Salem Food Digest: Day at the Salem Willows PART 1 – From Here to Hobb’s-ternity A Willows Food Review

By The BaldOne

Not that long ago we posted a photo on Facebook and asked folks what they thought of the famous chop suey sandwich. The question seemed innocent enough, it really did. It turns out however, that when it comes to that sandwich, and the many other things related to the Salem Willows you can assume nothing.

You can however know two things. The first is that everyone from Salem has an opinion on the chop suey sandwich from Polly’s, or Salem Loew. The second is also quite definitive. Our city has been home to more Skee-Ball champions than there are stars in the sky. We have all opined on the sandwich, and it seems, dominated the local Skee-Ball scene.

Last week the SFD (that’s us, the Salem Food Digest) put together a crack group of culinary commandos who created a brilliant plan to infiltrate and operate all along the Mid-way while everyone was focused on the final day of the Salem Jazz Fest.

SnarkyPants, a well seasoned veteran of a previous food review group assisted in this food foray and brought her usual facetious but deadly serious attitude to the scene.

Also recruited were Mr. and Mrs. Clamdigger who are also experienced in operations of this sort. They are often slightly at odds with each over some sampled snacks, which can lead to some interesting comments. The good news is that no one ever gets hurt. They also brought along young Saltonstall Clamdigger, who while sometimes a little snotty certainly enjoys a good meal. The trick with the youngster is to convince him to actually chew before swallowing his food.

New to this highly trained team are the Bridge Street Neckers, comprised of a husband, wife, and an active little guy with an affinity for chasing sea birds across the grass. Our good friend P.R. added more local wisdom and brought along M. A., a character from somewhere in the wilds of France.

As the Salem Jazz Jazz Fest entertained the masses we ventured out onto the Mid-Way in order to sample the wares offered by each of the food venues at the Willows. Hobb’s, Salem Loew, Dairy Palace, Cindy’s Planet, Ghengi’s, Cappy’s, and Peppy’s all came under our intense scrutiny. Not to be left out was the newcomer to the Willows world, The Clam Shack. After all, how could we leave out a place bold enough to take up residence in a defunct public rest facility.

Hot dogs, burgers, pizza, combo plates, onion steaks, sausage rolls, pizza, fried seafood, ice cream, pop corn, fried dough, nachos, and chicken wings were all on the hit list. Assignments were given, and the missions embarked upon.

When all was said and done, opinions were expressed and evaluations provided in a crisp and efficient manner. Some items fared well, some not so well, and one or two may have satisfied no one. It was done fairly, and no cajoling or bullying was involved.

Look for Part 2 later in the week where we reveal what impressed, what disappointed and we introduce you to the Potato Tornado.


Salem Willows

The Clam Shack

Cindy's Pizza Planet


Salem Loew

Dairy Palace