One place that I love, love, love in Fitchburg, MA is this seafood place called SS Lobster Ltd. My grandparents would take me here when I visited from Boston. Memere (my grandmother) would always get the fried scallops while I usually wanted the fried clams. This place has good memories for me and my Mom wanted us to go here for dinner on a first night in Massachusetts. Like my Dad and I were going to say no to this place!
This is the outside. It’s not a fancy place at all. They expanded in the back to provide more tables for seating and there’s a little bit of fishing decor here and there but that’s about it.
You order at the counter. This is the main menu. They have plates (that come with fries and coleslaw), rolls (lobster, clams, haddock, etc.), lobster dinners and other SS Lobster favorites (the rest of the things from the sea).
The Specials board. I don’t remember them having this back when I was college, but maybe I just never noticed.
And also the tiny Appetizers menu. Ain’t no salads on this menu!
To the right of the counter/kitchen is a market where you can buy fresh seafood to take home and cook yourself. They also do wholesale seafood and provides seafood to a lot of local restaurants so the seafood here is fresh and priced much lower than other places.
This was our order, shared between mom, dad and myself. Mmm, fried sea goodness!
[fried scallops – large / $18.50]
My dad’s favorite item here is the fried scallops and honestly I hadn’t had a fried scallop in forever that I forgot what it was like. The scallops are incredibly fresh, sweet, and moist.
Here you can see that the outer coating is very thin – it’s a “barely there” coating. It’s just enough to coat the scallop and that’s it. The light batter helps to keep the focus on the scallop. The batter locks in the moisture and flavor – these are sweet, tender and so delicious. There’s a very slight chew but the texture is spot on perfect – much in the same way when you have a perfect sear.
[fried whole belly clams / $17.99]
Mmmm, whole belly clams! Whole belly is what really makes the difference here – none of these lame little “clam strips” you so often see on menus around here in San Diego. The clam strip barely tastes like anything!
Here’s a close up of one clam. The bottom there is the “strip” and the top where it’s dark is the belly of the clam – now that is where all of the flavor is! These are briny and also somehow sweet. The whole belly has so much intense flavor – it’s a little chewy but tender and the crispness from the batter makes for a wonderful bit of texture. It’s like eating a tiny bit of the sea but the sweetness of it is what catapults it into extreme deliciousness for me. It’s hard to find whole belly clams here, but if you’re willing to pony up the money for it, try getting an order from Studio Diner in Kearny Mesa.
[onion rings – large / $3.99]
I asked Dad to get something else that wasn’t seafood just to break it up and he got an order of onion rings. These had the same light batter as the seafood – nice, crisp and light. Very good and sweet from the thick cut onions.
It got to be a littttttle too much fried stuff for me after awhile so I copped out earlier then I thought I would, afraid that my stomach would revolt later. Luckily it did not but we took a few leftovers back to the hotel that my Mom enjoyed a bit later.
If for some reason you’re ever in Fitchburg, please do yourself a favor and go here. The seafood is incredibly fresh, it’s priced decently and you’ll leave with a happy belly full of seafood goodness.
SS Lobster Ltd.
691 River Street
Fitchburg, MA 01420