But what we found inside wasn't scary at all. In fact, it was downright revelatory. This place that had somehow escaped my memory was a genuine seafood shack, its walls wainscoted in gnarly old wood, its scuffed-up tables and chairs looking as if they were taken from a late 19th-century Boston Harbor barroom (maybe so: as I later found out, the former owners, Irish-Americans, operated several bars in and around Boston for nearly a century before opening this place). It was filled with shiny, happy people: both barstool-perched regulars and extended families in for the holidays, everyone munching on fried shrimp and sipping from longneck beer bottles. On the ocean-facing side of the dining room, couples young and old sat at a long counter staring dreamily out toward the ocean, Coronas in hand. This, I thought to myself, is it.