The clam chowder was delicious. Often a New England Clam Chowder can be very heavy and thick with too much cream or very light on the clams and potatoes, but Woodman's seemed to have a good formula down. The soup, seen here with crackers, was nice and light and had an adequate amount of clams. It wasn't the boldest tasting of soups, however it seemed very natural and fresh.
Neither of us was sure of what to expect from the Clam Cakes, but we figured we had to try them since they were noted as famous. They came out in a carton and looked deep fried and greasy, but they were surprisingly tasty and light. The inside was filled with a bread and clam mixture that wasn't too heavy or filling, and kept me wanting more. Marissa and I both agreed, however, that they could have each been a bit smaller to include more of the fried outside with each bite of breaded inside. The cakes were really nice with tartar sauce, which also seemed homemade.
Apparently Woodman's is super busy during the Summer months. It was nice being there during a quiet time; we did not have to wait long for our food or wait for a table at all. However, some of the prices do reflect the popularity of the restaurant. Many dishes on the menu are over $12 each, however Marissa and I each spent around $8 for our soup and cakes. I guess this really isn't that much compared to the prices at some Eastern Long Island clam bars, namely Clam Bar on Montauk Highway east of Amagansett, where Charlie and I stopped last summer.
Anyway, I just started my new internship in midtown today and there seems to be a few interesting food trucks parked outside of my building, including Taiwanese and a dumpling truck. Hopefully I'll have one to write about soon.
Woodman's: 121 Main Street, Essex, MA, (978) 768 2559, http://www.woodmans.com/index.cfm