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

Georgetown Seafood Quick Serve Lobster Pot

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#1 JLK

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Posted 09 March 2008 - 11:05 PM

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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#2 youngfood

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 07:26 AM

Given its proximity to Hook, I'm wondering if it has the same ownership.

It is.

#3 DPop

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 10:14 AM

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

#4 legant

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 12:48 PM

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



#5 Al Dente

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 12:49 PM

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

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#6 bettyjoan

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Posted 27 April 2008 - 09:57 AM

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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#7 TinDC

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Posted 27 April 2008 - 12:36 PM

Do they have lobster rolls on the menu?

#8 danfishe

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Posted 27 April 2008 - 12:47 PM

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?

#9 Heather

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Posted 27 April 2008 - 01:52 PM

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."

#10 Mark Slater

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Posted 27 April 2008 - 03:08 PM

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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#11 bettyjoan

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Posted 27 April 2008 - 03:34 PM

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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#12 bettyjoan

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Posted 27 April 2008 - 03:36 PM

Oops, forgot to note the website: http://www.tacklebox-dc.com/

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#13 JLK

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Posted 27 April 2008 - 06:02 PM

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.]

Jennifer


#14 Apples & Bananas

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Posted 30 April 2008 - 05:37 AM

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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#15 WWZ

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Posted 01 May 2008 - 09:55 AM

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.

#16 Marty L.

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Posted 01 May 2008 - 03:54 PM

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.

#17 Andelman

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 06:29 AM

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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#18 pidgey

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 04:11 PM

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.

#19 collije

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 09:02 PM

Hmmm, I'm going to have to stop by in the next week or so.

#20 diarychan

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Posted 07 May 2008 - 10:24 AM

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.

#21 Sthitch

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Posted 07 May 2008 - 10:37 AM

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?

#22 diarychan

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Posted 07 May 2008 - 02:15 PM

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.

#23 DonRocks

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Posted 07 May 2008 - 02:19 PM

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,
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#24 AlexC

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 12:00 PM

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???

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#25 tentimesodds

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 12:15 PM

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

#26 cjsadler

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 12:52 PM

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

No liquor license yet. Not sure if they plan on getting one.

We were in that part of town last night and stopped in for a couple of "Maine Meals". Portions were on the small size, but with what Georgetown rents must be, $13 is probably about right. I really enjoyed the grilled bluefish with the pesto and the sweet potato fries.

Edit: Never mind, I just noticed they do have a website

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#27 Mark Slater

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 12:54 PM

Excellent, plump fried oysters and great hush puppies. It was fun going in and seeing a dozen people I know, including Barton behind the register! What a fun place. Great addition to Georgetown.

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#28 The Doctor

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 01:01 PM

My favorite new restaurant of the year so far. (Although I'm not certain I've been to any other newly-opened places this year...)

Anyhoo, I started with some clam chowder. Superb. May have been the best part about the whole meal. (While the size was just right for an appetizer portion, the price of $6 seemed a little steep.)

My Maine Meal consisted of crispy oysters accompanied by braised greens and potato salad. The sides were great, but the oysters were fantastic. There was no skimping here -- they put out ten of the plumpest oysters I've ever seen. Some were so big that a person with a mouth of average proportions would have to take two bites. (Also sampled a friend's hush puppy, and while it wasn't terrible, I have a feeling I'll never order them on my own. But I'm hard to please in the hush puppy department.)

Are you allowed to get free refills here? Seems a bit weird that they have two sizes for the fountain beverages, unless they are catering to the carryout crowd who want a little more to go.

This place, like Bobby's Crabcakes, is what I've been looking for ever since moving to DC: The ability to walk up to a counter and get a well-prepared seafood meal at reasonable prices without any fuss.

#29 Joe H

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 01:15 PM

I have never been to Hank's nor the Tackle Box but Kinkead's sets the local standard for fried whole bellied clams and lobster roll ( and excellent clam chowder) with Black Salt doing an outstanding job also with fried seafood. The fried oysters at Baltimore's Charleston are the best I have ever had. Lobster shacks in Ct. (Abbott's in Noank which I believe is the southern most good lobster pound) and Maine are not cheap. Fried whole belly clams (and tartar sauce IS almost as important as the fried clam in the best) at Woodman's, the Clam Box, Bob's (best combination of fried clams and tartar sauce), the Clam Hut, etc. are very expensive. I've never seen fried calamari nor hush puppies in a New England lobster shack by the way and blueberry pie (Maine Diner) is the definitive Maine dessert. Although I suspect that the Tackle Box has as much to do with the entire Atlantic coast, not just New England although their website seems to claim inspiration from New England's lobster pounds.

