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

Recently Read: A History Of Chowder

While I haven’t done any chowder tastings lately, I did read a book about its history.

A History Of Chowder is a tiny, tiny book that dives deeply into all things chowder.

Boston Magazine says that “clam chowder (even cheffed-up clam chowder) will always have less sex appeal than fried chicken.”

Maybe that’s true. But does it matter? Is the comparison even fair? Chowder is a comfort food that reminds us New Englanders of home.

The book says that it’s not clear who created the first bowl of chowder, but does provide the earliest published chowder recipe.

Dated September 23, 1751, it’s actually a rhyming poem! Below is part of the recipe.

First lay some Onions to keep the Pork from burning,
Because in chouder there can be no turning;
Then lay some Pork in slices very thin,
This you in Chouder always must begin.
Next lay some Fish oer crossways very nice
Then season well with Pepper, Salt and Spice;

Because chowder began as a soup made at sea, it was first considered to be a masculine food. It was made by men, for men and consumed with rough manners. While this makes sense, I had never thought of chowder that way.

As different ingredients are added to chowder over time, it changes and who eats it expands. Regional variance also start happening — particularly the addition of milk and cream by some and the addition of tomatoes by others. It seems like New York and Boston never agree on anything!

A good portion of the book also analyzes how chowder ingredients are intertwined with the colonial past of this country. History brings its remnants forward. And the next time I do partake in a bowl of chowder, I will see it in a bit of a different light.

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Photo: Amazon

Bar Harbor New England Style Clam Chowder

clam chowder

It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving has come and gone so quickly! I had a small gathering at my house and decided to incorporate chowder into the meal and continue The Chowdah Project.

Many restaurants serve it as an appetizer and I decided to follow their lead. Since time was a factor and I thought it would be interesting to try some different brands at home, I bought Bar Harbor New England Style Clam Chowder.

Bar Harbor has several types of chowder and I may try a few in the future. I debated about which flavor to choose. One of a few types of corn? Lobster? Salmon? Fish? I stared at the cans for a while! Finally, I settled on the clam chowder, because most people like it and I was taking too long deciding.

The directions call for you to add butter, milk or cream, and salt and pepper to taste. My mom helped me with the meal and took over the chowder preparation. Because we weren’t sure how many people would want it, we used five cans. My mom added a whole stick of butter!

Not sure how much cream, salt and pepper she added. But it was certainly flavorful and there were a decent amount of clams. I would have preferred more and bigger chunks of potatoes, but overall people seemed to enjoy it. The leftovers were good too!

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Bar Harbor ~ New England Style Clam Chowder
15 0z. can
Regular Price: $4.39
Sale Price: $3.00
Stop & Shop: 65 Newport Ave., Quincy, MA