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In search of good fried clams in the NYC/Long Island area

bigmackdaddy Aug 28, 2006 12:12 AM

Since it was doing nothing but raining I decided to try Bigelow's (on Sunrise hwy and Long Beach Rd)and Buoy for the first time. The fried clams at Bigelow's are an enigma to me. They seem to care about their food. The side of coleslaw was crispy, fresh and creamy without being overly sweet or having too much mayo, the clams were crispy on the outside without too much breading and not greasy at all and were nice and hot. However, they had no flavor. They had a "clam" aftertaste at the most. I am curious if the clams are made in-house or if they get them from a ready made for the fryer from a distributor. The consistency didn't tatse like it was previously frozen, like I say they were crispy and non greasy at all. My real gripe is the price. It cost $21.00+ for a large order with slaw and a Poland Spring. It's disheartning when the free condiments weigh twice as much as your main course.

Buoy's fried clams were a bit better but not by much. They were certainly bigger and certainly whole bellies. Again, crispy and not greasy. But, again, not too much flavor. And, they only cost around $12.00 sans side. I also had a warm shellfish medley salad. Bay scallops, shrimp, mussels and little necks on top of mixed greens with garlic vinegrette. The shrimp were tasty but had that "just thawed" taste. Some of the mussels were good, some were not. The clams,again some good, some not. The scallops were attrocious. They tasted old. They had that strong fishy taste that usally happens when fish has been out in the air too long. The vinegrette tasted like a mix of garlic powder, sugar and Gulden's mustard. So too make up for all this I went down the road and stopped in Spicy chicken. I ordered half a fried. That wasn't too good either. Just salty skin with a very sugary, non-too spicy dressing. The macroni salad was from the supermarket and the collard greens were just awful. I have no idea what was in them. They tasted like vinegar.

If it means anything, the staff at all three places were very professional and courteous.

I think it's a shame that there aren't to many good seafood places in NYC/LI. Next! Minnows in Park Slope.

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  1. jenniebnyc RE: bigmackdaddy Aug 28, 2006 01:15 AM

    There's a place called Nicky's Clam Bar at the Fire Island Ferries off of Maple Ave in Bay Shore LI. I have been going here for about 25 years.

    Nicky's has great fried seafood including clams (they use hard shell clams though) and excellent soups like seafood bisque, clam bisque and chowders.

    It's worth a try if you are in the area.

    1. g
      GoKarenGo RE: bigmackdaddy Aug 28, 2006 02:11 AM

      Nicky's is good, but I think The Chowder Bar is even better! It's across the parking lot from Nicky's, also at the Bay Shore ferry dock. Everything is homemade, soups, salad dressings, desserts, etc. And very fresh fish.

      1. jenniebnyc RE: bigmackdaddy Aug 28, 2006 08:16 PM

        Been going to Nicky's since it was Porky and Glenn's. I think that nostalgia plays a big part for me. I remember when they had a big pot belly stove in the place for cold winter nights.

        Dressings are still fresh. I love mixing the red french with the blue cheese (as does everyone else according to all of the waitresses)Just went this weekend and the clam bisque was delish. The seafood bisque had a bit too much sherry, but still good.

        9 Replies
        1. re: jenniebnyc
          Fred19 RE: jenniebnyc Aug 29, 2006 12:52 AM

          Nicky's was just Porky's, not Porky and Glenn's.

          Porky and Glenn's was around the corner and down the street.

          Porky's and now Nicky's has been excellent under both administrations. Their fried clams were terrific.

          1. re: Fred19
            jenniebnyc RE: Fred19 Aug 29, 2006 01:05 AM

            right right
            i used to hostess at P&G's YEARS ago. it was definitely never as good as the "shack" by the ferry

            1. re: jenniebnyc
              d
              dinglemom2005 RE: jenniebnyc Dec 4, 2006 01:20 PM

              I beg to differ Porky's and Glenn's had the best food and soups. I worked there for quite a long time and the chef Owen as I recall won the long island chowder contest several years in a row. Nicky's is okay but nothing beats P&G's lobster bisque. By the way I'm the only one who has that recipe now that their gone.

              1. re: dinglemom2005
                jenniebnyc RE: dinglemom2005 Dec 5, 2006 12:24 AM

                Sorry but you guys put fake crab in the bisque.

                1. re: jenniebnyc
                  d
                  dinglemom2005 RE: jenniebnyc Dec 5, 2006 07:35 PM

                  never fake crab or imitaion lobster( at least not my recipe). I remenber there was one chef(the one with a handle bar mustache) who used that fake stuff and more nutmeg then any ever has a right too.

                  1. re: dinglemom2005
                    jenniebnyc RE: dinglemom2005 Dec 6, 2006 12:08 AM

                    yep, i think that rings a bell. say around 1993??
                    oh well, since porky's is no more, i will maintain that Nicky's the best !

