THE very first tour when I stepped on Massachusetts soil was not Boston but Salem. As to why my host, Cris, put that on top of the list, I don’t know. I welcomed the journey into the “supernatural.”
The next stop was the city of Gloucester, less than thirty minutes of driving from Salem, for another super and natural journey— of the palate this time. After walking the streets of the famed town of the witch trials, we have worked up an appetite, hungry enough to eat a horse (witchcraft!) or whatever the local offering may be.
On this side of town, seafood rules! Gloucester in Massachusetts is a coastal city, a part of the North Shore of Massachusetts and an important center of the fishing industry, thus, the seafood cuisine as the specialty.
Along Essex Avenue is the Causeway Restaurant, a favorite restaurant of my host (he makes sure all his guests get to dine here) and voted as one of the best by the locals. It serves traditional American fare, Italian and seafood, and prides itself of its bestsellers—the Seafood Marinara (shrimp, scallops, mussels, and calamari served over a bed of linguini), the Peter's Platter (fried clams, shrimps, calamari, scallops and haddock), to name a couple.
The look is that of a typical roadside restaurant in America, nothing pretentious, no frills, so is the interior- a bar, rows of tables and chairs. Even on the low season (it was fall when I got to visit), the place was full. “It’s always like this,” said Cris. It was tough to get a seat, tougher during the peak season. Calling in for a reservation is always best, or order for take-out if you’re dying to have their food.
Much of the clients look local indeed. And typical of a neighborhood restaurant, the clientele dining had a good mix of middle-aged and septuagenarians who must have grown old loving the food in this joint. Although the Causeway had built a list of loyal clients through the years (and voted the place as one of the best local restaurants in Gloucester), it continues to attract new customers as well.
As heads turned when we entered (think: not like the others), we were lucky to get a table—long enough to fill what Cris ordered which can feed six, which attracted more attention when the food was served (how-the-heck-can-those-two-finish-all-that look)—the Clam Chowder (thick, creamy soup with fresh seafood- delicious!), Fried Oysters (good-sized pieces, perfectly fried, the sweet of its freshness locked in), and the boiled fresh Mussels and Lobster (just the way I love them prepared, lightly salted)—all super, all natural. Unbeatable!
How, indeed, but we did (#proud). The servings were generous and priced affordably, and just like the place promised, it was good to the last bite. This is one restaurant I want to go back to when I make it back to Gloucester, Massachusetts.
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