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Tackle Box, M Street in Georgetown - Inexpensive, Quick-Serve, Rustic-Style Seafood Shanty - Closed

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The Tackle Box (I think I remembered the name correctly!) will be, according to the contruction site signage, a New England style lobster shack. Given its proximity to Hook, I'm wondering if it has the same ownership.

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From the description, it sounds like a (hopefully better) version of Clare and Don's.

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And, for those of us who don't live in Georgetown or aren't heading across the Key Bridge, most Giant food stores will steam your purchased shrimp, lobster and crab legs for free. :mellow:

To capture Georgetown residents and commuters heading into Virginia

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All Georgetown needs now are restaurants called Beer Cooler and Boat and they can go fishing!

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Much to our pleasant surprise, we walked by The Tackle Box yesterday and discovered that it was their grand opening! We were there around 4 or 4:30, and there was plenty of staff on hand--including Chef Seaver. For $13, you can get a "Maine Meal" that includes a fish, two sides, and a sauce. I opted for fried clams, mac 'n cheese, and grilled asparagus, and I decided to try the lemon garlic aioli (even though I don't usually put a lot of sauce on my seafood). The clams were huge and tasty, and the breading added great flavor without being heavy or overwhelming. The mac 'n cheese was just average and could have used a little more cheese and seasoning. The grilled asparagus were awesome--they had a wonderful char, and they were crisp but tender. The aioli was nice, but, true to form, I didn't use much of it. Boyfriend had the fried oysters, braised greens, and french fries, and he went with the tartar sauce. The oysters were big and juicy and bursting with flavor (I actually preferred them to my clams), and the greens were salty and delicious. The fries were seasoned well, though I would have preferred them to be a bit crisper. I didn't try the tartar, but it was gone by the end of the meal, so it must have been good.

The place is really casual, with big communal picnic tables and paper/plastic plates and forks. The quality of ingredients was apparent, and I thought the quantity of food was pretty good for the money (for example, I think boyfriend got about 8-10 oysters with his meal, and I got 5 really nice stalks of asparagus with mine). We asked about their hours, and it looks like they'll be open till 2 AM on the weekends--freakin' smart, considering the lack of GOOD late-night dining in this city.

We'll definitely be back--there's plenty of variety on the menu, so there were many things I didn't get to try that I would like to. I think this place is going to be crazy busy once the word gets out!

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Much to our pleasant surprise, we walked by The Tackle Box yesterday and discovered that it was their grand opening! We were there around 4 or 4:30, and there was plenty of staff on hand--including Chef Seaver. For $13, you can get a "Maine Meal" that includes a fish, two sides, and a sauce. I opted for fried clams, mac 'n cheese, and grilled asparagus, and I decided to try the lemon garlic aioli (even though I don't usually put a lot of sauce on my seafood). The clams were huge and tasty, and the breading added great flavor without being heavy or overwhelming. The mac 'n cheese was just average and could have used a little more cheese and seasoning. The grilled asparagus were awesome--they had a wonderful char, and they were crisp but tender. The aioli was nice, but, true to form, I didn't use much of it. Boyfriend had the fried oysters, braised greens, and french fries, and he went with the tartar sauce. The oysters were big and juicy and bursting with flavor (I actually preferred them to my clams), and the greens were salty and delicious. The fries were seasoned well, though I would have preferred them to be a bit crisper. I didn't try the tartar, but it was gone by the end of the meal, so it must have been good.

The place is really casual, with big communal picnic tables and paper/plastic plates and forks. The quality of ingredients was apparent, and I thought the quantity of food was pretty good for the money (for example, I think boyfriend got about 8-10 oysters with his meal, and I got 5 really nice stalks of asparagus with mine). We asked about their hours, and it looks like they'll be open till 2 AM on the weekends--freakin' smart, considering the lack of GOOD late-night dining in this city.

