How can one go to Boston and not indulge in seafood? More specifically, lobster rolls and clam chowder?
Have no fear! James Hook is here!
After a couple HOURS of research on Yelp and various blogs, Nick and I decided that our first meal in Boston needed to be seafood at James Hook. (Apparently, this restaurant is so unconventional it’s not even on Urbanspoon.com??)
Despite the 9 degree weather, we made the 20 minutes trek from our hotel to the waterfront “restaurant” – and by restaurant, I mean a shop with tanks, 1 glass show case exhibiting fresh Boston seafood, and a single table with 2 chairs. Perfect for 2 people and SO worth the money.
Speaking of money, don’t forget to bring cash if you come to this Mom and Pop joint!
The Stuffed Scallop $3
For $3, the shop keeper will heat up your scallop for you and place it in an individual plastic case of its own.
Tastiness: A-. To a cold, hungry person, this piping hot clam shell stuffed with bread crumbs, scallop and celery bits were a dream come true. It was a tad on the salty side, but so well seasoned I couldn’t stop eating it. The outside was baked till golden brown, but did eventually get tougher and crusty when the clam cooled. Somehow, I just couldn’t get enough of the soft, mushy, fragrant filling that had the occasional chew from the fresh bay scallop pieces.
Next up, of course…
The Infamous Lobster Roll $12
Tastiness: A-. The filling is made of nothing but fresh lobster meat and lots of mayo. Sandwiched between a super soft and fluffy bun, this was CLOSE to being the perfect sandwich in terms of flavor. What I missed was a dash of spices – perhaps a dab of hot sauce or acidity mixed in the mayo would have been a welcome addition to my roll. Mayo lovers will rejoice, but for me, the mayo was overkill. Nonethess, I felt like I got a great bang for my buck – extra fresh, juicy, chewy lobster meat chunks. SO so good.
And last but not least, make sure to chase your “sandwich” with some soup New England style! With..
Clam Chowder with oyster crackers!
Tastiness: A. One of the best clam chowders I’ve had, this soup was not overly rich, but yet still thick and creamy. So well seasoned and full of flavor, it didn’t need any pepper or salt to enhance the flavors. They were generous with clams and potato chunks…this soup is amazing eaten with crackers AND as a dip for lobster rolls.
Tastiness: 4.5/5 (You can’t ask for anything more with this price and the type of “restaurant” that it is!)
Originality: 3.5/5 (Nothing unique on the menu, but it was unique to Boston and the stuffed clam was sort of special!)
Plating: 3/5 (Typical fast food style, but it’s clean, unpretentious, and does the job. No complaints)
Service: 3/5 (The guy behind the counter was gruff but still friendly and willing to help/heat up our food for us!)
Value: 4.5/5 (If you go to Quincy market, the same meal will cost you much more, not to mention LESS lobster overall)
Overall – I’ll be going back to James Hook as soon as I get off the plane the next time I come to Boston!
Check out James Hook Lobster on Yelp here!
Address: 15 Northern Avenue
Boston, MA 02210-1852