Gloucester/Cape Ann MA trip report

Every year on Memorial Day weekend, myself and a group of friends spend our time at a family beach house in Gloucester, and going out for meals is a big part of our weekend. This year we kept things a bit mellow, so no visits to Duckworth or other ‘higher end’ spots in the area.

We often like to hit popular local Mexican place Jalapeños on the first night for a quick and casual meal. It was unexpectedly mobbed, and service was struggling; it took over a half hour to get our orders in, and drinks were forgotten multiple times. The special that night was a “pressed burrito” filled with chorizo, cactus, and black beans; it was really excellent and helped make up for the crazy wait.

Alchemy has been a favorite spot in past years, but with it gone, we tried a place new to all of us: Azorean Restaurant, specializing in Portuguese food. Their calamari and grilled linguiça with pineapple apps were really good, and I really enjoyed my Azorean Pork main (pork loin in a spicy, rich wine sauce topped with pickled red pepper strips and a fried egg). I’ll definitely go back. Tasty food, great service, and very reasonable.

We made a brief stop at Cape Ann Pub for the brewery tour, which was really surprisingly informative and fun (no tastings, just a visit), and were further surprised by how good the food at the pub was. Tons of tasty options, big portions, and great beer right from the brewery. Definitely want to head back for a full meal soon.

The other spot we’ve always hit is Captain Carlos, which used to be one of the only spots to still have the full traditional clambake: lobster, clam chowder, steamers, corn on the cob, and potatoes, and they’d add fried whole-bellies for $5 or so. Well, that disappeared a few years ago, and the prices seem to keep going up as portions get smaller. This year a 1 1/4 lb. lobster was $21 (!) and their fisherman’s platter is $29, which used to be piled up insanely high, but is now modestly-sized, with maybe three or four whole-bellies among the fries. One of our group doesn’t eat seafood, and his “medium rare” burger was badly charred. Still had a good time, but I think we’ll be looking at other seafood options in the area.

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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold