The Chowdah Project: Stockholders Steakhouse

The ChowdahProject is back! The last post was at the very beginning of the summer season.

I didn’t mean to skip the entire summer. But the days and weeks didn’t seem to hold space for much blogging, or chowder eating, and took me in other directions. But here we are at the other end!

This past week my mom had several appointments. Since I drive her, I schedule as many as we can on the same day, so I don’t miss as much work. What an exhausting day. We hadn’t stopped to eat and needed to take a moment and get some nourishment.

As my mom was scheduling the next set of appointments with the assistant, she asked about places to eat nearby. The woman mentioned Stockholders just down the street.

When we walked in, it was at the very beginning of the dinner shift. The space is wide and open, with beautiful tables and chairs. It felt elegant and comfortable and instantly shifted our energy to a more calm and happy place.

The service was excellent and the restaurant started to fill up quickly. People know about this place. And it seems like a regular spot for many, so we were given a good tip. As my mom and I were eating, she said that she wanted to come back soon. I agreed.

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have noticed all the pictures of outdoor restaurant seating. Beautifully set tables, flowers, plants and comfy chairs. It’s definitely become a thing for me — a mood. Maybe because these scenes represent a respite. A way to escape and treat ourselves in the midst of the ordinary and stressful parts of our lives. A bit of comfort.

That feeling of comfort is part of what led me to start The Chowdah Project in the first place. Even though Stockholders is a steakhouse, they have a variety of other foods. Including chowder. So of course I got the clam chowder! It was perfect.

The only way I can see to improve it would be to give a bigger serving of it! But the serving size was perfectly reasonable. It had HUGE chunks of potatoes. Plenty of clams. The perfect flavor and consistency. My mom ordered some to go so she could have some at home. It was dreamy.

We were also offered bread as a starter. For me that’s huge. When I’m eating out, if there’s no bread with lunch or dinner, I am immediately disappointed. We had focaccia that came with flavored oil and a small black eyed peas salad.

I ordered jumbo chicken tenders with spiced honey sauce, to go with my chowder. The tenders were indeed gigantic, crisp, sweet and spicy. Delicious! I had plenty to take home and had them with my lunch for two days.

My mom loved her Cobb salad and had plenty to take home as well. She did say that she wants to try the steak next time. And there will definitely be a next time. This was comfort and food at its best.

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Stockholders Steakhouse ~ Clam Chowder
Location: 1073 Main Street (Route 18), Weymouth, MA

The Chowdah Project: Persy’s Place

Persy’s Place has become a favorite restaurant. My mom, my brother and I have been there a few times and love the food and the service. Everyone is friendly. The menu is gigantic.

We’ve visited the Middleboro location, right near the rotary, when you’re on your way to the Cape. Persy’s Place has seven other locations in Southeastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod and East Providence, Rhode Island.

Sunday Brunch is my favorite meal of the week. Because you can get breakfast food and everything else too. Something about it is so comforting. Persy’s is all breakfast and brunch all the time! The portions are very generous and we have all taken leftovers home, because it’s so much to eat! Grab a mug of coffee. Try the cornbread too!

As you might have guessed, I tried the clam chowder. It’s the best chowder that I’ve eaten at a restaurant so far since I started this project. Perfect flavor, amount of clams and potatoes, and consistency. I couldn’t have asked for more. Except for another cup!

I highly recommend Persy’s. Since this weekend is the unofficial start of summer, many of you are probably going to the Cape on a regular basis over the next few months. There are many locations in the area and would be a great place to stop for a meal or five. You’ll enjoy it!

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Persy’s Place ~ Clam Chowder
Location: 43 Bedford Street, Middleboro, MA

The Chowdah Project Loves Harry’s Restaurant

It’s been a while since I delved into the world of chowder. But The Chowdah Project is back!

My friend L lives west of Boston. I live just south, and usually we meet in Boston. This time when we decided to get together, I suggested going to her part of the state.

