Monday, December 21, 2009

No Name—Fishy chowder and very inedible broiled fish

We were enticed to venture here one cold pre-blizzard evening because of an avid follower’s recommendation. And also the fact that it’s been around since 1917. We have a strong sentimentality for aged restaurants; we believe that like a fine wine, restaurants improve with time. So we went to check out the deal with this potential unnamed jewel.

Little did we know than this diamond in the rough would indeed be just a lump of coal. A note about location: it is way the heck out of the way. The only line that even comes close is the Silver Line (and who takes the Silver Line, anyway?) We walked through the cold from South Station through the blustery night to get there.

The inside décor hadn’t changed since the 1980s, but we excused this lack of evolution to the aged wisdom of the years. Clearly, people came here for the food, or so we assumed. Most of the other restaurant patrons seemed to have never seen a cooked lobster in their lives. We heard a cacophony of languages ranging from Korean to German to Midwestern, all ooing and aahing over the childlike lobster bibs and instructional place mats about how to de-claw said crustacean. We could only imagine what it’s like in the summer, especially since we had prime seating that looked out over Boston Harbor. We were impressed by this, as well as the jovial, friendly waitstaff.

We started with a cup of the famous seafood chowder ($3.95). A delectable uncreamy, potato-less stew of scrod, haddock, and other unknown fish. It was wonderfully thick with fish, the way a chowder should be. However, it was very un-chowderesque in its lack of cream, spice and richness. It was just a hearty fish stew.

A Thick Fish Stew
We should preface: the waitress warned us that fried platters were always better than broiled; however, we believe that the opposite is true. It just takes more skill to get broiled seafood right. The broiled seafood platter ($17.95) was mediocre, expensive and mostly inedible. The swordfish was overcooked to the point that it tasted like tuna out of a can. The three scallops and three shrimp were mighty chewy, almost to the point of rubber bands. The scrod and salmon were cooked correctly, but lacked flavor and were uninspiring. It came with frozen boiled veggies and a heap of rice pilaf. We DO NOT recommend anything broiled at No Name.

Luckily, we also ordered the fried scallops ($14.95). No Name should stick to its roots, and just serve fried food. The scallops were like dollops of heavenly morsels that melted in our mouths. It came with three sides: French fries, cole slaw, and tartar sauce. More tartar sauce than any human should consume in a meal.

Dollops of sweet scallops
Although the scallops and chowder were good, you could find just as good chowder at Atlantic Cafe and fried seafood can be done by pretty much any pub in Boston.

No Name Restaurant
15 Fish Pier St W
Boston, MA 02210

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