22 June, 2009

Charlie's Seafood, Lynn MA

When tourists to the North Shore area of Massachusetts go looking for whole-belly fried clams, they usually go to places like the Clam Box in Ipswich, or J T Farnham's or Woodman's in Essex. The clams at all three places are excellent.

But on a recent trip to the area during which I sampled clams from several different eateries, I discovered a hidden gem just south of Salem: Charlie's Seafood in Lynn, MA.

Lynn has a reputation for bad neighborhoods, crime, and drugs, but not every street in town is "bad." Charlie's is on Essex Street not too far from Swampscott, and while the neighborhood is no Beverly Hills, it isn't really horrible either. Michael and I parked the car around back and went in the side entrance.

The building may look old from the outside, but inside it was immaculately clean. The ordering counter was bright and fresh, staffed by a friendly and helpful young lady who took our small order - a small box of fried clams - cheerfully. The dining area was bright and airy with roomy booths and a few tables.

We'd been eating fried clams all day, and were feeling a touch "clammed out" by the time we got to Charlie's, so perhaps our little snack here was starting at a disadvantage. But by our second taste, Michael said, "This is the catch of the day." The clams were plump, fresh, and delicious - truly the best we'd had on this particular Clam Crawl.

Although we didn't try anything else on this visit, a few other customers were in and out, buying various other menu items. The fish and chips looked first-rate and so did the order of fried squid that came out of the kitchen about midway through our nosh. There were a couple other folks in there for the clams as well. No one was disappointed, and several of them were obviously regulars.

At the end of July, my family is getting together with a group of friends for a picnic and a full-bore Clam Crawl. Charlie's will definitely be on the itinerary.

Charlie's Seafood
188 Essex St
Lynn, MA 01902-1745
(781) 595-8953

Charlie's had no website of its own at the time this entry was published.

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1 comment:

Sandra said...

thanks for the great post. You should feature your services/products on the Lynn community, classifieds section.