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Friday Five: Favorite Foods in Costal Massachusetts

I'm not sure if I'll ever get around to posting a full recap of our recent vacation. In the meantime, here are the five best things we ate in Marion and Ipswich areas of Massachusetts while visiting Alex's aunt and uncle and my cousin, respectively. 1) Crabster Roll at Seafood Sam's - Sandwich near Cape Cod

crabster roll at Seafood Sam's

Seafood Sam's is an institution on Cape Cod. The menu is vast, the food is served cafeteria style, and most of it is simply good. Alex's crabster roll happened to be great, with fresh meat in a simple dressing was served atop a pretzel roll.

We go to the location in Sandwich at the Cape Cod Canal. The Army Corp of Engineers hosts a small but informative and interactive museum about the canal and cape life. It was sadly not open during our trip this year. Because it was Palm Sunday, ships weren't sailing either. Instead, we were fascinated by a huge flock of common eider and playful harbor seals.

2) Cabbage wrapped haddock

One evening in Marion, Alex's uncle John made a surprising and tasty preparation of haddock based on this Epicurus recipe. The cabbage wrapped fillets topped with (lots of) butter and capers fed the largest gathering of the Baillieul clan in five years, to much acclaim.

3) Homemade Clam Chowder - Ipswich MA or make it yourself

homemade clam chowder recipe

We collected clams near Marion and carried them in a cooler to visit my cousin Abigail in Ipswich. Wanting a warm meal after yet another cold beach visit, we cooked them into a tasty and quick clam chowder on the first night of our visit. I shared my chowder ratio recipe on the Lean Green Bean blog yesterday.

4) The Pasta House - Alden Rd. Fairhaven

The Pasta House was the site of dinner on our final night in Marion. After a busy day on the Cape, I was nervous about Lil's behavior and the quality of the corporate looking restaurant. I should have trusted Alex's aunt and uncle; the Pasta House turned out to be great. Everything was made fresh and executed very well. The Spanish mussels appetizer was especially enticing with perfectly cooked shellfish in a delectable sauce.

5) Oxford Creamery - Rt. 6 between Marion and Mattapoisett

oxford creamery mattapoissett ma clam sandwichkale soup oxford creamery

Though the weather was frightfully chilly, Lil insisted on an afternoon ice cream cone one day. I remembered from our last trip that the Oxford Creamery also served hot food so we made the short drive down Rt. 6. Given the area's Portuguese heritage, I had to try the kale soup. Alex ordered their clam roll plate with fresh coleslaw and fries.

The kale soup, in it's lightly spiced broth with kidney beans, potatoes and sausage, warmed me right up. Pairing it with cranberry and chocolate ice cream wasn't the best choice I've ever made, but they were both very tasty.

Alex's clam roll was everything this New Englander-at-heart could wish for. The generous portion of piping hot and crispy clams were settled on a soft roll. The accompanying fries were also fresh and crunchy. With some cool creamy coleslaw to complete the meal, Alex was in food heaven.