I also have to add that sitting on a bench on the side of the Atlantic ocean (say, at Twin Lights in Cape Elizabeth, ME) makes even the best lobster taste better. Fried clams benefit from a nearby marsh or creek, too.

The Clam Shack in Kennebunkport, for me, while not the best is excellent. This is a link to Roadfood's comments about it with several outstanding photos: http://www.roadfood.....aspx?RefID=207

Marty, have you been to Kinkead's to compare the whole belly clams or the lobster roll?

Still, I look forward to trying the Tackle Box next Thursday since Friday I'll be driving through Kittery and have stopped at Bob's annually since the early '80's. For myself I believe that D. C. has a need for a place like this as much as a need for great deli and great pizza. Regardless of how this compares I applaud the effort.

By the way, how many on this board know that Bob Kinkead was the chef at 21 Federal in Nantucket in the early '80's before he moved here to...L street where Spezie is now? It is no wonder that some of what he does is as good as among the best in New England.

#30 hmmboy

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 01:47 PM

Though I have fond memories of my dad taking me to Little Italy stalwarts Umberto's and Vincent's for fried shrimp/scallops/scungilli with medium sauce (which was pretty fiery for a 12 year old), the best fried shellfish I've had in recent years was at this little shack in Menemsha (Martha's Vineyard) called "The Bite" and the best lobster roll about 300 yards away at Larsen's Fish Market. Can't wait to try Barton's take on these - DC has long needed a joint like this!
"I get slandered, libeled, I hear words I never heard in the Bible. And I'm so tired - I'm oh so tired. But I'm trying to keep my customers satisfied. Satisfied." Simon & Garfunkel

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#31 New Foodie

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 01:49 PM

How crowded is this place getting on weeknights these days? Is it tough to grab a table (say, for 4 people around 7pm)?

-Jenny

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#32 Marty L.

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 03:32 PM

Marty, have you been to Kinkead's to compare the whole belly clams or the lobster roll? I look forward to trying the Tackle Box next Thursday since Friday I'll be driving through Kittery and have stopped at Bob's annually since the early '80's. For myself I believe that D. C. has a need for a place like this as much as a need for great deli and great pizza. Regardless of how this compares I applaud the effort.

Joe: Excellent comparisons. Based on *one* meal at the TB, I'd say the clams are *almost* as good as the ones at Bob's in Kittery -- probably as good as you can get in this area, due to the requisite travel time. But you get more of them at Bob's than in the Maine Meal here -- understandable, in light of the rents, but still. That's why I advise on ordering a la carte here. I only had the clams once at Kinkead's, about two years ago, and they were not nearly as good as Bob's or the TB (greasy, not especially flavorful); but I have no idea whether that was an abberation or was typical of Kinkead's (at least at that time).

#33 Joe H

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 03:52 PM

Joe: Excellent comparisons. Based on *one* meal at the TB, I'd say the clams are *almost* as good as the ones at Bob's in Kittery -- probably as good as you can get in this area, due to the requisite travel time. But you get more of them at Bob's than in the Maine Meal here -- understandable, in light of the rents, but still. That's why I advise on ordering a la carte here. I only had the clams once at Kinkead's, about two years ago, and they were not nearly as good as Bob's or the TB (greasy, not especially flavorful); but I have no idea whether that was an abberation or was typical of Kinkead's (at least at that time).

Thanks, Marty. I haven't had Kinkead's clams in a year or two but probably had them ten or more times before that. For years they were the only place in the D. C. area that had whole bellied clams but they were legitimately good. Curiously, several years ago, Bob's (US Route 1 in Kittery, ME for anyone reading this) told me their whole belly clams came from Maryland's Eastern Shore! I never found a place on the Eastern Shore that served them.

#34 Mark Slater

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 04:39 PM

How crowded is this place getting on weeknights these days? Is it tough to grab a table (say, for 4 people around 7pm)?

All the seating is at communal pic-nic tables.