I mentioned that I’d like to try some chowder and asked about some local places. She suggested three, and we decided on Harry’s Restaurant. It’s easy to get to from Boston on the Pike and it’s close to the 495 exit for her. Plus, L said that she had gone by it a million times and always planned to go, but never did.

Harry’s has a great website, so all the information that we needed was easy to find. I was very intrigued by all the different types of chowders (clam, seafood, fish & corn) they have in addition to a variety of foods.

The menu and website invite you to try the food, the same way that you’re invited in person once you arrive – friendly in a way that feels comforting. It’s classic Americana and the type of place that you could return to over and over. I definitely want to go back!

Harry’s is a family owned restaurant that’s been operating since 1946. Not surprising either. The food is delicious! When I was posting pictures on Instagram, I received immediate positive feedback from someone who has been there many times.

It’s a local hangout. Great comfort food!

So the chowder! L had the bowl of clam chowder shown above. She loved it! We both noted that it was the perfect consistency and had nice sized chunks of clams.

I had a cup of corn chowder. Perfection! It made me happy and I would get a bowl next time, so I could have more. So many big chunks of corn. Sweet creamy goodness.

I definitely recommend trying Harry’s for chowder and more!

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Harry’s Restaurant ~ Clam, Seafood, Fish & Corn Chowder
Location: 149 Turnpike Road, Westborough, MA

The Chowdah Project

While I’m more of a baker than a cook, and known for my sweet tooth, there’s another side to me. A savory side.

That side especially shows itself when the temperature dips and the winds pick up. Unless I’m outside in the sweltering heat of summer, I’m probably feeling cold.

Growing up in New England, chowder was a staple – especially clam chowder. So when there’s a chill in the air and I’m thinking about food, I think about chowder.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been thinking that I’d like to try the chowder at different restaurants and make a chowder catalog. I decided to set up a separate Twitter account to do this. Because so much of my main Twitter is politics, this will be a dedicated feed of chowder.

My plan is to share chowder recipes, history, trivia and places where you can eat some good chowder.

Since I’m all about creating different fun projects for myself, this one is named The Chowdah Project. A cup of chowder is a great way to begin a meal. A bowl of chowder can be a perfect meal by itself. Both are relatively cheap and a great way to warm yourself up. So welcome to The Chowdah Project!

Why chowdah? Cause that’s how we say it here!

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Yesterday, I visited a new restaurant in Quincy called Brick & Beam. It was my first time trying the restaurant and I was pleased. The ambiance is nice and it’s very close to where I live. The service was good too and I plan to go back for a full meal at some point.

I had a cup of clam chowder for a warm late afternoon snack. It was piping hot and soothing for the soul. The wind was whipping outside and I was glad to escape the chill. The flavor of the chowder was good. But it was a bit thicker than I prefer. Everyone has their own preference when it comes to consistency. For someone else, it would have been just right.

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Brick & Beam ~ N.E. Clam Chowder
Cup: $6.00
Bowl: $8.00
Location: 705 Adams Street, Quincy, MA

7 People Share Their Favorite Meals

Recently I shared with some new people that I have a food blog. Of course, they asked where I had eaten some of my favorite meals.

Immediately my brain froze and I couldn’t remember anyplace. I don’t eat out as much as most people think and many of the places where I enjoyed some of my best meals were from many years ago.

Restaurants open and close quick as lightening. Some places that I would mention are no longer open and I want to share restaurants that people can visit now.

The plan is to eat out more often and start a list on this blog of some of my favorite places. It will be a living list that will change over time. This way, the next time someone asks me for a recommendation, I can hopefully remember easier or at the very least, direct them to the list on this blog.

Since I don’t have the list now, I’m sharing some favorite meals of other people. Over the last three years, for the You Pick Six interview series, I’ve interviewed over twenty people about their personal relationship with food and eating. Some meals were at restaurants. Others were not. Many were overseas. Some were in the Boston area.

