I made a beeline to the northshore area on my drive up from NYC so that I could get my lobster roll fix at Essex Seafood and fried clams at the Clam Box. Glad to say that nothing much has changed with these two solid performers. My dining companion really loves clam chowder, and so we got some from both places, and boy, were they good. I'm not sure which one I liked better. I think the one from Essex had a better creamy consistency, but the Clam Box had perhaps a little more clam essence.
Another piece of non-chow related news is that my favorite antique prints & map shop in Essex, The Scrapbook, may be closing in the near future. It's located right near the intersection of 133 and 22 set behind a larger antique shop. Most everything is now on sale (that's the good news), but I always enjoyed going in there and finding something interesting. I'll really miss them when they close.