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#35 ladi kai lemoni

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Posted 11 May 2008 - 09:40 AM

Popped late last night at 10 PM for a late dinner, only to find that a number of items had run out - namely the lobster and clam rolls, as well as the hush puppies which I really wanted to try. This may either be indicative of a new establishment trying to right the ship or Seaver's commitment to fresh food, but nevertheless, Don's recommendation of the bluefish with the fries and collards proved to be spot on. One minor quibble with my meal was the paltry serving of fries I got, even though they were tasty fries. RW (aka the ladyfriend), got the burger with mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus, which were enormous and plump stalks of this fine vegetable. The cheesy mashed potatoes with a sprinkling of the Tackle Box spice (methinks that's what it was) were really great and I ended up finishing them off for her!

A qualm I had was that the kitchen began preparing a bacon cheeseburger for RW, which is a problem as she does not eat bacon, and the menu didn't indicate it was a bacon cheeseburger. I'm sure this will be corrected in the long-run, but I'm putting out there now in our virtual suggestion box.

Overall - this place is going to be great in the long run, and I'm really excited for its late night presence in DC.

Alex

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#36 DonRocks

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Posted 11 May 2008 - 12:11 PM

I came back to Tackle Box and had the fried oysters, clam chowder, crispy pollock, wood-grilled hamburger, french fries, sweet-potato fries, coleslaw, and grilled corn. If I could recommend a full meal based on my first two visits, it would go as follows:

App: Fried Oysters (great!) with lemon-garlic-aioli (you get one sauce with your entree - use it here)

Main: Maine Meal with Wood-grilled bluefish, Grilled corn (great!), and Braised greens (squirt of Texas Pete)

Dessert: Blueberry Pie

You won't go wrong with this combo.

One thing to note is that Tackle Box is making zero dollars from alcohol right now, and with $13 entrees, the profit needs to come from somewhere. The portions are small, and the fish is dirt-cheap (pollock, tilapia, bluefish, etc.). Don't think for a moment this is a criticism; I like the progressive, timely model in place here, and I think it has the potential to work very well.

Tackle Box prides itself on being environmentally conscious, in terms of sustainable seafood, but also with the types of disposable plates, utensils, cups, and napkins being used. I'd be curious to see an environmental scientist weigh in on the pros and cons of the dinnerware itself (which would probably be split off into a separate thread, by the way).

I've had a couple misses here, but only a couple - I like what I see so far, and you can count me as an early fan.

Cheers,
Rocks.

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#37 hmmboy

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Posted 11 May 2008 - 12:16 PM

I had a yummy lunch here yesterday with my daughter. We ordered the lobster roll, fried shrimp, bacon cheese burger, corn, fries, asparagus, mac and cheese. The fried shrimp were my favorite and I am anxious to try the oysters and scallops. The burger was also quite juicy and the fries nice and crispy! I, too, am an early fan.
"I get slandered, libeled, I hear words I never heard in the Bible. And I'm so tired - I'm oh so tired. But I'm trying to keep my customers satisfied. Satisfied." Simon & Garfunkel

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#38 SSK

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Posted 12 May 2008 - 11:08 AM

We had family driving in from out of town Friday and didn't know exactly when they'd be arriving so we ordered a lobster pot for 4. All we needed to do was pour a beer in and put in on the stove for about 30-35 minutes (the instructions were for 25 minutes, but we think it had to run a bit longer because it had been in the fridge there were so many in one pot--we would probably try to have no more than 3 in a pot if we did it again). The results were delicious and good value considering the quality: per person you get a lobster, at least 4 large, sweet and meaty mussels, at least 3 giant tender quahog clams (we didn't keep track of the shellfish, so it might be more), a corn on cob, a split-and-grilled chorizo sausage, and lots of sweet onions. The lobsters were a good size and really tender. Before we did it I was worried a bit about the cost (all in, $41.50 pp), but now I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

#39 d-harp

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Posted 12 May 2008 - 01:42 PM

Went in last week for a quick dinner with the Boyfriend and had:
clam chowder, peel and eat shrimp and the Maine Meal with 'crispy' bay scallops and braised greens and hush puppies.