If you, like me, are always interested in different places to eat and others food experiences, here are 7 favorite meals from 7 different people.

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Anastacia Marx de Salcedo, Author of Combat-Ready Kitchen: How the U.S. Military Shapes the Way You Eat

Tiny, just-dug, hot potatoes sprinkled with kosher salt eaten from a plastic sandwich bag; a hard-boiled egg (undoubtedly laid that day), also with kosher salt; and sweet coffee eaten in a small, Ecuadorian mountain village at sunrise. Why was it the best? I was hungry. I was happy. It was a moment of purity.

Korsha Wilson, Writer and Host of A Hungry Society on Heritage Radio

That’s tough. I believe that every restaurant experience or every meal you make at home is different depending on your mood and other factors. My most recent favorite meal was at a small restaurant in Genoa, Italy.

After a day of sightseeing, my boyfriend and I had a drink at a local bar and asked the bartender where to have a good dinner. Instead of just giving us his answer, he asked the rest of the bar patrons and the kitchen staff what they thought and they all agreed that we should go to Locanda Spinola, a new restaurant nearby. Long story short, it was amazing. Homemade pastas, simply prepared fresh seafood and local wine. The service was so hospitable and warm! My boyfriend and I stayed after our dinner (and after the restaurant closed) drinking beer with the staff and talking about restaurants in the U.S. and Italy. It was wonderful.

Chris Haynes, Founder of PR Company CBH Communications

When I went to summer camp as a kid, I clear as day, remember the counselor going around the fire pit and asking us, “if we could eat at any restaurant in the world, where and what would it be?” All the other kids answered McDonalds, Wendy’s, etc. I yelled out “the restaurant on top of the Eiffel Tower!” Everyone just looked at me, but truth be told, my favorite movie at the time was Superman II and there was scene at the then restaurant in the Eiffel Tower. Anyway, fast forward to three years ago and I finally achieved dining at my dream restaurant and a result the BEST MEAL I ever had! My friend and I dined at Alain Ducasse, Le Jules Verne in the Eiffel Tower. I’m not sure I have ever or will ever have a better meal!

Johnny Fayad, Co-Founder of Eat Your Coffee

Whenever my cousin comes to Boston for work, he’ll typically spoil me with a really nice dinner. One of the best ones was at a sushi restaurant called Oishii in the South End where we had so many amazing dishes from squid ink pasta to different preparations of uni. So good.

Maria Olia, Author of New England’s Colonial Inns & Taverns

I eat out constantly in Boston doing research for my travel books and I have had some amazing meals along the way. But my most memorable meal was 10 years ago in Tuscany. My husband and I, along with our three sons, our daughter and my parents toured the Castello di Brolio vineyard. Afterwards we had the tasting menu at the vineyard’s small restaurant. I don’t remember exactly what I had for each course, but it was an authentic Italian meal outside on a perfect summer day in a magnificent setting and with all the people I love.

Maria Stephanos, WCVB News Anchor

My Aunt Debbie’s house. It doesn’t matter if she’s making keftedes (Greek meatballs) or homemade phyllo. I have never left her table without thinking that is the best meal I’ve ever had.

Heather Sears, Author of Mind to Mouth: A Busy Chick’s Guide to Mindful Mealtime Moments

Ahh, there have been so many! And actually I’ve realized that when I pay attention and become really present with the food I’m eating and the situation I’m in, even the simplest sandwich in the park with my son can be memorable and nourishing on many levels.

But there is one meal in Bali over 20 years ago when I backpacked through Asia with a friend that remains like Technicolor in my mind. It was chicken satay, eaten at sunset on a beach, with a man playing “Blowing in the wind” on a guitar nearby. The colors, smells, sounds and feel of the air were amazing and distinctive. I remember telling myself to take everything in, moment by moment by moment, because I probably would not be back! So I drank it all in through my senses and wrote a permanent record in my memory.