Invited myself to my boss' beach house in Gloucester then went for fried clams at a place they like, the Lobster Pool on Rt. 127 just into Rockport. The good points: only 2 people ahead of me in line (it was only 2:15 tho), good prices, great sounding desserts and a really nice view of the water. I probably should have gotten the lobster roll which advertises itself as having no celery, a little mayo and a grilled bun ($10.50 solo) but went with the small clam plate ($9.95 w/ fries and cole slaw; a large is $12.95). It was definitely enough food but the clams weren't as sweet as they could be, needed some salt and were on the chewy side. And they had packaged tartar sauce from Kraft which surprised me. It served the purpose tho.
Probably should have tried the ice cream place right in Anasquam but went to the North Shore Mall then found Richardson's. This is definitely the best ice cream in the area. A million flavors, huge portions and the best prices these days. I ordered a small but it was like getting a triple at stupid Toscanini's. I had gotten coffee kahlua fudge and grapenut but had to opt for one flavor when I asked her to reduce it to a mini, a small was just too big ($2.29 vs. $1.85). Their mini is a lot for a little kid and you could worm two flavors out of it but no such luck. The grapenut was wonderful. Really creamy, looked like a bunch of egg yolks were in there. The only bummer was that at 5PM, the sun was glaring down on the windows where they take your order but everything was made better once I took my ice cream to the shade. I only hit the North Shore Mall about 3 times a year but Richardson's may be a side trip from now on.