Monday, July 28, 2008


The famous Legal Sea Foods sculpture outside their Kendall location.

I was in Kendall Square recently and in between appointments so I decided to stop into Legal Sea Foods for lunch. You would think with all that time spent in Maine I would have my fill of lobster but no. One can never get enough of lobster. The original location of this place is a legend with Bostonians, it's huge fish tank and full length fish gracing the entrance area. It's known to most people simply as "Legal". Every time I have dined here there has always been some politician or celebrity in the house. What began as a family run fish market in Inman Square over 50 years ago has now mushroomed to over 30 locations, a thriving mail order business and now even grocery products. Legal prides itself on the quality of its seafood.

Lobster salad roll at Legal Seafoods.

The lobster roll was really as it should be: meaty and fresh on a buttered, grilled roll. They mayo was not that runny stuff, the lobster was as flavorful as lobster gets, with heaps of sweet knuckle meat on top. I long for the day when someone decides to make a lobster roll with just the knuckle meat.

The french fries and even the small dish of cole slaw were also great, both the best we've tasted in a long time, the slaw seemingly made a moment before being served - super fresh. Legal's constant ad blitz reinforces the notion that they are the standard, with the freshest catch and the highest level of quality. And for that the public must pay the price. The cost for a lobster salad roll and a glass of iced tea: $26.99.

Part of the Legal tradition seems to be waiting...for your table, your meal and then your check. It seems to be built into the system so if you're the type that will not stand for it then don't dine here. Everyone seems to wait. Nobody seems to mind and if someone complains it seems to be completely ignored, frustrating I know but that's the way it is. I've seen it every time I've been.

The Stata Center at M.I.T. designed by famed architect Frank Gehry.

In an aside completely unrelated to food, about one block away from Legal Sea Foods one can view the very architecturally interesting Stata Center at M.I.T. Many who live in the area don't even know that Boston (Cambridge actually) has its very own Frank Gehry designed building. Perhaps most famous for his Guggenheim Museum in Balboa, Spain (hello Trig) this particular structure has received mixed reviews, called everything from brilliant to an abomination. The building is currently the subject of a multimillion dollar lawsuit brought by M.I.T. against Gehry's firm for multiple design flaws.

Legal Sea Foods (Kendall Square)
5 Cambridge Center
Cambridge MA 02139
Phone: 617-864-3400

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