Friday, October 21, 2016

Legal Sea Foods

A little over ten years ago, we spent Memorial Day Weekend in Boston because A was playing in a basketball tournament. I tagged along for the weekend, and we spent our first night in Boston having dinner at Legal Sea Foods, an East Coast seafood chain that originated in the Boston area. We have pretty fond memories of that dinner, so when we were on our layover at Logan on our way to Portland, we decided we should have a nice, relaxed meal at Legal Sea Foods in the terminal.

We figured Legal Sea Foods would be like a lot of the other nicer sit-down airport restaurants we've been to - relaxed, not super crowded, a good place to leisurely pass the time. We couldn't have been more wrong about the location in this terminal. It was packed the entire time (even though it was not peak meal time), there was a wait list, and they had crammed a lot of tables into a small space right next to the security checkpoint. We hadn't realized just how crowded it was going to be, especially considering that the price point isn't exactly cheap, so we ended up waiting a little bit before we could squeeze into a table.

The one thing we knew we were going to get was a mug of the New England clam chowder ($6.95). You could smell the chowder everywhere in the vicinity of the restaurant, and the aroma was amazing. I couldn't stop talking about chowder the entire time. After trying it, I liked it a lot. A thought it was good but not amazing, so between the two of us, I think I liked it more. It was full of clams and potatoes and vegetables, and just felt so comforting between our flights. At the start of the meal, they also gave us two rolls that we liked and dipped into the chowder.

Besides the chowder, we ordered two sandwiches, both of which came with fries and cole slaw. Both accompaniments were fine, but nothing extraordinary. For his sandwich, A ordered the crispy fish sandwich ($12.95) which came with lettuce, tomato, and tartar sauce. This was kind of standard, but mostly good. A thought the fish was a little greasy, and I just remembered the part I tried being nice and flaky. In the end, it didn't make much of an impression on us.

I ordered the tuna burger ($16.50), which was described on the menu as "freshly ground tuna, chili paste, crumbs and spices." What arrived wasn't exactly what I was expecting. We've had tuna burgers with ground tuna before, and they've always been a bit of a loosely formed patty with lots of stuff mixed in. This one was a lot more solid and formed than I thought it would be, but that was fine. As far as the flavor, we didn't really taste much chili paste or spices in it. It was fine, but we expected it to be more flavorful.

As we watched all the mugs of chowder being delivered to other customers, and then saw a plate of onion strings on the table next to us, we wondered if perhaps we should have ordered differently. Maybe a mug of chowder for each of us along with a side of onion strings, or maybe we should have just splurged and gotten a platter of New England clam bellies. Although we're glad we got some fish and seafood by stopping in at Legal Sea Foods, the location in our terminal wasn't really the relaxed, leisurely meal we were looking for on our layover. It was still nice to have a good meal, but we ended up relocating to another section of the terminal right after eating (a pretty nice new section that we quite liked) and took some (food coma?) naps. Hopefully at some point we can make it back to New England in the summer for some proper seafood exploration.

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