Num Nums at the North Shore

Here is my idea of a satisfying meal in Rockport, MA.


This place is hands-down my favorite place to get seafood in New England, an unassuming, modest little hole-in-the-wall packed with live lobsters fresh from the traps (which come in from the boat which docks in the backyard of the place) along with other live seafood and incredibly fresh fish. They don’t have a menu; you point to what looks good and the guy that has worked there at least since I moved to Boston 12 years ago hands it to you with a packet of moist towelette and a warm smile to go with it, rewarding you for the 1.5 hour trip he knows you took solely to taste his mouthwateringly fresh stuff.


Pick these 1.5 babes out when alive and kicking and feast on their flesh moments later. Juicy, fresh with a perfect bite and a bright red hue. Dipping in butter not necessary with this already buttery, creamy flesh. The tail meat snapped out whole, providing three perfectly luxuriously big bites. The claw meat was covered with a silky layer of speckled pink tissue and had the perfect amount of velvety white fat running across it.

Smoked Peppered Mackerel 

Oily, thin slivers of deep smokey light brown mackerel topped (if you so wish) with a crushed near-whole black pepper crust, slid off its skin with a wooden 2-pronged fork-morph and dipped in a horseradish-sour cream sauce. I recommend bringing with you a loaf of crusty sourdough from a local bakery, spreading the mackerel on top and letting the bread soak up the delicious smoked fish oil.

Baked Stuffed Clam

Mushy and soft bread-based stuffing with a slightly crisp top, sprinkled with smokey hot cayenne. Hearty chunks of perfectly cooked, flavorful clam mixed in with colorful bits of fresh herb (chive?) running through.

Smoked Salmon with Horseradish Sauce

Wanted to review this one but got there too late… Judging by the satisfied smile on my companions face, it was delicious.

A local favorite and a great alternative to the mint-chip ice cream and the salt-water taffy prevalent in New England fishing villages.

Apple Strudel

Flaky, warm, layered pastry stuffed with mushy, slightly tart, slightly crisp green apple filling. Dusted with powdered sugar, perfect with a double-espresso before your drive back to whatever rowdy metropolis you escaped here from. Come in 10 minutes after a batch pops out of the oven and you’ll have to come back; they only serve to costumers the freshest they’ve got and sell the rest later in day-old bulk for just a few bucks. They do this to guarantee that piping hot, fresh-out-of the-oven quality. No soggy, chewy dough or congealed starchy filling here.

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