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Holly Moore

NE Fried Clams: Shacks & Restaurants

117 posts in this topic

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Yesterday was my clam extravaganza, and pictured above is my winner: J.T. Farnham of Essex.

But it won only by a few crumbs. I also sampled Essex Seafood. I would have tried the Clam Box in Ipswich, but since the 50-foot line moved only two feet in 15 minutes, I gave up. It was a gorgeous Sunday afternoon, so I'll have to come back on a weekday for lunch in order to make a true, all-encompassing test. I skipped the clams at Woodman's of Essex, but the clam chowder was very good.

A revisit to this home of the fried clam is in order.

A few words about the chowders I sampled this past week in both Maine and Massachusetts. They know how to make it here. What they don't do is concoct a corn-starch glop (they save that for the gravy in shepherd's pie) and pass it off as "New England" style chowder. Instead it's just cream and/or milk (there's nothing wrong with a milk-based chowder), potatoes, just a little onion and varying amounts of salt pork or bacon. The bacony-est chowder I sampled was a fish chowder at Sweeney's in Marblehead; it was delicious, unlike the aforementioned shepherd's pie SWMBO ordered. (BTW, I found an alcoholic beverage that's a great accompaniment to these chowders: Jim Beam, up.)


Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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oooh, I am heading up home this weekend and clams are definitely on my radar and will report my findings as well. Ah "research" ;-)


<a href='http://retroroadmap.com' target='_blank'>Retro Roadmap - All the Retro, Vintage and Cool Old places worth visiting!</a>

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Just returned from Cape Cod where I sampled many more fried clams--and I have found a place that measures up to my beloved Thirsty Whale in Bar Harbor...drum roll please...The Friendly Fisherman in Eastham on Route 6!

The clams are plump, fresh and not overly battered, loads of juicy bellies and perfectly fried. The portions are very generous. The plate is high at $20 but could easily feed two. The FF does provide a lemon wedge and tartar sauce and will, upon request, provide extra lemons (I like lots of lemon juice) or malt vinegar. My only small criticism would be that the batter could use a touch more seasoning. The Thirsty Whale's batter has a little bit more kick.

I also would highly recommend the fried scallops and the lobster roll at the Friendly Fisherman. Unlike most fried scallops, these were big diver scallops, not the puny bay ones, and instead of batter, they were just dusted in seasoned flour and fried to perfection. For $15, you get a dozen big scallops! The lobster roll has been voted the best on the Cape, and it is justly deserved. It is a big sweet, loaded roll with a single piece of lettuce, just enough mayo, perfectly toasted with just enough butter. The lobster roll is a little pricey at $16, but perfection has its price. They make a damn fine crab roll too.

I did not like their clam chowder though--too thick and floury. For a fine clam chowder, I nominate Catch of the Day in South Wellfleet, Route 6 and Ann & Fran's in Yarmouth, Route 28. Both chowders are nice and creamy, not too thick, generous with the clam and not too loaded with potato. Catch of the Day also has nice grilled items like swordfish and blue fin, fine sweet potato fries and grilled veggies and a good selection of steamed and raw seafood, as well as a good fish market. Catch of the Day also has fried items, but frying is not their specialty. Go to Catch when you are tired of fried food and want something lighter and grilled and bit more finesse.

The Friendly Fisherman also has an excellent fish market, so you can have lunch and then pickup some fresh caught blue fin to grill for dinner. Conveniently, the Friendly Fisherman is next to a liquor store that sells single beers (so you can enjoy a nice cold one with your fried clams) and has a decent wine selection.


Edited by scordelia (log)

S. Cue

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It's the first week of March and I'm already itchy to plan my "Fried Clam Trail" trip for the season. The season may have to start a bit early this year with a excursion to Maine Diner or Bob's, with a stop off at Clam Box on the way back to RI. Who's ready?

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It's the first week of March and I'm already itchy to plan my "Fried Clam Trail" trip for the season. The season may have to start a bit early this year with a excursion to Maine Diner or Bob's, with a stop off at Clam Box on the way back to RI. Who's ready?

*waves!* Yup, I'm ready! What's open already? The Clam Box? What else?


"Life itself is the proper binge" Julia Child

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It's the first week of March and I'm already itchy to plan my "Fried Clam Trail" trip for the season. The season may have to start a bit early this year with a excursion to Maine Diner or Bob's, with a stop off at Clam Box on the way back to RI. Who's ready?

