepared to pay tourist prices while getting only cold to lukewarm service.

A local institution in Santa  Monica is Ocean Ave Seafood (1401 Ocean Avenue) with its wall of windows overlooking the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Monica Pier. You can order up to a 3 pound live Maine lobster from their tank. They serve a New England Lobster Roll for $26.95. In addition to their extensive oyster bar, they serve up Iced Shellfish Platters with oysters, clams, jumbo shrimp, black mussels and half a lobster. You can also order clam chowder with apple-wood smoked bacon and a bowl of fish chowder.

Another seafood restaurant in Santa Monica, CA is the BP Oysterette (1355 Ocean Ave). Besides a nice raw bar, BP makes a Lobster Mac and Cheese with Gruyere cheese and truffle oil for $18 and a Lobster Roll on a brioche roll with
homemade sweet potato chips for $22. You can also find Maine steamer clams and fried clams–whole belly Ipswich clams served with lemon aioli. There’s also an outside patio to enjoy oysters and beer by the beach.

Oceanside’s Rockin’ Baja Lobster Bar & Grill (258 Harbor Drive South) serves a Pacific or Baja lobster (not real Maine lobster) in many different forms, all with a Mexican cuisine flair. If you prefer this style of lobster, the prices are reasonable at about $18 per person for the “slipper lobster tails.”  The atmosphere is extremely casual – it’s not a bad deal if you don’t mind everything on the menu (except the margaritas) coming in a bucket, and everything being cooked with Mexican sauces and spices.

The Lobster Trap in Avalon (128 Catalina Avenue) has a helpful, friendly staff and serves generous portions of lobster.  The lobster roll, however, was filled with nearly tasteless lobster (except for lots and lots of salt), and was ice cold.  The rice was equally without flavor.  The roll isn’t toasted, which sometimes causes it to fall apart after being soaked with its lobster filling.  The prices are reasonable, however.  It’s an okay place in a pinch, but don’t rush to The Lobster Trap.

Redwood City is the site of Old Port Lobster Shack (851 Veterans Boulevard).  An informal lobster restaurant, patrons place their order and then find a seat.  Served with coleslaw on the side, their various lobster dishes a little pricier than usual. A coffee cup-sized portion of lobster bisque is $7.75, with both cold and hot lobster in it.  We were confused.

Yankee Pier (3593 Mt Diablo Blvd)  is another Bay area seafood restaurant located in the heart of historic Larkspur, CA. Here you can order a lobster roll on griddled bun with housemade kettle chips and coleslaw, served chilled or hot for $22.50. They also serve fried Ipswich clam platter. On the menu is a New England clam boil with clams, shrimp, mussels, linguisa & red potatoes  for $21.00.

Sams Chowder House (4210 Cabrillo Highway North) is a New England style seafood restaurant overlooking Half Moon Bay. Sam’s West Coast version of the Lobster roll is its much publicized signature dish. Unlike the real East Coast version, Sam’s does not use mayonnaise in the mix, just lots of butter on a warm brioche roll. It sells for $21.95 with potato chips and a dollop of coleslaw. Not so sure about the brioche roll with all the butter, but it is well packed with good chunks of fresh lobster meat. The chowder was not bad, but a little thin compared to a good Boston chowder. For those who can’t manage a trip to Half  Moon Bay, Sam’s has its own San Francisco Bay area food truck called the Chowdermobile.

The food trucks have become a popular scene in the Los Angeles, CA area. Now there is a food truck that sells lobster rolls aptly named The Lobsta Truck. The main attraction here is the lobster roll  made with fresh lobster meat on a toasted split top roll with mayo or butter for $12. The bread and lobster meat are flown in from New England. Also on the menu is a crab roll and New England clam chowder.

Did you know who holds the largest Lobster Festival in the United States? If you guessed the Maine Lobster Festival in Rockland, ME—you guessed wrong. The  Port of Los Angeles Lobster Festival claims to have the largest lobster festival in the world. For the 201o festival, held in September, over 32,000 Maine lobsters were flown in fresh, cooked and served.

