Just a Small Taste of the Harbor

Waiters scuttle around wooden tables wearing canary yellow shirts and carrying plates with steaming red lobsters and creamy coleslaw. Old-time pictures, plastic fish, and steering wheels hang along the dark wooden walls. The sounds of laughter and chatter fill the No Name restaurant, and through the ship-like round windows, gulls can be seen gliding in the clear blue sky.

The restaurant’s name was actually No Name, and it had an address as interesting as its name: 15 1/2 Fish Pier in Boston. Established in 1917, No Name possessed much of the same old-fashioned, salty seadog charm as it did in the old photos hanging on the wallls. The sights, sounds, and smells created a pleasantly rustic atmosphere. What topped the flag on the ship, however, was the food.

To start, the menu was pretty reasonable–within a 8-15 dollar range. My dad ordered the seafood platter while I asked for the bowl of seafood chowder. Both my chowder and a plate of his coleslaw came first.

The seafood chowder was very simple, relying only on the fish, shrimp and scallops to flavor it. The soup contained no cheese or cream to steal the show so the first bite exploded in my mouth with a wonderfully salty and meaty taste. My dad stole a spoonful and said, “Oh my god, this is the best chowder I’ve ever had. It’s got good seafood taste.”

While I was enjoying my chowder, my dad dug into his coleslaw. He described it as “having a large leaf texture and being crunchy, not too sweet, and containing more cabbage and carrot and less mayonnaise.”

While the chowder and coleslaw rocked, the seafood platter my dad had was a little less than spectacular. To be fair, a broiled seafood platter is all about the pure sight, smell and taste of the seafood. So if the fish lacks, the cook’s not exactly to blame. The seafood platter comprised of salmon, two scallops, two shrimp, scod and swordfish. Most all of it was fair, not the best, but certainly doing justice to each fish. However, the swordfish’s flavor and texture were so strange that neither my dad nor I could get past it to actually enjoy the fish. Eating the fish was like munching on a piece of lard lightly flavored with banana extract. Again, strange.

Overall with its pleasantly seadog atmosphere and decently priced, tasty food; the No Name restaurant did a wonderful job introducing my dad and me to the South Boston harbor. I look forward to taking some of my southern friends to South Boston to experience harbor cuisine at restaurants like the No Name.

(pictures to come!)

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