I just wanted to drop in with a little report on the Barking Crab.
I know that this place is far from a Chowhound favroite, but with two out of midwestern towners and a young child in tow, looking for a casual, "real New England" type of experience "on the water," I couldn't think of a better place to bring them, especially after a fun afternoon with the penguins at the aquarium.
I really liked the atmosphere: with loud music, communal tables, fairly inexpensive beers, and a nice harbor view, the outdoor deck gave us just what we were looking for in terms of ambiance.
The food itself was fine. I had the fried clams and onion rings whick, while not up to Essex/Ipswich standards, were still good, especially since I was craving them. The onion rings in particular were very nicely done. My DC and one other in the group decided to forego the more traditional lobster for the buckets of Alaskan king crab legs, which they both pronounced yummy, despite the hard work involved in extracting the meat. I had a taste with some of the drawn butter and can attest that these were indeed some fine tasting king crab legs.
Rounds of chowder were also good, if not great or special, and the kids menu for the little offered chicken fingers, soda, and even a free sundae for about $5.
I think the Barking Crab is a nice place to have around. There's nothing else quite like it in the city limits, and if you don't have a car to drive up to the North Shore or Maine, this is a much more authentic and no frills seafood shack experience than, say, The Summer Shack, which isn't as fun, and where the food isn't really all that much better, despite the higher prices. I would defintely bring out of town guests here again, even if I wouldn't make it a part of my own regular dining rotation any time soon.