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NE Fried Clams: Shacks & Restaurants


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#61 HungryChris

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Posted 21 June 2005 - 06:57 PM

Nice Pics, ahr! You put my quick shots while nobody is looking to shame. I hope to get to know the camera (Deb's, and she insists on keeping it at her place for some stupid reason) better. With the red tide like it is, all those places are struggling to get the best quality frying clams they can, with mixed results I'm sure, and can't really be blamed for occaisional lapses in quality. Now isn't the best time for fried clams in this area.

Cheers,
HC

#62 johnnyd

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Posted 02 July 2005 - 07:04 AM

Red Tide Abates - Flats Open - Portland Press Herald.

Seven towns in Mass cleared for clam harvesting also

Let's go people! Need some clam shack porn! :biggrin:
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#63 ahr

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Posted 07 July 2005 - 10:54 AM

For your daily update...
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#64 johnnyd

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Posted 15 July 2005 - 05:26 AM

Clam flats from Scarborough to Freeport are open for harvest as of Monday.

The Yarmouth Clam Festival starts today and runs all weekend. It's a hoot and the fried clams will be tasty. There is also Lobster, corn, steamers and a couple of more typical festival food booths.

If you are in the area, check it out. Pan Fried Steel Band on at three; Maine's hottest bluegrass band the "Jerks of Grass" play at eight.
"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

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#65 ludja

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Posted 22 July 2005 - 12:11 PM

After a lovely boat tour of the nearby Thimble Islands (near Branford and highly recommended for a serene 1 1/2 tour on the ocean) we went for fried seafood! With the recent prompting of this thread (and the subsequent unrequited cravings from my abode on the West coast) I was eminently primed to have some fried clam bellies.

Place:
Lenny & Joe's Fishtale
86 Boston Post Rd., Westbrook, CT Phone: 860-669-0767
right near entrance of Hammonasset Beach State Park

Clams:
Battered. Bellies, good tartar sauce. Dinner plate w/fries and coleslaw: Can't recall exact price but I think it was between $13-15. Healthy portions of all. Lemon wedges available upon request as is additional tartar sauce.

Other items on menu: My Dad had fried clam strips (he's not a belly fan) and my mom had a fried scallop roll that she said was excellent. I tried one of her scallops and agree. Lobster rolls were on the menu as well. Lemonade was also on offer and I had it with my meal. Fries were quite good--crispy, not too thick, unridged and with good flavor. Also, malt vinegar was available for the fries; a nice plus in my book!

Service/Atmosphere:
Large place with rather a generic feel, but clean and with a lot of nice outdoor seating underneath permanent wooden "tent-like" structures. We ate inside but outside would be nice on the right day. One orders at the counter for pick-up.

Other Comments:
It was my first time at this place and initially I was disappointed by the huge size of the joint--not exactly a little quaint clamshack on a hidden New England byroad. Nevertheless, although I can not review them with an afficionado's eye to detail because I eat them very seldomly, I was very happy with my clams . The clam bellies were nice and juicy and the batter crisp with not a hint of oiliness or 'bad' oil taste. Reading other's descriptions of the different types of batter, I think this would fall into the category of medium thickness, breadcrumby type batter--(as opposed to a more minimalist flour-only style).

While the place was hopping with customers of all ages, service at the counter was brisk and efficient. One thing to potentially beware of is hitting the restaurant coincident with the mass exodus of beachgoers leaving nearby Hammonasset Beach.

I last had some fried bellies at Jasper's Summer Shack at Mohegan Sun a year ago and while my memory may give an edge to Jasper's clams and breading, I was very happy with my experience at Lenny & Joe's Fishtale and would go there again.

I should scan the previous postings more closely, but does anyone have a place near Westbrook, CT that they prefer? Thanks!

Edited by ludja, 22 July 2005 - 12:18 PM.

