Go for a tumble with the Tackle Box

Tackle Box, a Maine-inspired seafood restaurant, opened yesterday on M Street. The sister restaurant to Hook, a high-end seafood shrine, Tackle Box promises the same quality and fresh seafood caught by local purveyors, but with a backyard feel. Although Hook’s just next door, the two restaurants could not look more different. Instead of slick modern furniture, fine glassware, and walls adorned with art, at Tackle Box, you’ll find picnic tables, chalkboard walls, and a huge US flag from 1870. Think beach without sand in your toes.

Fortunately, the price difference between Hook and Tackle Box is just as big. At Tackle Box, go for “The Maine Meal”: it comes with a choice of 6 different seafood entrees that come fried, baked, or grilled, two sides, and one of five sauces, for only $13.

The usual suspects are all at Tackle Box—lobster, tilapia, shrimp, clams, calamari—but what I’m most looking forward to are the fried oysters and the hush puppies. Plus, all the sauces sound delicious, from cilantro lime vinaigrette, salsa verde, and roasted garlic and lemon aioli, where can you go wrong? Executive Chef Barton Seaver will no doubt bring high brow to the low brow without making students sacrifice a cash cow.

Tackle Box is located at 3245 M Street.

-Vivian Chen, Assistant Leisure Editor

8 Comments on “Go for a tumble with the Tackle Box

  1. My friend and I had dinner this evening at the newly-opened Tackle Box on M Street. It was easily the WORST dining experience we’ve had in years. The so called clam chowder was over salted, watery, and served at room temperature. The “Maine Meal” of crispy shrimp was just as bland. Portions were uneven for those being served and when we asked why one plate had about six shrimp while another had twice as much, the manager mumbled something and more shrimp were later brought out. While we were eating we heard this same manager chastise one of the cleaning staff with the words, “you’re hungry aren’t you? I feed you don’t I? Well you need to do a better job cleaning under the tables”. What kind of place is this? Definitely NOT one for good food or good value for money. Go to J. Pauls across the street for better service, tastier seafood, and a more pleasant experience.

  2. Steven, your story about the manager plying the cleaning staff with food is terrifying. Do you think Solidarity should look into the Tackle Box?

    By the way, merits of its food and service aside, the Tackle Box is an awful awful name for a restaurant that isn’t literally on the beach or doesn’t require patrons to wear shoes.

  3. Maine inspired? With tilapia, hush puppies, calamari and those sauces? Real Mainers eat haddock, cod, clams & tiny maine shrimp (lobster is an occasional indulgence), mostly fried, with tartar sauce on the side and french fires with malt vinegar.

  4. I just returned from lunch at the Tackle Box. I had not read any reviews of it beforehand……but I agree wholeheartedly with Steven. It is the worst!!! Where do I start? First of all, for two of us it cost $40 for a lobster roll, the Maine meal and two drinks! It took forever to even get the food -probably 15 minutes. The lobster roll was atrocious. It had to be about 4 oz (in fact, I’m still hungry!!!) and did not really taste like anything recognizable to lobster. In fact, go to Wegman’s grocery store if you want lobster salad. Second, the fries were so limp from being doused with grease it was just plain gross. But my favorite part, when we went to get a refill on our $3 Iced Tea at the soda fountain, the manager shooed us off. Over priced, bad quality and just plain off. A bitter pill since the Georgetown Bagelry it replaced was great….I won’t be back.

  5. I was so excited to try Tackle Box. I went last night and ordered (big splurge) the lobster roll. I was sooooo incredibly disappointed. Not worth the $19 price AT ALL. A very small serving of undercooked (translucent) lobster in a roll slathered with butter and a handful of fries. To make a bad thing worse, the homemade lemonade ($4 a pop) was definitely made from concentrate- the taste is obvious. Overpriced and undercooked. Don’t bother.

  6. I agree with Andy’s comments. I am from Maine and I love the products that come from my state because they are delicious. The shrimp from our cold waters, the blueberries from our fields, the clams from our mud flats, fiddleheads off the shore of our rivers and ponds. I didn’t find ANY of these at the Tackle Box. Hush Puppies? wtf? Yeah, maybe on our feet as kids. Sauteed greens? nope. Unless they are Fiddleheads doused with butter and vinegar. I’m trying NOT to be critical here. I loved the idea of this place. I was really excited to head down and brave the parking. Then I started asking where their products were from…gulf shrimp, littleneck clams?? Tilapia?? what the….??
    boo, I can get all that stuff at any market in DC. How about actually doing a BIT of research as to where you can actually get Maine products!
    The decor was on target, the buoys, the benches, but, you can’t eat decorations.
    I was craving a good cup of Cutler Clam Chowder, a nice Maine shrimp roll, some good, HOT hand-cut fries with sea salt,( NO OLD BAY SEASONING!!), some steamed fiddleheads with lots of butter and vinegar! and some old fashioned Maine blueberry pie(not blueberries from Chili!! yes, there is a difference). I ended up with fried Maryland Oysters, cold, overseasoned fries. cold macaroni/cheese. I felt like I was more in Ocean City then on the ocean up in Maine.
    Will I go back?……yeah…I guess….I don’t know, sitting on the red bench last Thursday made me homesick, homesick for Moody’s Diner, or Red’s Eat’s, I guess it’s the closest I’ll get to Maine on a hot afternoon in DC.

  7. I worked for tackle box before they even opened i was supposed to be a prep cook there. I can in early to help with clean up of construction. I was offered 13.00/hr which quickly got shot down to 11.50/hr. Then the next day i worked a full day and was told by my head chef that the owner Jonathan Umble didnt want me to come back. The excuse i was given was I rubbed him the wrong way. Now it seems to be that i would have recived a paycheck by now seeign as how this happened on the 24th of April. But alas no I havent. Now i have to make a complaint just to get paid good thing i can prove all of this everything is documented.

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