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Jul 12, 2006 05:43 PM

essex seafood or clam box?

We're coming out for a long weekend and always make a stop at Woodmans, just because I guess. My husband was born and raised in Arlington, and back in the day it was the i keep reading it's not good and these two keep popping up. Which is the preferred??This Chicago girl looks forward to the fried clams every year!

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  1. JT Farnhams in Essex. Wonderful, old-style (not thick and gunky) chowder, too.

    The Clam Box involves an enormous wait. It does offer big-bellied clams (you have to ask; there's usually a sign above the order window about that when they are available), so if you are patient, go for it.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Karl S

      Is JT Farnhams the clam shack that's next to that magnificent house on the marsh; the one that's known as Motif #2? Usually lots of artists and photographers hanging around? I was in the area 25 years ago and planning on a return trip next month. Can anyone tell me exactly where this is?

      1. re: cimero

        i couldn't get steve's link to work but this will take you to a Yelp link; click on that and page of photos comes up incl the house , and a painter working on a marshes canvas.

        this view certainly makes farnham's lesser CH raved clams more tempting now, i must say. Fwiw, Clam Box gets lots more CH raves than Farnhams or Essex. We are big Clam Box fans (and Woodman's is yech.) but we may just bite the bullet soon and do a comparison w/ farnhams and Essex.

        1. re: cimero

          That's the one, its' on route 133, near Woodmans

          Much better than Woodman's, and better scenery than Clam Box, and I think better food

          1. re: cimero

            I just ran across this site and comment. Farnhams was actually my families years ago before my grandfather Joe Farnham had a stroke. I am his grand daughter. It was family operated for 50 years. The new owners kept our recipes for the most part, and have updated the inside nicely and added beer and wine to their growing menu. I live across the river and get a daily reminder of years gone by, standing behind the counter, talking to the locals and serving them a hot cup of morning coffee...Farnhams has good food, a beautiful view of the marshes, the well known Burnham house and the protected greenbelt area. If you are lucky enough, you will see the nesting Osprey right on the marsh. Hope you enjoy.

        2. I was always a Clam Box fan but the lines are tough. Essex Seafood is just as good and no line.

          1. Why not go to Revere Beach and go to the original Kelly's.

            1. I think Clam Box is the absolute best, but as noted the wait is always long. Essex Seafood is a close second, definitely worth the trip. I've had bad luck at Farnham's (inferior clams and/or super slow service). Kelly's is okay, especially if you don't want to drive up north, but neither its clams nor fry job are as good as Clam Box/Essex seafood.

              1. The Best fried clams are in Everett
                Mikes Roast Beef on Rt 99

                Small,sweeet,clean and the oil is always fresh.
                They also have excellent Tartar Sauce