I recently found myself near the mouth of the Merrimack River with some free time, so I headed south and picked up Route 133 East, bound for the town of Essex. For years I’ve heard about Woodman’s, a restaurant specializing in fried clams that is featured in the book “1000 Places to See Before You Die” but I’d never been before.
I arrived early in the day before the crowd began arriving. You order your food in one spot, your drink (a large Coke for me) in another, and pick up your order in a third. The modest-sized building has two dozen wooden booths with more seating outside. I ordered the fried clam plate that came piled with clams, french fries and onion rings (much of which I had already eaten before snapping the picture below). All were crunchy outside and soft inside, cooked perfectly. It was a simple meal, wonderfully prepared, well worth the detour.