In the early mornings, Lobster Express feels almost like a ghost town. The chilled seafood bins that normally hold fresh fish, mussels, clams, and shrimp are vacant, exhibiting a display of only crushed ice. The scene rapidly changes, though, as local fishermen bring in the day’s catch, filling the bins with a rainbow comprising maroon slabs of yellowfin tuna, orange salmon, and blue-grey oysters sealed in jagged shells. This transformation is a daily ritual and proof that the supplies at Lobster Express are as fresh as they come.
In addition to fresh, raw seafood, the bustling shop sells a cornucopia of already prepared foods, both hot and cold. Topping the list of customer favorites are housemade clam chowder, crab cakes, and lobster rolls, which won a South Shore Living Reader’s Choice Award in 2011. The shop also assembles take-home lobster bakes with all of the necessary components, including local lobsters, mussels, and miniature DVD players to keep antsy crustaceans entertained on the trip home.
Enjoying a chilled beverage no longer means enduring a watered-down finish with Top Shelf Living's drink products. The purveyor of earthen barware, cookware, and tabletop products—including soapstone coasters and slate pizza stones—can outfit shoppers with washable drops that cool libations without melting into water. Sets of whiskey rocks keep adult beverages chilled for up to 45 minutes, and metal wine drops ensure customers can enjoy cooled glasses of pinot grigio with their meal without having to dine in their supermarket's walk-in freezer.
“The Lamplighter has sampled lobster bisque and chowders from Rhode Island to Maine,” the Haverhill Gazette column The Lamp Post commented in 2012, “but has tasted none better than those at…the Pine River fish market.” Family owned and operated for more than 20 years, Pine River Fish Market earns such accolades by reliably supplying customers with fresh fish and shellfish, groceries, bisques and chowders, and live lobsters and crabs. In the store, maritime dwellers such as haddock, swordfish, conch, shrimp, steamers, and cherrystones—all of which are delivered daily—sit on ice, awaiting the day they’re thawed and can experience a strange new future world. The helpful staffers can also special order any in-season fish and have it ready for pickup the next day.