The chowder is not as thick as I expected, but the flavor was great. A little smokey because of the bacon? The shirmp was what I expected, although I am used to more Old Bay (or similar seasoning) on peel and eat shrimp. There was no sauce for that but when asked, we were given the spicy marinara. I liked it better than the BF did. The Maine Meal had 'crispy' bay scallops (the BF's choice), which were not that crispy. Maybe they're called 'crispy' because they aren't part of the wood-grilled options? We had the lemon-garlic aioli, which we both liked. The greens were delicious, but served in the container with a lot of the cooking liquid. The hush puppies were the only disappointment of the meal. The outside was too crispy and the inside too dry.

As summer approaches and I crave seafood more, I look forward to returning to try some different combinations.

#40 The Delicious

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Posted 12 May 2008 - 03:00 PM

I've been here a handful of times now and I echo most of the positive things that have already been said. I will add that last time I was there (Fri), I saw most cooks handling the food with their bare hands, which I found a bit unsettling...tho only a bit, as I scarfed down my meal anyway. Whatever, I was hungry.

#41 mdt

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Posted 13 May 2008 - 05:57 AM

I've been here a handful of times now and I echo most of the positive things that have already been said. I will add that last time I was there (Fri), I saw most cooks handling the food with their bare hands, which I found a bit unsettling...tho only a bit, as I scarfed down my meal anyway. Whatever, I was hungry.

What do you think happens in restaurant kitchens?

#42 marketfan

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Posted 13 May 2008 - 05:36 PM

I came back to Tackle Box and had the fried oysters, clam chowder, crispy pollock, wood-grilled hamburger, french fries, sweet-potato fries, coleslaw, and grilled corn. If I could recommend a full meal based on my first two visits, it would go as follows:

App: Fried Oysters (great!) with lemon-garlic-aioli (you get one sauce with your entree - use it here)

Main: Maine Meal with Wood-grilled bluefish, Grilled corn (great!), and Braised greens (squirt of Texas Pete)

Dessert: Blueberry Pie

You won't go wrong with this combo.

snip

I've had a couple misses here, but only a couple - I like what I see so far, and you can count me as an early fan.s.

My husband and I were there on Sunday. We had the fried oysters which were the best I have had in DC. The bluefish was excellent, the grilled asparagus very good and the collard greens were tasty. But the cole slaw needs salt and spice. Right now it is a miss.

#43 Adam23

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Posted 13 May 2008 - 05:42 PM

My husband and I were there on Sunday. We had the fried oysters which were the best I have had in DC. The bluefish was excellent, the grilled asparagus very good and the collard greens were tasty. But the cole slaw needs salt and spice. Right now it is a miss.

We were there on Sunday as well. The fried shrimp are delicious. I'm already starting to crave that delicious Old Bay-esque batter on them. The collar greens and asparagus were very good too. Both had a very nice smoky flavor. I also enjoyed the sweet potato fries. We didn't really like the mac and cheese though. Tasted too Velveeta-like to us. But if you like that style mac and cheese, give it a try. Overall, an excellent new place. Prices seemed fair given the quality and portion sizes.

#44 Guest_CJD2008_*

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Posted 14 May 2008 - 09:51 AM

Went to Tackle Box last night...Have been dying to go there since it opened.

App: Grilled Oysters (very tasty, my next app will be the fried ones but I was trying to stay healthier last night)

Maine Meal: Bluefish with grilled asparagus and grilled corn on the cob (walnut pesto and garlic aioli sauces)
--Bluefish was cooked just right, the asparagus was crispy and flavorful and the corn on the cob with lots of tackle box spice added was awesome.

Blueberry pie was delicious, whole blueberries were perfect, crust was very good

I can't wait to go back!

#45 New Foodie

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 06:42 AM

Finally made it to Tackle Box last night (Georgetown isn't always the easiest place for me to get to, but I'm going to try harder to get to this place, especially while the weather is nice).

Despite the crowds on the sidewalk, the restaurant wasn't packed, which was good since 4 of us didn't have to wait for a space at a picnic table. All four of us ordered Maine Meals 1) Grilled Bluefish with asparagus, greens and lemon garlic aioli 2) Grilled rainbow trout with salad, sweet potato fries and aioli 3) Fried scallops with mac and cheese, asparagus and tartar sauce 4) Fried calamari with hush puppies, grilled corn and remoulade.

Although I'm not sure I have had bluefish before, all the recommendations above steered me towards it last night. It was an excellent choice! You can see the cooks in the kitchen grilling fish over an open flame and it is really delicious. The aioli and Tackle Box Spice added a little extra flavor. The greens were amazing, but definitely NOT vegetarian friendly, so be aware that there is a lot of meat in there. All the reports of a hearty serving of asparagus is true. Nice grilled/char flavor on at least 7-10 stalks probably.

