Marblehead Chowder House - Easton, PA

Marblehead Chowder House in Easton, PA brings New England charm and coastal cuisine to the Lehigh Valley.
Marblehead Chowder House - Easton, PA

Although I only just dined at the Marblehead Chowder House in Easton, PA for the first time last week, I've known about the seafood restaurant for years, especially since the establishment has billboard advertisements all around the Lehigh Valley.

When my friend Allyson and I decided to get together for lunch, it occurred to me that, perhaps, we should meet up at the chowder house, especially since it's not as crowded during the lunch hour as it is during dinner. We'd be able to catch up at our leisure without having to worry about the waitstaff needing to turn our table.
Marblehead Chowder House Interior - Easton, PA

I was instantly taken by the charm and coastal decor of the restaurant as soon as I walked inside. It felt as if I'd be transported out of the Lehigh Valley and up to New England. All that was missing was the ocean!
Marblehead Chowder House - Easton, PA
Marblehead Chowder House - Easton, PA

As I waited for Allyson to arrive, I contemplated picking up one of the putters leaning against the wall and practicing my short game. But seeing as the restaurant was starting to fill up with other diners, I spared myself the embarrassment of needing more than 5 swings to get the ball in the hole and just sat in silent appreciation that the putting game was there, undoubtedly a popular form of entertainment for people waiting for their tables to be ready.
Fried Ipswich Belly Clam Appetizer - Marblehead Chowder House - Easton, PA

With so many tasty sounding choices on the lunch menu, it took some time for Allyson and I to decide what to order. Once I spotted Fried Ipswich Belly Clams ($16.95), though, everything in my being told me that I had to order them. Fried clam bellies were a favorite of my late grandfather, and I knew he'd convince me to share them with him if he were having lunch at the chowder house with us.

To give myself a fighting chance in terms of trying multiple dishes on the menu, I ordered the appetizer version of the belly clams ($12.95). I was pleasantly surprised by the portion size that arrived from the kitchen -- enough for me, Allyson, and the table of "ladies who lunch" sitting next to us!

Served with tartar sauce, cocktail sauce, and a wedge of lemon, the Fried Ipswich Belly Clams brought me back to my childhood and the summers I'd spend in Rhode Island with my grandparents. Unfortunately, they didn't taste the same. The breading was heavy and oily, and some of the clams were still gritty with sand after not being cleaned properly. My "meh" feeling about them made me wonder what my grandfather would have said about them.
Warm Seabreeze Lobster Roll - Marblehead Chowder House - Easton, PA

As for the main part of my lunch, I ultimately ordered the Warm Seabreeze Lobster Roll ($18.95) with a side of Skin-On Fries because it's not every day that you see a Connecticut-style lobster roll with butter on the menu. But what arrived at the table was a sad representation of one of my favorite New England treats.

The lobster, which was described on the menu as being "sauteed in butter", was just confusing to me. Some of the lobster pieces were breaded and most of them were tough and dried out. Not even the side of clarified butter could help save the lobster in that lobster roll, and I only wound up eating a few bites of it.

When our server came back to give us refills of our beverages, I let him know that the lobster was tough and unappetizing. He apologized profusely and offered to bring me another one, but at that point, I was done with my meal and declined the offer for another sandwich. Keeping true to their guarantee, our server didn't charge me for my lobster roll, saying that it wasn't fair to make me pay for something that I barely touched and didn't enjoy.

Very classy.

While the food didn't live up to my expectations, the Marblehead Chowder House demonstrated that they provide excellent training for their servers in the hospitality department.

Marblehead Chowder House
4101 William Penn Highway
Easton, PA 18045
(610) 258-4301 | Online Reservations | Map

Marblehead Chowder House on Urbanspoon

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