Live Maine Lobster Shipping California Lobster Rush:The Best Spots for Maine Lobster

The best deal we found was, which offers live Maine lobster delivered fresh to your door – or anywhere in the USA –  the next morning!  Located in New England (arguably, where all good lobster comes from), gets their seafood directly from the Atlantic Ocean via trusted suppliers and ships it so it arrives at its peak freshness.  In addition to whole lobster, this company offers lobster tails (in four different sizes), lobster meat and lobster rolls.  Other shellfish, shrimp, chowder and starters are available for the full seafood experience.  The prices are reasonable, and the result is a high-quality lobster dinner delivered to your door, fresh, the next day.  Try it!

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New England’s Best Lobster Shacks and Seafood Dives

Is your favorite lobster shack shacky and weathered and in a fairly remote place near the ocean? Or, perhaps it is tacky and reminds you of a roadside hut.

Most shacks are a “no-frills” family establishments with a simple menu, and almost always have long lines in peak summer months. Some shacks have become tourist destinations and others have become tourist traps with over the top prices. Lobster and seafood shacks are symbols of summer and a few are beacons of the past. Many of us have nostalgic childhood memories of a trip to a favorite lobster shack.

Lobster shacks can be off the main path or right on the Main Street. Some shacks have seaside views, while others have no views at all. Lobster shacks at out of the way locations are usually off narrow roads or routes that can become crowded with traffic jams in the warm weather. Familiar surroundings for lobster shacks are rocky beaches with a view of the harbor, fishermen’s boats and sea gulls, or maybe a forested cove. Perhaps you wish to combine a shopping trip to LL Bean or Kittery shops with a side trip to a Lobster Shack in the area. Often the shacks are shuttered from October to April in the cooler weather, so catch them when they are open in the spring and summer.

Don’t dress up because you will most likely be eating on a pier at a picnic table. Usually, there is no indoor seating, but the views waiting for a lobster dinner can be spectacular. It is cool in Maine, so bring a sweater and enjoy the finest lobster ever. How can you resist since the freshest lobster thrives in New England waters where it is caught, and then it is cooked in a Lobster Shack and brought to your table. When the lobster is served, be prepared to crack it open on a paper plate and dine al fresco on bare wooden tables. Many of the unassuming shacks are BYOB, so don’t forget to bring a cooler.

The star attraction of these eateries is lobster served in the rough: a whole lobster cooked plain and simple. The typical lobster size served is usually between 1 1/4 pounds to 1 1/2 pounds, but some lobster shacks offer a pound. Lobster fishermen deliver and store their fresh catch in large seawater filled tanks. Shacks with lobster pounds are typically larger with more seating. If cooking live lobster at home makes you squeamish, this is a great alternative. Expect a messy meal and no side orders except some chowder or a bag of chips. More spacious places may feature lobster dinners served with corn cobs, onion rings or chowder. Or, you may want to order a lobster roll instead with mayonnaise and butter on a fresh roll with crisp lettuce.

In addition to fresh lobster, many seafood eateries serve fried, steamed or baked seafood. The deep-fryer is often the most over-worked piece of equipment at the shack. Clams, haddock, fries and onions rings are given a quick, hot dip. Next to fresh cooked lobster and lobster rolls, the fried clams hold a special appeal for New Englanders and it is a contentious debate about the best fried clams place in New England. Fried clams are said to have been invented in 1916, by Chubby Woodman in Essex, Massachusetts.

Here are some wonderful Lobster Shacksdotted across New England that are well worth your time when planning a day trip or a stop in the area:

Bagaduce Lunch
19 Bridge Road
Brooksville, ME 04617

Bagaduce was established in 1946, and is a family tradition tucked away next to the reversing falls on the Bagaduce River. Locals come from miles away for fresh haddock, fried clams, crab and lobster rolls. The owner’s brother is a local lobsterman, so count on getting the freshest caught lobster. Be sure to order the onion rings and watch for bald eagles soaring overhead.

