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Flo's Clam Shack, Middletown (Newport) Rhode Island

  • c

How does a place like this get such a good reputation?
It was recommended by more than one local. It does
have that New England seafood shack ambiance. It's
on the water and the upstairs deck has a nice view.
But the food was only mediocre and way overpriced.
And the clamcakes, for which Flo's is supposedly
famous were an insult to the palate. They looked
like zeppoles and seemed to be made out of a blob
of dense batter with almost no clam flavor and only
one or two pieces of clam the size of those tidbits
in canned clam sauce. The steamers cost $16 for a
flat paper plate with maybe a dozen and a half
clams on it. For that price I expect a giant bowl
of clams. You order your food at a window
and go back (downstairs if you're up on the deck)
to pick it up when they call your number. They
have a nice bar area but serve only beer and wine,
and a limited selection at that. What a
disappointment.

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  1. Christina wrote: the clamcakes, for which Flo's is supposedly famous were an insult to the palate. They looked like zeppoles and seemed to be made out of a blob of dense batter with almost no clam flavor and only one or two pieces of clam the size of those tidbits in canned clam sauce.

    And the problem is what???? This is what clamcakes are, just like the archetypical Philly cheesesteak is cheap meat with cheap cheese on a cheap roll. Ever tried "pork hash" in South Carolina?

    Go to any place in South County RI and order clamcakes and you'll get what you got at Flo's. Blobs of leaden dough with a few bits of clam. But they taste great!

    "It is what it is."

    2 Replies
    1. re: Bob W.

      How can a transplanted Islander get his hands on some of these clamcakes? Do you ship cross-country? I have to have some and no recipe I've discovered in cooking books seems to do the job. Help!

      1. re: ItzBigTee

        As an ex-Rhode Islander I am totally at a loss as to where to get clamcakes now, other than to go back to RI and get some. I don't think they are something you want shipped, even across the street. We're talking a half-life of minutes. :>)

    2. h
      Heidi Claire

      Ditto - add a cup of bland broth-style chowder and a skimpy non-succulent lobster roll to our disappointing visit this past summer.

      1. l
        Lynne Hodgman

        You aren't by any chance the Chris who once worked at the RI School for the Deaf, are you?!

        1. My wife and I had the pleasure of visiting Flo's on June 10, 2008 while touring R.I. on our way to her college reunion in New Haven, C.T. I have grown up in the restaurant business in Chicago, 30 years plus of ownership/upscale steak house, USDA Prime Meats. We were refered enthusiatically to Flo's by two different shopkeepers in Newport and we weren't disapointed. The food was wonderful and amazing from both the upstairs bar and the downstairs counter. The place has a great, funky charm, super friendly staff and colorful locals at the bar. We literally sampled practically their entire menu on two visits, (came back the following day), and not one miss it the lot of it! The lobster rolls were delicious, clams, every which way, knocked us out, fish entrees were terrific, fried oysters incredible! If you're in the area, don't miss this spot! Demetri and Marisa Alexander, Chicago, Illinois.

          1. flos has gone straight down hill in the last few years,quality and size of food served has hit new lows.they are shooting for the tourists,the eat there once people,cuz no local folks are going there anymore,its just such a ripoff.that run down look is the owner being cheap,not spending any money on the place,not a great look.the flos in island park is a little better because it is just a shack,you know what to expect.theres way better places to get your fried clam fix,evelyns in tiverton,quitos in bristol,blount in warren,etc.