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"


#66 scordelia

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Posted 02 August 2005 - 10:11 AM

Here are a couple of Cape reviews for fried clams:

PJ's in Wellfleet (Route 6)
A bit disappointing. Price was okay at $11.95, but there were a lot strips in my supposedly whole bellied clams. They were battered rather than breaded (a plus for me), but the batter was a little bland. I also had to ask for lemon. Their fried oysters are better (very good actually).

Mac's Harbor Grill in Wellfleet (on the town pier)
Awesome! Almost as good as the Thirsty Whale in Bar Harbor (anyone following this thread knows that from me, this is the highest compliment). Huge plate of juicy whole clams for $11.95 served with lots of lemon! Also battered, great crispy, perfectly seasoned batter! Also had the fried scallops which were heavenly too! They were not the little scallops, but nice big ones (and a lot of them) and perfectly cooked. They also have delicious fresh lemonade (you can watch the girl squeeze the lemons). No liquor liscence, but do permit you to bring your own if you prefer suds to wash down your clams.
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#67 The Hersch

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Posted 16 August 2005 - 06:45 AM

Does anyone have any suggestions for superb fried clams in the city of Boston (price no object!)? I'll be in Boston for a week starting this Saturday, but will be pretty much confined to the city.

#68 LindaK

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Posted 16 August 2005 - 03:54 PM

I don't know about "superb" but I can think of some places.

Jasper's Summer Shack. Jasper White's restaurant. The original and largest is in Cambridge, close to the Alewife T stop, if you're using public transportation. In Boston. there's a smaller outpost in Back Bay, off Boylston St. close to Mass. Ave.

Legal Seafoods. A local chain but if that's what's handy, give it a try. They're scattered around the city. Food is reliably good for a chain, but can't remember their fried clams.

Kingfish Hall. Part of the Todd English Empire. Located in Fanueil Hall so convenient for tourism. My memory is excellent fried clams, small portion, high price.


 


#69 The Hersch

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Posted 17 August 2005 - 11:45 AM

Legal Seafoods. A local chain but if that's what's handy, give it a try. They're scattered around the city.  Food is reliably good for a chain, but can't remember their fried clams.

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Thanks for the suggestions. Legal Seafood is no longer a local chain, by the way. They now have...er...outlets up and down the east coast, in Florida, Virginia, Maryland, DC, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island, as well as Massachusetts. They have a restaurant at National Airport in Washington, where I have had a plate of their fried clams (which were pretty good). Since I'll be flying from that airport to Logan on Saturday, maybe I'll just have some fried clams before boarding and after I land, and get it out of the way. :laugh:

#70 johnnyd

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Posted 29 May 2006 - 08:35 AM

*bump!*

It's that time of year again folks! Post your Fried Clam Porn ahee-yuh! :rolleyes:

Went out to Two Lights Lobster Shack yesterday. Beautiful sunny, summer New England day out by the lighthouse. The breeze off the water meant a slight chill (ocean=50degrees) but boy, was it great to have the warm weather back in Maine.

The line wasn't bad at 4pm. Prices were above average at $12 to $18 for s/m/lg fried clam order. Unfortunately, they were over-done and bereft of flavor. :angry: A low pressure storm that spun around on top of us for a month or so, caused all the rain in May to close much of the coast to harvesting. Soft shelled clams are coming from way down east or canadian shores.

I asked one of the bus-people how the day is going and he said it was really, really busy. Maybe the fry-folk were just pooped.
"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

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#71 ahr

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Posted 29 May 2006 - 09:35 AM

Shellfish beds are closed to harvesters from Maine to Cape Cod, the result of a toxic "red tide" algae bloom. The ban on clamming and other shell-fishing for the second year in a row comes as the summer season starts.

Hear here.

Ouch.

Edited by ahr, 29 May 2006 - 09:35 AM.

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#72 ninetofive

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Posted 29 May 2006 - 05:48 PM

I was visiting my parents in Mystic this weekend and had planned on visiting Sea Swirl on Rt 1, but the fates conspired against our schedule. Next time ... and boy, I've been craving fried whole bellies, so it was a real disappointment. :sad:
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#73 pennbrew

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Posted 31 May 2006 - 08:16 AM

A recent visit to Johnny Ad's:

Posted Image

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Edited by pennbrew, 31 May 2006 - 08:16 AM.