Beal’s Lobster Pier
182 Clark Point Road
Southwest Harbor, ME 04679-441

Eat fresh lobster on a working wharf next to a Coast Guard base overlooking Southwest Harbor. Sit outside at picnic tables, drink beer, and casually eat fresh seafood.

FiveIslands Lobster Company
1447 Five Islands Rd, Georgetown, ME

This is “as good as lobster gets”at a shack on the harbor edge overlooking rocky shores and lobster boats. Seating is open on the dock.

Perry’s Lobster Shack
1076 Newbury Neck Road
Surry, ME

Perry’s is run by Perry and his wife Beverly. The lobster shack is on the side of Newbury Neck Road, with stairs leading to the town beach. Perry’s menu is simple, with fresh lobster, mussels, and corn on the cob. Enjoy a lobster roll on one of the three picnic tables on the pier and be sure to order homemade ice cream sandwiches.

Watermans 300x225 New Englands Best Lobster Shacks and Seafood DivesWaterman’s Beach Lobster
343 Waterman Beach Road
South Thomaston, ME 04858-3325

This establishment is a winner of the James Beard restaurant award and a model of a great New England lobster shack. Sit outside at picnic tables, order lobsters, and eat them on paper plates. Try the ginger ice cream: it is wonderful with blueberry pie!


Roy Moore Lobster Company

RoyMooreLobster 200x300 New Englands Best Lobster Shacks and Seafood Dives

Photo by Mike Carey

39 Bearskin Neck
Rockport, MA 01966

Roy Moore’s is a local institution founded in1918, located on the docks of Rockport’s Bearskin Neck. It is good lobster bargain, with smoked salmon, fishcakes, clam chowder, and lobster on the menu. Seating is in tight quarters with crates used as seating out back.

Sesuit Harbor Cafe
357 Sesuit Neck Rd
Dennis, MA 02638
(508) 385-6134


This is on our list of shacks because it is a real deal for a scenic seafood spot located in a boat yard and marina, with Cape Cod style. Customers sit at picnic tables on the channel between Sesuit Harbor and Cape Cod Bay and observe the boats traveling in and out of the dock.

The BiteThe Bite 300x199 New Englands Best Lobster Shacks and Seafood Dives
29 Basin Road
Menemsha, MA 02552

The Bite is a tiny seafood stand in the fishing village of Menemsha on Martha’s Vineyard and serves fried- to-order clams, scallops and oysters.

New Hampshire

Petey’s Summertime Seafood & Bar
1323 Ocean Blvd
Rye, NH 03870

Petey’s is a “seafood shack” located between Hampton and Portsmouth, NH, across the beach from an old shipwreck with public beach access. It has a second-floor deck that has great views and a postage- sized parking lot.Petey’s serves lobster rolls on a bulkyroll. Try the baked haddock with lobster stuffing or the seafood chowder.

Rhode Island

Evelyn’s Drive In

evelyns hq1 300x199 New Englands Best Lobster Shacks and Seafood Dives

Photo by Mark Saleski

2335 Main Road
Tiverton, RI 02878
(401) 624-3100

Evelyn’s Drive In has been serving fresh, local seafood since 1969. Evelyn’s is a half clam shack, half small, sit-down restaurant. Order a bowl of Rhody chowder, a couple of stuffies, and a sumptuous lobster roll, and be sure to try the delicious Lobster Chow.

