It’s not every restaurant that unblinkingly serves up lobster grilled cheese panini and Maryland soft shell crab sandwiches to a line of dripping wet, shoeless patrons, but few places command a location like the one belonging to Lime Rickey’s. Right on Devereux Beach in Marblehead, this seaside snack shack has been beloved for years, through many owners. So when Anthony Marino and Victoria Farnsworth, most recently of Marino’s Café in Beverly, took over last year, all eyes were on them.
Fortunately, the snack bar is in good hands—a year into their venture, and the duo is still dedicated to serving up freshly prepared seaside meals. Not surprisingly, seafood remains the star of the show. Cooks go through about 300 pounds of lobster a week, delivered every other day from Beverly lobsterman Jeff Bartlett. With it they make lobster club sandwiches, the aforementioned panini (available some days as a special), and a delectable lobster roll.
Farnsworth says the key to her tender, sweet lobster roll—lightly dressed in a lemon mayo—is simplicity. “We get the lobsters in off the boat, steam and shuck in-house, and make every [roll] to order, so the amazing lobster meat isn’t just sitting in mayo getting soggy,” she says, adding, “There are no fillers—you’re just getting straight-up lobster meat with your choice of mayo or drawn butter.” Or dressed with nothing at all, if that’s how you like it.
Fish tacos, new to the menu this year, have quickly become a classic. Filled with swordfish grilled with a citrus marinade, the tacos are topped with roasted corn salsa, made from freshly shucked corn, and pickled red cabbage. Heat-seekers may turn up their noses—some have proclaimed them “New England-spicy,” but other items boast more of a fiery kick. The Campfire Burger, topped with homemade pico de gallo, smoked mozzarella and Sriracha, offers up a slow burn, as does the Applejack, slathered in homemade apple jalapeno coleslaw and jack cheese.
Farnsworth says patrons are happy to take a chance on the novel fare. “People seem to be responding to new items, and eager to try new things, which is exciting since we love to come up with new menu items,” she says.
Even the restaurant’s namesake drink, the lime rickey—developed from a recipe by the previous owner—has gotten some tweaks. “The recipe was pretty incredible,” Farnsworth says, “but … I found that I could simplify it.” She says the changes cut down on the sweetness and made it easier for staff to make, meaning it will be the same refreshing drink every time. The coconut lime rickey is outstanding, with a grown-up balance of flavors.
Northshore’s insiders have a few tips for ultimate surfside eats:
· Let the parking attendant know if you are eating at Lime Rickey’s but not hitting the beach—parking is free in the residents’ lot for diners, whether local or not.
· Because everything is made to order, get in line before you are starving or check out the express menu, which has limited sandwiches, salads, drinks, and ice cream, without the wait.
· Beware of hungry gulls—don’t leave your fries unattended while you get your ketchup, or you will have an unwelcome guest at the table upon your return.
For more information visit limerickeys.com