#74 johnnyd

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Posted 31 May 2006 - 02:53 PM

Now that's what I'm talkin' about, whoa yeah! Wooo!!! Plump and juicey!

A real lemon too. To my dismay, Two Lights now offers little yellow packets of "lemon juice" instead of the real deal, but hey - at fifty cents each, real lemons are a drag on the bottom line. Might have to pull a ClamShackSmackdown star off their rating for that though. :hmmm:
"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

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#75 pennbrew

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Posted 01 June 2006 - 03:26 PM

Yup, real lemon and hot sauce is all I need. No tartar sauce, thank you. And the clams were yummy, other than one or two mushy ones (unavoidable, I guess???)

These clams were the highlight of an otherwise rather-disappointing New England food trip.

---Guy

#76 Chris Amirault

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Posted 18 July 2006 - 06:14 AM

In the 90+ degree heat, I tried to muster the stamina to stand in line at the Clam Box yesterday, but, alas, we couldn't. My partner hadn't ever been to Woodman's, so we went and got good steamers, a very good lobster, and -- of course -- hit or miss fried clams. Do they have a belly size limit in that place?
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#77 HungryChris

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Posted 20 July 2006 - 04:56 PM

Chris,
Could you comment on the state of bridge repair in the area. I was under the impression that heading up there was asking for trouble this season.
I love the iced tea at Woodmans, but don't like the way they push french fries and onion rings at you. I was also there when a sign hung out by the menu stating " the clams are running large today." Boy, they were not kidding!

Cheers,
HC

#78 Chris Amirault

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Posted 24 July 2006 - 10:20 AM

Apparently the bridge repair is done; I had no trouble driving around the entire Cape Ann area for the day. And the clams were runnin' small the day I was there.... :hmmm:
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#79 ahr

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Posted 04 August 2006 - 09:12 AM

Massachusetts clam beds are finally recovering from this year's Red Tide infestation.
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#80 jon777

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Posted 08 August 2006 - 08:20 AM

Just back from a Portland -> Bar Harbor vacation and got to sample several fine examples of Maine fried clams. Thanks to this thread (and other local threads) for the invaluable advice. Here's the results:

- First night, we had planned to go to 2 Lights (outside Portland in Cape Elizabeth), but since our flight was delayed 4 hours, we were limited to a few places that would seat us around 10 PM in Portland. After the travel hastles, we wanted to keep it simple, so went to Gilbert's Chowder House for some fried clams and chowder. These were probably the lowest ranked of the ones on this trip -- what would be very good elsewhere, were just mediocre compared to the two stars (see below). They were full belly clams, although a bit on the smaller side, and were a little bit more chewy than they should of been. Batter was good and crunchy. A nice way to start the trip, especially since it's been years since I've had good belly clams. But did not compare to the 2 later stops.

- Thirsty Whale in Bar Harbor. This place was mentioned over and over as the best fried clams in the area in the BH threads, so it was our first stop in BH. It did not dissapoint. Perfectly battered, meaty and tender. Mmmm, mmmm, good. And it's in a local bar, so lots of good beer to be had, and priced reasonably.

- Chases in Winter Harbor. Travelled over to the Schoodic peninsula to see Schoodic Point. The see was calm so the point was a little bit dissapointing, but Chase's was not. Had a clam roll ($7.95) which was a bigger serving than most full dinner servings of clams. And they were big, meaty, tender and crunchy. I basically had an appetizer sized portion of clams before I even got to the clam roll. Served with a big pile of good french fries (or sweet potatoe pies). Definitely off the beaten path, but if you're in that area, it's a must do. (The Fried Fish sandwich was also excellent, but that's not for discussion in this thread...)