We'll definitely be back--there's plenty of variety on the menu, so there were many things I didn't get to try that I would like to. I think this place is going to be crazy busy once the word gets out!

That's great that they are open late. Are they open for lunch? What's the parking situation?

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That's great that they are open late. Are they open for lunch? What's the parking situation?
It's on M St, so the answer to that is probably "hit or miss."

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It's on M St, so the answer to that is probably "hit or miss."

Much more important: do they have booze yet? ;)

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As for hours, they said 11 AM to 11 PM on weekdays, 11 AM to 2 AM on weekends. They don't have their liquor license yet, but I believe they're trying to get one. In terms of parking, it's Georgetown, so I imagine it's pretty much a nightmare--but I don't own a car, so I wasn't really keyed in to that part of the equation. And yes, they have lobster rolls on the menu, served with fries for $19. They also have to-go "lobster pots" that include Maine lobster, mussels, clams, corn, sausage, potatoes, and various and sundry other seasonings for $40 per person--the idea is that you add water and steam them at home.

Next time, I'm trying some of their wood-grilled fish (even though it will be tough to stray from the delicious fried stuff) with hush puppies--droooool.

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Parking is a snap!

[on weekdays between 6:30 pm and 7:00 pm when street parking restrictions end; meters require feeding until 10:00 pm.]

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Went last night with a few friends from work-- this place is (not surprisingly) pretty great. For $13 I had a plate of at least 8 lightly-fried oysters, a big pile of some of the best collards I've ever had, and a fresh and tasty frisee salad with basil-walnut vinaigrette. Everybody else seemed quite happy with their food too. But what really makes this place great (again, not surprisingly) is Barton Seaver, who was in the "kitchen" (/behind the counter) last night. Turns out his cooks accidentally made two of one friend's meal-- so we got the extra plate too (more oysters? more asparagus? sure!). When my plate came out with a green salad instead of the potato salad I requested-- no problem, here's some potato salad, enjoy! And when a third friend's plate took a little longer than the rest of ours (its an order-at-the-counter-and-wait type place, so this is to be expected) Mr. Seaver came out to hand-deliver it with a big slice of amazing blueberry pie as a token of apology. And it was all very tasty.

I think he's got a big winner here-- the inside of the space is cute and homey already, and it was more than full by the time my crew and I left to enjoy Ben & Jerry's free scoop night. The staff makes it clear that you are their priority. At $13 for a plate of good, carefully prepared food, its a bargain on M Street. And with enough options to please just about any picky eater (the mac'n'cheese was reportedly fantastic, and there are both hotdogs and hamburgers on the menu), I see this becoming a go-to spot for tourist families looking for a quick, easy, and "DC-special" place to grab lunch between splurges. And lets be honest, the Georgetown kids who are missing their traditional summers on the Cape won't hurt business either.

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We went last night and each got a Maine meal - for me the wood grilled calamari, sides of fries and asparagus with a "sauce" of grilled lemons. My boyfriend got fried oysters and sides of hush puppies and mac and cheese with tartar sauce. The food was great and we'll definitely be back. There was mots more seating than I had expected - 3 large picnic style benches and about 10 stools along a counter and window on one side. Chatted with Chef Seaver for a bit who was very nice.

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What I wrote over on CH:

Was there for lunch yesterday. Has the potential to be a great, and much needed, spot, so long as Barton Seaver closely superintends the quality and consistency, which I imagine he will, since it's right next door to Hook. (Great frying, for example, is a matter of perfect timing and lots of changes of oil, either or both of which could slip very quickly without constant vigilance.)

The belly clams were terrific, if not quite as plump and fresh (understandably) as what one gets at the best clam shacks in New England. Even better was the grilled calamari, which had a wonderful smoky flavor. Very good, if not life-changing, collards, too. Mac & cheese was ok -- nothing to write home about. I also heard others raving about the steamers and the lobster roll, which certainly *looked* good.

