Whenever Kathy and I need to refer to "that time we went to a restaurant that kind of sucked and wasn't worth it," Mary's Fish Camp pops up, usually followed by a short recap about why it sucked—a recap that morphs with every telling like a confusing game of Telephone.
"How much was that lobster roll? Like $30-something? And remember when the waitress's head exploded in a ball of flames because she was a minion of the Underworld? The service was terrible."
It wasn't actually that bad—it just wasn't that good, especially factoring in the high expectations we had for it considering its reputation as a semi-beloved West Village eatery and that it was opened by a former partner of Pearl Oyster Bar, a restaurant that I do recommend. I didn't get to blog about the Mary's experience when I ate there last October with Kathy and Yvo, but I feel like I ought to record it now for posterity's sake, even if it's three months late.
We started with the Louisiana crab dip. There wasn't anything very notable about it. As Yvo said, it wasn't bad, "just blah." I remember the garlic more than the crab, which I don't remember at all. Not worth the calories, which seemed to be the theme of the night.
You can't go wrong with fried oysters and clams with tartar sauce, right? Once again, not bad, but not memorable either. Nothing stood out as bad or good. It was just...fried stuff that didn't taste particularly special for coming from a seafood-focused restaurant.
Same for the fried calamari and jalapenos with cilantro sour cream. It wasn't the ethereally tender sort of calamari, nor anything disarmingly chewy. It should've been awesomer. Boppy says so.
The main dish we all wanted at Mary's was the lobster roll, but we found out it was $33, we judiciously decided to split one. And for $33, it was so. Not. Worth. It. Beyond not worth it. The unimpressive amount of lobster didn't burst with sea-flavored, lobster-y goodness, the bun wasn't a toasted wonder soaked in butter, and even the shoestring fries fell flat. The weenie portion just added to the disappointment. Kathy, Yvo, and I could hardly believe that that was it.
Recent Reviews on Serious Eats
Unfortunately, a lot of my foodings skip TGWAE and only appear on Serious Eats. AND THEN YOU MISS THEM! Sadness galore. Here are some of my posts from this month:
- For a Semi-Balanced Meal, Try the Spicy Rizzak and the Veggies of Them All at Tiny's Giant Sandwich Shop