*waves!* Yup, I'm ready! What's open already? The Clam Box? What else?

Crosby's in Bucksport - wonderful fried clams and fried scallops.


www.cookstour.netMy Blog

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Lots and lots of rain has shut down clam harvesting along the entire Maine coast. Clams are therefore shipped in from Maritime Canada (as are mussels). Prices might be a little crazy and freshness could be an issue. Drier weather MIGHT arrive in time for US Independence Day holiday.


"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

Portland Food Map.com

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Johnny,

I'm glad the rain finally stopped in July. Got up to the Maine coast for some "Clam Trail" stops in early August. We stayed in Freeport, and were disappointed that Cindy's was closed for some reason. We had to go with plan B witch was Days Takeout on Rt.1. We quickly realized why this place was not in any of our reading or searches. Moving on to day two, which was a Sunday, we ventured up Rt. 1 through Brunswick, Bath and up to Wiscasset for my companions favorite, warm lobster roll. Reds Eats of course is the place to go and though we arrived at 11:30, we were still 10th in line. Well worth the 40 minute wait, although the clams there were battered and way too big for frying. A tad greasy and more like fitters, the lobster rolls and onion rings more than made up for it.

Day three we saved for the Portland area and my first visit to Two Lights and the Lobster Shack. I thought that because it was a Monday that perhaps the line would be manageable. We also picked an off hour to eat at 3PM, but to no avail. We were in Maine on one of the first nice weekends in a while and half the state mASSachusetts had followed us up for the week. 55 min wait, worth every minute. The whole belly clams were the best I have had in a very long time, even though they were probably from Canada. The rest of our food was fresh, hot and perfectly cooked.

Our last day we packed and headed south towards home with the intention of stopping in Kennebunkport at the Clam Shack. Alas, it was not to be. The small town was inendated with MASSh$#*s the there was nowhere to park even if the line wasn't a mile long. Back on Rt. 1 we decided to just go to BOB's in Kittery for a known quantity a least. Craving satisfied, we shopped for a while until we were hungry again. We had heard of a place on the Seabrook, NH coast that may hold some promise, so we braved the traffic yet again to find our way to Brown's Lobster Pound. Here, the set up is a bit fractured. Fried foods are ordered and served at the outdoor window. Lobsters, chosen from large tanks, are at the most interior area off the dining room and Steamers are in the dining area. The tables are sturdy and first come first served. One has to stake out a table while others wait for food in the various lines. Numbers are called over a speaker. The fried food was not too great, merely average. The steamers on the other hand were awesome and worth every penny. Served with hot broth, drawn butter and plenty of napkins. The people watching at this place was better than the food, but I think I just wasn't hungry enough.

We learned our lesson in that it is better to get your clams in Maine after Labor Day then before.

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Boston.com recently posted 40 Clamshacks just in time for the New England Summah 2012.

http://www.boston.com/travel/explorene/galleries/new_england_clam_shacks/

If anyone visits them, let us know


"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

Portland Food Map.com

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Nobody has mentioned The Bite, in Menemsha (Martha's Vineyard)? It's been there forever, and has the best clams ever. Just a short walk to The Galley for a chocolate frappe for dessert.

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Clam Alley (Road?) Ipswich MA. ClamBox is good but not worth the wait. Go up and down the road and see.

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Can anyone personally vouch for quality, large-belly clams on the NE mainland, preferably close to RI? I'm so sick of those Atkins clams I don't know what to do.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Can anyone personally vouch for quality, large-belly clams on the NE mainland, preferably close to RI? I'm so sick of those Atkins clams I don't know what to do.

What are "Atkins" clams? Flo's and Evelyn's still have good clams.

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Im guessing they are just strips of muscle, no bellies Almost always frozen

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I agree with Holly about Johnny Ad's in Old Saybrook. They have delivered great fried clams on the most consistant basis of just about any place I have tried.

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Can anyone personally vouch for quality, large-belly clams on the NE mainland, preferably close to RI? I'm so sick of those Atkins clams I don't know what to do.

What are "Atkins" clams? Flo's and Evelyn's still have good clams.

Im guessing they are just strips of muscle, no bellies Almost always frozen

Lame attempt at a joke about the Atkins diet. I want clams with beer bellies, not six-pack abs.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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