My only complaint was that in the "Maine Meals," the portion size of the seafood is a bit skimpy for the price -- certainly far less than one would get in those aforementioned crab shacks (which do not, of course, have to deal with Georgetown rents).

The "sides" of seafood, on the other hand (labeled as "appetizers," I think, although I might be misremembering), appear to be at least as large as the portions on the MMs, and are considerably less expensive. So, for now anyway, I think I'd advise ordering one or two seafood dishes, standing alone (and depending on your hunger quotient!), and a side of, say, greens, if you are so inclined.

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I ate here with a friend on Friday for lunch. We both thought the food was quite good and we liked the very causal atmosphere of the joint. We both got the "Maine Meal". I had grilled calamari, fries, and collard greens. He had fried oysters, hush puppies, and grilled asparagus. I think he got the better deal, as there were like 8-10 perfectly fried oysters on his plate. I think this place is a great addition to Georgetown. Personally, I didn't think the plates were too small (for $13), but I could see (especially tourists in G-Town) thinking otherwise. We will definitely be back, it would be a great place to take the kids.....

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My husband and I ate here on Thursday night. I had the Maine meal with fried calamari, coleslaw and macaroni and cheese. My husband had the lobster roll, which came with fries. The calamari was delicious, perfectly golden fried but light at the same time. I felt that the coleslaw needed a little extra oomph, and the macaroni and cheese had a not-unpleasant but unusual taste. Perhaps there was nutmeg in there? I couldn't figure it out. My husband enjoyed his lobster roll, and we both thought his fries were tasty. The portion size on both of our meals was perfect.

There were a lot of Georgetown students in there, and we overhead one guy say they he goes there "all the time". I predict it will be very popular with students looking for a less-expensive option, and it will probably be slammed in the summer. Thank goodness for take-out.

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I wanted to love it, and will try again another time. I had the lobster roll and the fried clams, and friends tried the Maine meal with bay scallops, pollock and fried shrimp. The hush puppies were odd. The macaroni and cheese had the right amount of cheese and no odd aftertaste. Sweet potato fries were quite good, and everyone enjoyed the fried clams. The lobster roll, was not as good as Hanks, and the fries were not crispy enough. The interior is a marked improvement, and the staff was really nice.

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The hush puppies were odd.

I am a hush puppy fiend and seeing that they have them on the menu would be one of the driving for me to try Tackle Box, but I am curious as to what was odd about them?

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They were small, round, very hard/crunchy on the outside, and lacking in the flavor and texture I associate with hush puppies.

The amount of seafood with the meal was good, and the blueberry pie was great.

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They were small, round, very hard/crunchy on the outside, and lacking in the flavor and texture I associate with hush puppies.

The amount of seafood with the meal was good, and the blueberry pie was great.

That's a Heather Chittum blueberry pie, and it is good.

P.S. Try the grilled bluefish with fries and collards.

(And the Trio Of Sea Urchin at Hook, too (the crudo there has changed; each is now a single seafood item done three-ways)).

Cheers,

Rocks.

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Another thing I like about this place... the little shaker labeled "tackebox spice". It's a less-salty version of old bay, great for fried things.

One thing that i can't figure out... why the forks and spoons are on the island with the drinks, but the knives are next to the counter. I watched several people searching high and low for knives, give up, turn back to the counter and ask for one. Unite the utensils.

I had a $4 lemonade. I was about as skeptical as Vincent Vega going in, and I don't think it's a hell of a lemonade. For the value-conscious, stick with water.

Overall, what a fun place. Driftwood walls. Mix-and-match menu. Seaver ringing in orders. Fried seafood that rivals Hank's. This is a wonderful "I worked late and I'm tired and I hate life, what is going to make it all better in 5-8 minutes" place for me. If I could walk there, I'd walk there a lot.

Has anyone eaten a lobster pot yet???

Alex

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Does the place have a liquor license? I'd love to stop in for Fried Shrimp/Calamari/whatever and a beer.

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