The only other thing I tasted was the calamari (which was excellent), but the scallops and trout were completely gone by the time we left, so they must've been pretty good. The mac and cheese was declared "good, but not the best I've had." My friend that ordered the salad was disappointed she hadn't ordered another side instead. The hush puppies got an "eh" report, but the grilled corn was highly recommended.

I'm really looking forward to going back and trying a whole new combination of seafood, sides and sauce. So many things to choose from! The calamari and scallops seemed like larger servings than either fish dish, but I think $14.30 (with tax) is a pretty decent deal for the amount of food served.

-Jenny

"Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie. ~Jim Davis, Garfield"


#46 mame11

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Posted 16 May 2008 - 07:24 AM

My friend that ordered the salad was disappointed she hadn't ordered another side instead.

I agree with your friend. I had a Maine Meal with grilled Talipia, sweet potato fries and salad. The fish and sweet potato fries were both generous portions for the price but the small handful of frisee lightly dressed was really paltry. I was tempted to ask for more, or even buy a second side of them but at $5 a side it seemed unreasonable. The salad was good though...

#47 Cmmp

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Posted 18 May 2008 - 07:33 AM

Went there on Friday night around 7:30/8:00, not knowing what the seating situation would be like. We didn't need to worry, bar seats were available, and, while you wait for your order, you can scope the three picnic tables. It seemed that everyone was able to get seated at the tables without much of a wait.

Just reading about fried clams (should we even need to say "belly clams," shouldn't we always assume that you get the whole clam unless they say strips??? In a world where all is right, there would be no clam strips except at Howard Johnson's (and, where do those bellies go??)) makes my mouth water. and lobster rolls, don't get me started.

As we waited to place our order we saw that they were offering steamers. So, we bagged the "belly" clam roll and limited ourselves to an order of steamers, a lobster roll (which comes with fries), a side of slaw and two drinks.

Quality-wise we were very happy (and, thus, we look forward to returning). The lobster roll had wonderful, sweet meat and our fries were good and crispy. While $19 isn't cheap, it was, after all, a lobster roll. Right here in DC. The steamers were good, but at $13, it was a very small portion. While steamers would likely appear on my last meal menu, we'll likely forgo them here in favor of one of the Maine meals (looking forward to the grilled fish) (and Maine Meals come with two sides). The slaw was good, but we had alot of dressing with ours, made it kind of soupy at the end.

All in all, a good experience. This is a place that we should all nurture, they are trying hard, the quality is good, the kitchen is open and we have nothing else like it in town.

#48 Mark Slater

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Posted 18 May 2008 - 10:51 AM

Carryout dinner from TB last night was right on. Great lobster roll and fried oysters. Not their fault, but French fries aren't really meant to be packed up and walked 5 blocks before eating. I really like having this place so close by.

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#49 Marty L.

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Posted 18 May 2008 - 11:54 AM

Not taking my own advice to skip the Maine Meal (because I wanted the shrimp, which appears only to be available in the MM), I got the fried shrimp with sweet potato fries and grilled corn. Excellent all around. The corn, of course, will be even better come late July.

Also ordered the lemonade (a bit too sour for me, and I like sour -- and much too expensive at $4), and the blueberry pie, which is scrumptious and will be amazing come late summer when Maine berries are fresh. The pie slices, however, are enormous -- I'd cut the price to $3-4, and the size of the slices accordingly, if it were up to me.

All and all, this continues to be a real winner -- the main issues are portion size (going both ways) and prices S9ome very reasonable, others less so).

And Chef Bechtold insists he has improved the hush puppie recipe, although I haven't tried it.

#50 synaesthesia

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 09:57 PM

I echo the positive comments about the oysters, which I think stem from the fact that Chef Bechtold is from New Orleans. They're definitely in line with the hearty, meaty oysters I've had in New Orleans. And dang it I want them in a po boy!!

The sides that I tried - potato salad and coleslaw - while fresh and bright, I found myself wanting, expecting a little more excitement than just the crawfish boil seasoning on top. And yeah the strawberry lemonade was really sour, and I usually love sour. But this was a little bit much for me.
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