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“Good fried clams, chowder, and clam dip”

Gilbert's Chowder House
Ranked #30 of 640 Restaurants in Portland
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: American, Seafood
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Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Local cuisine
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, Dinner
Reviewed May 9, 2013

We had just arrived in town and were getting ready to wander around the port area. But we needed food! We'd had a disappointing order of fried clams the day before in South Freeport so decided to see if this place could make up for it. It's a very casual place - formica tables and ugly chairs that you would find at a bad reception hall and you seat yourself and a server takes your order and brings your food. There's a counter/bar where you can eat and it looked like the locals chose to eat there while the tourists ate at the tables. We had the clam dip which came with homemade chips. The dip was good but the chips were soggy; I think the oil wasn't hot enough when they were fried. My husband had the fish chowder in the bread bowl (your typical white bread bowl - the bread isn't worth eating) and the chowder was very good but tasted like it was loaded with butter. I had the fried clams - a large plate of fried clams with french fries and cole slaw underneath. It was far too much food for one person. I'm sorry we didn't get to try the lobster roll, but the food we ordered was more than enough for two people. Service was good - friendly, efficient, and the server refilled our soft drinks for us (I've got a thing about the fact that many restaurants on the East coast don't refill soft drinks like they do in other parts of the country). If you're looking for good seafood in the port area and don't mind a very casual atmosphere, give Gilbert's a try.

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Thank Laura A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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923 - 927 of 1,156 reviews

Reviewed April 23, 2013

I read a review a few weeks back and it still bugs me. Some one poorly rated Gilberts and, I'm convinced they missed the point. The reviewer called the place dirty. It is not. This is a neighborhood type place and it gets a whole lot of traffic from tourist and local alike. The service is casual, one should not expect the Ritz. And this same Reviewer said the food was, for all intents, poor. Wake up and smell the chowder, the Seafood Supreme and many other items on the menu. Get the Whole Belly Clams when available as they are lovely. And the prices ars reasonable. This is not fine dining but it is good home cooking that will put a smile on your face.
Part of what really bugged me is the Reviewer told people to go to DeMillos Restaurant. It is the single worst restaurant in Portland and it feeds off the tourist. You won't find regular locals going there.
So go and enjoy Gilberts and and steer clear of the floating disaster.

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Thank Kevin F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 13, 2013

If you find yourself in the historic district down by the docks in Portland, ME, then by all means give Gilbert's a try. The eponymous chowders are outstanding. My wife had the fish and I the New England clam varieties, both of us had one pound lobsters. This has been a lean season for the lobstermen, so the price was a bit higher than we are accustomed to in the Pine Tree State.

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Thank Orso52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 12, 2013

The staff was excellent!
The beer on tap-Great!! Always great to get Shipyard!
The chowder-A must!
The fish sandwich-haddock-excellent!!
Wouldn't change a thing!
A hole oin the wall but a must do!!

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Thank MAUREENH47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 11, 2013

Classic seaside restaurant experience--atmosphere completely lacking, but huge portions of delicious seafood and chowder delivered to your table! Heck, who needs tablecloths and sconces when you can have a bowl of chowder and a huge plate of giant scallops and fries for $16. Love it!!

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Thank MrsDrO2U
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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