We spent a Sunday looking at wedding venues and decided to stop at Woodman's in Essex for lunch before we ventured out. Boy is this place popular! There was a line out the door and down the street. The place was packed with folks hungry for some fresh and fried seafood. We didn't get anything fried because fried food can weigh you down especially if you have a lot of traveling to do, so with a thorough inspection of their menu we were able to put together a meal that was relatively healthy, filling and NOT fried.
Right in front of Woodman's is a large tank of live lobsters. They get transported to the brick-enclosed boiler right next to it. Carlos took a picture of this gentleman as pulled freshly cooked lobsters out of the boiler. You pick up your whole lobster order from him. There was a small table with little tubs of drawn butter, wooden lobster forks and bibs! Very cool set-up. I was considering getting a whole lobster but was a little annoyed that they didn't list a price.
Our line was pretty long but it moved fairly quickly. You order at the counter and they give you your receipt which has a number on it. You wait until they call out your number and your order is served in a large cardboard tray. While you are waiting, you can watch the poor folks in the kitchen as they fry, fry, fry away. On a hot muggy day like that day they must have been miserable.
There was a main dining area and an upper-level dining area (complete with bar). You have to stay in the dining area if you want to drink alcohol. Since we were not going to imbibe alcoholic beverages we decided to sit outdoors. They have numerous picnic tables underneath a big tent. The area overlooks a marsh. The view was nice but boy was it windy. When Carlos brought over the food, most of his potato chips had been blow away and onto the grass.
We ordered two corn on the cobs as a side. The corn was boiled which I dislike. They came with a container of drawn butter and we picked up salt and pepper packets to sprinkle over them. They were $2.95 each which I think is a total rip-off.
Carlos is not a seafood person. However he will eat fried calamari which there was none of at Woodman's. This makes complete sense because all of their seafood was local which made it super fresh. You won't find much squid in the waters of New England. He opted for the Steakburger medium-well. The burger ended up being so bloody that Carlos was surprised it didn't moo. It came with chips and a wedge of watermelon. I got the lobster roll which was $19.50 at that time. A mound of fresh, sweet lobster was piled upon a buttered and grilled roll. I was disappointed that there was no lettuce or tomato. It came with a side of chips.
A bit pricey, a bit windy, but we enjoyed our visit to Woodman's.