#81 bloosquirrel

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Posted 10 August 2006 - 12:40 PM

Any suggestions for good fried wholebelly clams around camden/rockport ME? have a trip planned soon ty!
:biggrin:

Edited by bloosquirrel, 10 August 2006 - 01:09 PM.


#82 aaronwcpa

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Posted 12 August 2006 - 02:41 PM

Years ago when we were in Portland one of my claims to fame is finding 2 Lights in an early September evening with the fog setting in.
For us it was a time to remember with the food and the gorgeous setting.
One day we have to return.
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#83 Jason Perlow

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Posted 13 August 2006 - 07:09 AM

How about Christies in Lynn, MA, just north of Boston?

Christie's (eG Forums thread)

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#84 Chris Amirault

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Posted 27 August 2006 - 11:08 AM

Had a nice fried clam platter at Horton's in East Providence, but the clams were really running small. Our waitress was kind enough to go through the clams to find ones with the largest bellies, but they weren't particularly big. I also noticed that the clams on Jason's plate look pretty wee.

This begs the question: are the clams running small this year? Or is this a seasonal thing? johnnyd, care to weigh in?
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#85 johnnyd

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 07:49 AM

I think it's more a function of harvest location. The clams you had were part of a harvest on a particular flat that has probably been "hit ha-ahd" for a while and only the "smalls" are left.

I've seen some monsters here in Portland, well, 3 inches anyway, that we bought a couple pounds of lately. They were a bit tough but that's fine with me.

Incidently, I soaked them in salted water with a cup of corn meal and ice cubes for a couple hours and they still had grit. Too short a soak? Clams too big? Anyone?
"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

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#86 m_y_a

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 06:45 PM

This begs the question: are the clams running small this year? Or is this a seasonal thing? johnnyd, care to weigh in?

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I agree with johnny. We were at Anthony's in Middletown sunday and they had some beauties. Just the right size and juicy. The strips are good there too. We liked them better than Flo's. I find that the RI clams in fall and winter tend to be larger. I have always attributed this to the lower demand in the off season. The cold water makes them sweeter too, like oysters.

#87 m_y_a

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 06:51 PM

Incidently, I soaked them in salted water with a cup of corn meal and ice cubes for a couple hours and they still had grit.  Too short a soak? Clams too big? Anyone?

View Post



Try a teaspoon of black pepper with your cornmeal. It has work for me for 25 years.
I soak them in cold tap water with no ice. The peper irratates the membranes and makes them spitout quite a bit. Any weak ones will float right away. It works for sea clams and quohogs too.

#88 johnnyd

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Posted 31 August 2006 - 03:19 AM

Incidently, I soaked them in salted water with a cup of corn meal and ice cubes for a couple hours and they still had grit.  Too short a soak? Clams too big? Anyone?

View Post



Try a teaspoon of black pepper with your cornmeal. It has work for me for 25 years.
I soak them in cold tap water with no ice. The peper irratates the membranes and makes them spitout quite a bit. Any weak ones will float right away. It works for sea clams and quohogs too.

View Post


What an awesome idea! Hell, it works for humans too! :laugh: Welcome to eG m_y_a
"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II
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#89 Chris Amirault

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Posted 01 September 2006 - 07:02 AM

Boy, no kidding welcome! I've got NE family going back three generations on two sides (including a Gloucesterman), and this is the first I've heard of that tip! Thanks!!
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#90 m_y_a

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Posted 06 September 2006 - 06:26 AM

Tried a new place(to me) in Plymouth, MA last weekend. The Lobster Hut. Clean, fast friendly service (counter type), nice location on the waterfront. The clams were crunchy, the right size and juicy sweet. I like mine a little more done than some folks and these were perfect. The fries were good too. Served with lemon wedge, tartar sauce(eh) and a very generous portion. I hear the place next door, Cabby Shack, is also good so I'll have to check this out next time I'm in the neighborhood. Anyone else had experiences in that area of the Cape?

p.s. is the Shack at Two Lights, ME open after Labor Day?