Rockport Massachusetts is about 40 miles northeast of Boston and is probably one of my favourite towns in the great state of Massachusetts to visit. The small seaside town off the coast of the Cape Ann peninsula is one of the Massachusetts’ top tourist destinations in the summer and Ellen’s Harborside has been a popular place for seafood since 1954.
How to get there: Ellen’s Harborside is located at 1 T-Wharf, Rockport, MA right beside the Rockport Tourist Information and Harbormaster’s Office Building. You can’t miss it.
Atmosphere and Service: Ellen’s has a simple and spacious. There is plenty of space for strollers and highchairs for the kids. This is especially important to us, since we brought Logan. The interior is aligned with various New England paraphernalia such as horns, wooden ship wheels, and of course, an anchor. It truly is what is envisioned when one thinks about a quant, New England seaside restaurant. The view of the harbor from our table was as calming as a gentle wave crashing on the beach at sunset.
The service was good. Our server was new and was under the watchful eye of a more experienced veteran. She did a great job of taking our orders and refilling our glasses. Our food was served promptly and was hot and fresh. No problems with service whatsoever.
Food and Drink: Today we ordered a bowl of Clam Chowder, a Lobster Roll, Quiche, a Green Salad and bowl of Mac and Cheese for Logan. We had a Coke and Ginger Ale to drink.
Bowl of Clam Chowder ($6.59): Billed as the best clam chowdah on Cape Ann, Ellen’s Harborside lives up to the hype. A giant bowl of clam chowder with big chunks of clams and potatoes could have been a meal in itself. What stood out with the thickness of the chowder. A couple of restaurants we visited in Massachusetts, we found the chowder to be a little runny. Not the case with Ellen’s. You could paste on wallpaper it was so thick. Well done!
Lobster Roll with Fries ($17.99): This is what I came for. After the 17-hour flight, a screaming toddler, the thought of biting into one of these beautiful sandwiches was the only thing holding together the remnants of my sanity. Thank you Ellen, you did not disappoint. The lobster roll was absolutely packed with fresh lobster! The lobster was tossed with a little bit of mayonnaise and was topped with some lettuce. The fries were fried to that perfect golden brown and seasoned with a little salt. Once again, sanity has been restored.
Quiche of the Day ($12.99): So Jill, despite being from Boston, is not actually a huge seafood fan. I know right? Blasphemy! Next thing you know, she will stop drinking Sam Adams! Wait… Anyway, she had the quiche of the day and loved it. It was served with a nice side salad as well to ensure all nutrition requirements were met that day. The salad was simple and included tomatoes, cucumbers, and croutons with a vinaigrette dressing.The quiche was a light and fluffy, stuffed with artichokes, red peppers and cheddar cheese! A light yet filling lunch.
Kraft Dinner Mac and Cheese ($4.99): As a parent and a foodie, one challenge of travelling with kids is finding foods the munchins are going to like. Ellen’s provides a nice children’s menu for a reasonable price. We got Logan the Kraft dinner Mac and Cheese. He didn’t toss it on the floor, which is a positive review from an 18-month old.
Value: The whole meal came to approximately $50 dollars, which was great value in our opinion. The food was fresh, the service was solid and the view of the harbor added a nice touch to our dining experience. Another 10 months until we meet again Ellen’s Harborside Restaurant.
Who Should Visit Ellen’s Harborside Restaurant: A kid-friendly restaurant with excellent seafood and a great view of the Rockport Harbor.
Who Should Avoid Ellen’s Harborside Restaurant: Paying $17.99 for a lobster roll might hurt the budget traveller.