How to find great food when traveling – Look for something else

New England Marine, Brant RockOne challenge of moving to a new place is finding the best local sources for products and services.

As we began our boat centered life, in addition to the typical requirements of banking, groceries and good iced coffee, we also needed a great chandlery.

Just steps from our boarding ladder was R and R, a convenient marine supply store with a helpful staff. We did get several things there – notably bilge cleaner – but soon went looking for a larger, more fully stocked store.

My internet search turned up the usual suspects – West Marine, Jamestown Traders and Defender. All of which we’ll use, but we still wanted a local place we could pop into for the odd part or one more quart of bottom paint, and to talk with a knowledgeable boat nut. So Tom sauntered over to the pro fisherman’s pier and made friends with Selwin, a lobsterman from New Zealand.

Selwin suggested several options. Monahan’s in Quincy, is just five miles away and the drive through pleasant neighborhoods runs right by the birthplace of Abigail Adams. Monahan’s has become our go-to spot.

New England Marine (shown above) was a bit further away, past Cohasset and Scituate, in an area of Marshfield called Brant Rock. We drove out there one Saturday morning. It took longer than we imagined to cover the twenty miles, (there was a county fair on) and by the time we arrived it was a few minutes to noon and the store was closing. We took a quick look around and found that the place caters mostly to professional fishermen, so it’s not our best option. One item we really liked was the rocking chair and end table made from lobster pots.

There we were, in Brant Rock at lunch time, our shopping done for the day, so turned our attention to exploration – which is what this moving aboard adventure is all about after all.

Brant Rock house

House in the marsh, Marshfield, Massachusets

Sea Wall, Brant Rock, Massachusets

Church, Brant Rock, Massachusets

We wandered through town enjoying the willy-nilly architecture. The uneven foundations of even really nice houses around the Boston area have intrigued us, and in Marshfield we saw some particularly charming examples. After clambering over the sea wall, as is our wont, we went looking for a place to eat. We were both thinking fish and chips. There was just something about the ocean front setting and all those weathered shingles that suggested that particular dish.

Arthur and Pat's, Brant Rock, Massachusets

With it’s peeling red paint, decided lean and house shape, Arthur and Pat’s didn’t at first look like a restaurant. We were going to walk on by, but as we got closer, saw the legend on the door: Best of Boston, followed by a long list of years. Well Duh! We went in.

Arthur and Pat's Dining Room Decor

Tom finds a fellow Messi fan at Arthur and Pat's

The place was riotously colored, ferociously loud and packed. Waiters wove through the slots between tables clutching stacks of menus, with coffee pots held at arm’s length over patrons’ heads.

There were two small tables available, one hadn’t been cleared yet. As it was closest, we started to sit down there but a waitress barked as she whisked past: “Please take the clean table, it will make things easier for us.” We could see her point so weren’t put off by her direct manner.

Ordering was an ordeal. The walls, and ceiling are plastered with colorful hand painted signs for every dish on the menu and the menu is extensive. Most patrons were just finishing breakfast, but we wanted lunch. Choosing a meal though didn’t narrow the field of choices much. I wanted jambalaya, fish, shrimp, oysters and Caesar salad equally. Tom ordered the fried scallop sandwich and I ended up choosing the Caprese salad, which probably seems strange, but we’d been subsisting on drive through hamburgers, rotisserie chickens and grapes, I was ready for something green.

Enjoying a fried scallop sandwich at Arthur and Pat's, Brant Rock, Massachusets

The food was wonderful and the atmosphere of hectic fun infectious. We started planning another trip to Marshfield immediately. I’ve got my eye on that Caesar and also the Jambalaya. In fact, we decided before we left town that when we finally head south toward the Cape Cod Canal and the Intercoastal we’ll stop in Marshfield. They’ve got a nice marina and we’ll need to stop there at least long enough to eat at Arthur and Pat’s one more time.

Marina at Marshfield

One comment

  1. Glad to see your post and that you’re in Boston. I see you’re doing what all sailors do — spending a good amount of time in marine stores. The food sounds great. The architecture is interesting. Bob is going to love reading about his old stomping grounds.

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