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“Pricey but good”
Review of Summer Shack

Summer Shack
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Ranked #75 of 645 Restaurants in Cambridge
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $30 - $50
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Transit: We are across the street from Alewife T station on the Red Line.
Description: Cambridge’s premier Seafood Restaurant featuring the largest raw bar in town… Summer Shack was opened in May 2000 by chef Jasper White on the outskirts of Cambridge in a spot once was occupied by the infamous Polynesian Restaurant, Aku Aku. It was a shock to many customers from the former Jasper’s Restaurant, a fine dining establishment that opened on Boston’s Waterfront in 1983. White tablecloths, soft music, elegant dinnerware and pristine food presentations: gone! Turn up the music. Haul out the picnic tables. Bring on the fun. At Summer Shack, rustic dishes like steamed lobsters and crabs, fish cakes, clambakes, fried chicken and burgers are served alongside modern preparations influenced by world cuisines, grilled local seafood and the best raw bar in town. At Summer Shack we are serious about our food, drinks and hospitality. Were are not fine dining – this is a casual restaurant that is family friendly and handicapped accessible. We welcome small parties but also excel at handling large groups of friends, family and business colleagues. Our Cambridge restaurant features a large function room, suitable for all sorts of event from rehearsal dinners to business meetings. Clambakes are our specialty – with our patented “Lobster Line” we can cook 100 lobsters at a time perfectly. Call us about customizing your next function; we can work with your needs and your budget. Come let us show you why FOOD IS LOVE.
Reviewed September 11, 2013

Ate here for the first time planning to have a lobster roll- the menu enticed us so we decided to have a full dinner. The reviews re soups were spot on. New England chowder not as thick as we r used to at the Jersey Shore but it was a pleasant surprise. So tasty and full of clams. The Bermuda soup with rum was hard to explain , but delish! I found the cornbread overcooked and without any flavor- that was a wasted add on at $6 Ive had better everywhere else.
The pan seared lobster was absoultely wonderful-that sauce was so tasty. my only complaint is that when I spend $40+ for a dish, I don't want to crack shells and get all messey. My fault I should have asked...wonder if I could have asked to have them remove for me.
The baked lobster was awful- over run with bready stuffing - it was supposed to be stuffed with shrimp but I didnt taste any. Not a good word to say about that dish at all
Don't think I would return- the atmosphere was fun and the service very good but I can be happier elsewhere

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Thank rrbh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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182 - 186 of 265 reviews

Reviewed August 18, 2013

I've eaten here for lunch and dinner many times over the years and have had food that's ranged from excellent (pan-roasted lobster, an SS specialty) to worse than mediocre. Most recent meal, lunch a few weeks ago: very good cornbread, but flounder tacos were disappointing as the fish lacked flavor. (Perhaps flounder is too bland for a taco dish; the tacos themselves were a nice texture, and the accompanying condiment was tasty.) Also, the slaw, though good, was over-creamified; it would be great if SS could also offer a vinaigrette-based slaw, which would be a perfect complement to seafood. Finally, was disappointed that the menu had only one berry pie, blueberry, though it was the height of summer; in the past, SS has had delicious, less pedestrian berry-pie offerings. Server was attentive and friendly.

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Thank critiquer862
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 13, 2013

We went here because we had a gift card and had heard good things about the place. We arrived between lunch and dinner time and were seated fairly quickly. Our waitress came over immediately and asked us if we wanted anything to drink and came back quickly with our drink orders.

We asked about one of the dishes on the blackboard, but unfortunately that was a holdover from the previous night's menu and was unavailable. We ordered a starter of iceburg lettuce (dressing on the side) and calamari. Both came out quickly and were quite tasty (calamari some of the best we've tasted ever!). For main meals we had the crabmeat club and the salmon. Both were very tasty and served quite hot! Our waitress was a delight. We loved the decor, but both thought that when the place was full it would be quite noisy (with no soft surfaces to absorb the sound). A good place to get tasty seafood!

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Thank Skippy1958
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 8, 2013

I like the Summer Shack (Alewife location). The scallops are good and they are usually available. When they aren't available, I get a clam chowder or some such thing.

The mixed drinks are good; they have a nasty maitai!

Great place to go with a large group.

One thing I've found is that the food and the service are very variable. Sometimes they are awesome and sometimes quite bad. There have been times when the place isn't too busy and food has taken a long time.

I remember the place being better lit and more cheerful in the past but on the most recent visit I was struck by the fact that it was dark and almost reminded me of a Polynesian restaurant with dark interiors etc.,

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Thank Amrith K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 7, 2013

I don't know, but it wasn't what I ordered. Bread pudding to me is warm, cinnamony, and made out of bread pieces. Theirs was more of a chocolate lava cake. Don't order if you were expecting bread pudding. Otherwise, we went on a Saturday night, they had dollar oysters, and I ordered the "be good to yourself" special which was really good and really filling. Overall the food was great, just not the chocolate bread pudding.

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

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