                    1. re: jenniebnyc
                      l
                      laylag RE: jenniebnyc Dec 8, 2006 06:35 PM

                      Grew up in Babylon and we loved Porky's - waited as long as it took and worth every minute/hour - I still miss it. Not only the fried clams but they had the very best steamers ever and the stuffed shrimp were amazing. When Porky's closed we started going to Porky and Glenn but it was never, ever as good. I haven't tried the shack in a very long time. I didn't remember the name of the replacement but Nicky's sounds right. We went when they first took over and it wasn't equal to Porky's. If you say that Nicky's is worth it now, next time we're down there (I live in Westchester now) visiting I'll go back. Still can't imagine same as Porky's (loved the pot belly stove in the winter) but then again the Long Island waters and the resulting clams aren't the same either.

                      1. re: laylag
                        jenniebnyc RE: laylag Dec 9, 2006 03:17 AM

                        yes, do give it another try. they closed for the winter on the day before thanksgiving and they will reopen on march 15.

                        ironically and unknowingly we ended up there the night they closed and got their last order of steamers!

                    2. re: dinglemom2005
                      RickTheClamBellyFan RE: dinglemom2005 Dec 7, 2006 10:25 AM

                      I'm witcha' on dat! The only thing that fake stuff (what they call `sea legs') is good for is..well, nothing, really. Although my wife likes seafood salad made with it, lemon, celery, onion and mayo on an onion roll. I confess, it's not bad once in a while, but I really hate when they serve it and have the audacity to call it crab.

          2. meatme RE: bigmackdaddy Aug 29, 2006 03:05 AM

            I'm pretty sure that Bigelow's used to buy the same white buckets of shucked soft clams from Ipswich Shellfish as so many of the better shacks along the New England coast, and breaded and fried 'em up fresh. I hope that you just hit a bad day, perhaps related to the recent Red Tide in Massachusetts clamming country, which caused many shacks to use inferior clams.

            7 Replies
            1. re: meatme
              RickTheClamBellyFan RE: meatme Nov 9, 2007 04:04 AM

              Bigelow's is crap. Nuff said. sadly, so far no whole belly fried clams (Ipswich clams) to speak of on Long Island. I'm trying, folks. I'm as big an addict to them as there is. When I find it on Long Island I'll definitely post it.

              1. re: RickTheClamBellyFan
                meatme RE: RickTheClamBellyFan Nov 9, 2007 07:56 PM

                No, not "Nuff said." Repeating that every time someone praises Bigelow's doesn't make it true. To be sure, I haven't been to Bigelow's in over a year, but their clams used to be at least mentionable in the same sentence as the New England places--if not as good as the best--and I visit Cape Ann (Clam Box, Kelly's, Farnham's, Essex Seafood, the Village, and Woodman's, in approximate recent order of preference, descending) and Maine (Clam Shack, Bob's Clam Hut, and others) pretty much every summer.

                Unless things have changed dramatically, “crap” Bigelow’s definitely is not.

                1. re: meatme
                  s
                  stuartlafonda RE: meatme Nov 10, 2007 06:45 AM

                  I don't have the clam belly resume that you guys have but I really enjoy Bigelow's. I ate a ton of fried clams in Maine this past summer and I think Bigelow's would hold their own up there. I ate at places that were better but also at many places that were worse. If Bigelows is crap, then fold up the tent and go home because I don't know that you can do better on Long Island.

                  1. re: meatme
                    RickTheClamBellyFan RE: meatme Nov 14, 2007 03:58 PM

                    Okay...well, in an effort to keep Chowhound a friendly site, I'll just say whatever. I haven't changed my mind about Bigelow's. I don't like the place very much. I do go there when the Jones hits so hard I can't take it anymore haha, but I dropped into Crabby Dan's in Glen Head again the other day. He was out of Ipswich clams, but had oysters, so I ordered the fried oysters to go. Sat in the car and devoured them. They were excellent! Fantastic, even! incredibly generous portion too for $11 and change. I'm hoping he has whole bellies by now...I'm feeling the calling again. As I said, I'll report back asap, but if they're anything near the fried oysters, I'm in god's pocket! Glen Head is very nearby for me, whereas Bigelow's is not...another reason to eschew Bigelow's in favor of Crabby Dan. But, I don't want to be hasty...this space is all about clams, not oysters. So, good as they were, I'll hold out for the clams and let y'all know what I think. In any event, I only ever mean to suggest that whatever I write here is merely my own humble opinion.

                    1. re: meatme
                      RickTheClamBellyFan RE: meatme Sep 24, 2009 08:57 AM

                      Nope. Just came back from Woodman's. Bigelow's is crap. Crap, crap, crap. And the coleslaw is supercrap. The French fries don't even deserve a mention, since they're mega-crap.

