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May 19, 2003 03:35 AM

Fried Clams South of the North Shore

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If you were going to be in Boston only for the weekend, and going to Essex or Ipswich was not an option because of time contraints, where would be the best place to get amazing, not-found-outside-of-New England, unforgettable fried clams? Thanks in advance from a Beverly native who moved west 15 years ago.

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  1. I think lots of people would suggest the Barking Crab for an in town suggestion. Someone also mentioned liking Kingfish Hall's clams. Plus the Clam Box on Wollaston Beach is pretty good.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Joanie

      Yup, I'm one of the people who would suggest the Barking Crab....After the Clam Crawl last summer, I thought it ranked around #2 or 3 (Essex or Farnham's)with the Essex big fellas, which is as good as your gonnah get..PLUS, you get the ambiance of a North Shore shack, sitting in a tent, on the water, with a beautiful view of the downtown skline, a cool thing for a visitor...Really wonderful in the evening...And you can walk from South Station....I take my guests there when NShore isn't an option.

    2. Legal Sea Foods, period end of story finite'. I am going to catch huge crap for this but it is THE TRUTH. They are up on Cape Ann EVERYDAY buying Essex and Maine steamers and fresh fish. I ate at Legals two months ago and IT WAS OUTSTANDING. Get the clams and ignore all the razzing I am about to endure.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Ipsofatso

        I think you'd probably get less grief from people if you weren't so adamant that your opinion is the definitive truth.
        Any Tom, Dick, or Harry can get a hold of fresh clams, the difference lies in the preparation. Nothing wrong with Legal's, except for the price and the attitude, but they aren't the pinnacle of clam excellence.

        1. re: AlanH

          Says you. Try and have a sense of humor. I blew off legals for about a dozen years and now I'm back because they are THAT good. My opinion of course is not fact or truth but damned near close. Deal wid it!

      2. There is a little restaurant/fresh fish store in Medford on Winthrop St called Moultons Seafood. They have the best fresh fried clams around. They also have the best fish either cooked to order or to take home and cook yourself. Worth a try. They hold their own to the N.Shore favs.

        1. Thanks for all the suggestions. I've narrowed it down to a Thurday late night at either the Barking Crab or the Clam Box on Wollaston. I've had the clams at Legals, and as good as they are, I think I'm looking for more of a one of a kind experience. If I knew my way around Medford I might check out Moultons, but I'd probably get completely lost. Also, where is Kingfish Hall?

          6 Replies
          1. re: ed k

            Kingfish Hall is at the east end of the South Market block of Quincy Market.

            1. re: ed k

              Kingfish Hall is in Fanueil Hall, the most convenient location. It's got a lively bar area and an upstairs dining room. Depending on how late you're talking, you should double check with the Clam Box cuz I don't think they're open later than 9:00 or so. Plus it's supposed to rain on Thurs. I think.

              1. re: Joanie

                I called the Clam Box, they claim to be open 'til midnight, and the Barking Crab says they serve 'til 10:30. I guess I'll decide when the plane gets in, supposedly at 8. Thanks for your help.

                1. re: ed k

                  The Barking Crab also serves cocktails (g).

                  1. re: galleygirl

                    I was thinking that an Alsatian Pinot Gris (or even one from Oregon) would go best with Mass Bay's greatest invention, but maybe cocktails will do. Thanks.

                    1. re: ed k

                      Oh, needless to say, they have a decent wine and beer selection as well, but you might have to settle for a Pinot Grigio..It is, after all, a clam shack...:)

            2. My favorites south of Boston are:

              Caswell's Seafood
              380 Washington St, Weymouth, MA 02188
              Phone: (781) 335-9817

              Tony's Clam Shop
              861 Quincy Shore Dr, Wollaston, MA 02170
              Phone: (617) 773-5090

              By the way, there are two options almost side by side on Wollaston Beach, The Clam Box and Tony's Clam Shop. The Clam Box has been mentioned here a few times, but I've done comparisons over the years and very strongly prefer Tony's. Frankly, the other one doesn't even come close except in location. I think they survive only by confusion.

              I must urge you to avoid Legal at all costs. I keep checking, and from time to time they inch ahead from the depths from which they plunged, but a few weeks ago I sat cringing as I watched my fried oysters sit under a heat lamp, turning into a blob of warm grease.

              I really have to give Barking Crab another try because of the stellar references of the folks who praise it on this board. My previous experiences were colored by the frankly, dirty dining room.