The Country Chowder Shack
101 Old Hartford Pike
North Scituate, RI 02857

Don’t drive all the way to the beach to get some decent seafood. This Rhode Island “hidden gem” Chowder Shack may be a last chance to taste Rhode Island-style red chowder before you drive to Connecticut. Country Chowder also has white chowder, stuffies, clam cakes, and hot wieners. The Chowder Shack is open from March 19th through October 31st. You can’t see the ocean from the Country Chowder Shack, but you can taste it.


johny ads 300x225 New Englands Best Lobster Shacks and Seafood DivesJohnny Ads Drive In
910 Boston Post Rd.
Old Saybrook, CT

Step back into to the 1950’s at Johnny Ads, where fried seafood and hot buttery lobster rolls never go out of style. Mainers even say they make a “damn good lobster roll.” Don’t miss with the great Hummel Brothers hot dogs served on buttered “square” rolls with crinkle fries. The Rhode Island clam chowder is top notch.

banner3 250x250 animated New Englands Best Lobster Shacks and Seafood DivesCan’t get to your favorite seafood shack this summer? Give LobsterAnywhere a try. You do not  need  GPS for directions, bug spray, or gas money for a road trip. This lobster company has been shipping Maine lobster and fresh seafood gifts since 1999. Order lobster and select your delivery date at online check out.

Feel free to send us a picture of your favorite Lobster Shack that you would recommend to a friend.

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Real New England Clam Chowder!

The history of clam chowder is very interesting. A group of French soldiers became shipwrecked off the coast of Maine.  As they trudged ashore carrying what meager provisions they could grab before the ship sank, they made camp on the shore.  They gathered some clams and threw them into a large pot they called a Chaudière.  They cooked the clams in water with the potatoes, crackers and pork that they had salvaged, and managed to create quite a tasty dish, which became the precursor for future “chowders” derived from the word Chaudière.

New England Clam Chowder Real New England Clam Chowder!

They are very serious about their Clam Chowder in New England, especially Maine!  The traditional recipe for New England style Clam Chowder includes chopped clams, potatoes, onions and salt pork in a milk or cream based broth.  Some New England states like Rhode Island and New York add tomatoes, but people of Maine are so incensed by this barbaric act, they actually passed a bill through legislature in 1939 making the act of adding tomatoes to New England Clam Chowder illegal!

Another clam chowder style, called Manhattan or New York uses tomatoes in a clear broth base, but what the law was intended for, was to keep the milk/cream based clam chowder from being contaminated by tomatoes.  States like Maine and Massachusetts have a great tourist trade based on their spectacular Clam Chowders served in restaurants.

New England clam chowder is a wonderful dish not only for seafood lovers but vegetarians and people abstaining from meat.  A serving of New England clam chowder made with 2% milk has 154 calories, 0 Tran’s fats, 8 grams of protein and 1 gram of fiber.  Additional benefits of this tasty soup are that it serves up vitamins A (6%), C (9%), 17% of daily requirement for Calcium and a whopping 17% of the daily need for iron.

Are you a Chowda Head? Order some real good chowder from

new england clam chowder Real New England Clam Chowder!

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Boston Seafood Chowder

My father cooked the seafood chowder! He brought the recipe to Boston from his birthplace in Islesboro, Maine. I remember the tantalizing  smell as Dad carefully blended ingredients.

Boston Fish Chowder Ingredients iStock 000010798539XSmall e1278899634759 Boston Seafood Chowder
1/4 lb. salt pork
2 big onions sliced
2 to 3 cups of raw potatoes (also sliced, never cubed)
2 cups of water
2 lb.s haddock or cod
salt to taste and 1/4 tsp. pepper
2 to 3 cups rich milk or par “coffee cream”

Fry salt pork in heavy kettle. Remove pork scraps and set aside. Cook onions in remaining fat until golden. Add potatoes and water. Place fish fillets on top of potatoes. Season. Cover and cook on low heat until potatoes are fairly soft and fish flakes. Pour milk and heat, but do NOT boil. Avoid stirring (so fish won’t break up too much) and serve with “common” crackers. These crackers are still available from Vermont Common Foods. Sprinkle reserved crisp pork bits on top of chowder.

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