                    2. re: RickTheClamBellyFan
                      bigmackdaddy RE: RickTheClamBellyFan Jun 9, 2009 06:22 PM

                      I'm with you on, Rick, on Bigelow's. Very bland fried belly's. In fact most of their fried shellfish is just awful, which is a shame because the people who work their are very nice. To me, Bigelow's and the Grand Central Oyster Bar are the most overrated seafood places in NYS. I find that the Clam Shack in Kennebunk, Maine (and a lot of the other seafood places in that area), when there isn't any red-tide messing with their crop, is the best place for fried whole bellies.

                      1. re: bigmackdaddy
                        RickTheClamBellyFan RE: bigmackdaddy Sep 24, 2009 09:00 AM

                        Just returned from Kennebunkport. Went to the Clam Shack a few times while there (Hey, it may not be the "best" but it ain't bad), and I have to say, Woodman's in Essex, MA is the best. Clam Shack is more than tolerable. Wait, that's not fair. it's good. Especially when you compare it to Bigelow's or some place like that, but Woodman's and Essex are better by a damned sight. That said, I'd rather be in Kennebunkport, eating whole bellies from the Clam Shack than to be stuck in Essex and eating a superior whole belly from Woodman's. Hahahahaha. Kennebunkport, and the whole coast going north from there, is just wonderful. To be fair, I think it makes the Clam Shack's food taste better just being in that wonderful place.

                  2. meatme RE: bigmackdaddy Sep 3, 2006 09:35 PM

                    OK. Provoked by bigmac's disappointment, I visited Bigelow's today for the first time in months. As mac reported, the coating and frying were New England-immaculate. The clams themselves were a mixture of small and medium sizes (medium=3/4" belly measurement, with discernible goo). Many, though not all, had that oceanic, sweet, almost gamy flavor prized by clamlovers, and none were less than tasty.

                    The clams still come from Ipswich Shellfish, delivered (I think) every other day to ensure freshness They are currently collected up and down the New England coast from northern CT up to the Canadian border; even "native" clams served in Ipswich and Essex may not be quite so native. Their size and quality depend on where and when they’re harvested, and on current weather and sea conditions. In other words, there can be considerable variation.

                    Today’s clams weren’t the absolute best I’ve ever, ever, ever had, but they were very good—and my frame of reference is the Clam Box, Farnharm’s, and Essex Seafood. The price is not out of line with current prices up in Clam Country, as freshly shucked soft clams are in short supply.

                    As always, YMMV.

                    1. RickTheClamBellyFan RE: bigmackdaddy Sep 4, 2006 09:27 PM

                      just as an aside...I'm not impressed with Bigelow's in general, although it's the only thing close to the real deal in New England. As for their cole slaw...Big YUCK, and as you said...rather expensive for something not very flavorful. Still...if you're stuck on Long Island and that clambelly attack hits...might as well go. The fries suck too, they only take cash, but have an ATM inside. By the way...no, they don't get them previously prepared, though it's still nothing special. Let's put it this way. If you're arriving there fresh from New England, and you've just had 'em before you left Massachusetts, you're going to be really UNDERwhelmed.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: RickTheClamBellyFan
                        meatme RE: RickTheClamBellyFan Sep 5, 2006 01:06 AM

                        As I said above, they buy the same Ipswich Shellfish shucked clams as the shacks along the New England coast and prepare them the same way: just lightly dusted, not coated with bread crumbs, and fried greaselessly. If you haven't been to the North Shore recently, you may be in for a disappointment--and a shock when you see the prices.

                        Massachusetts Red Tide alert:

                        http://www.mass.gov/dfwele/dmf/progra...

                      2. RickTheClamBellyFan RE: bigmackdaddy Sep 4, 2006 09:31 PM

                        By the way...does anyone know if there are any decent whole belly clams in southern connecticut? I'm on Long Island, as I've said, but since Bigelow's and Legal Seafood (not good) are the only things here that I know of, I'm more than willing to jump over the Throg's Neck Bridge once in a while and cross the state line. There used to be a great place up near Danbury, but it would be much more convenient and nicer if I could just go as far as Stamford or Greenwich, just over the line, so I could shoot back to Long Island. I'm thinking, this could be a worthwhile side venture after or before a Yankee game. LET'S GO, YANKEES!!!!!

                        8 Replies
                        1. re: RickTheClamBellyFan
                          jfood RE: RickTheClamBellyFan Sep 4, 2006 10:14 PM

                          Forgetaboutit.

                          If your looking for Legal Seafood quality (i.e horrible, inedible and disgusting), plenty of supermarkets sell frozen strips.

                          But it sounds like your looking for the real deal and unfortunately there is absolutely nothing close to good on fried clams in the Stamford area. In fact you have to go east of New Haven to see the first good belly, probably beginning in Guilford, Branford, Clinton on Route 1.

                          I'd be interested in the name of the place near Danbury, never heard about it and am surprised.

                          Go Mets!!

                          1. re: jfood
                            meatme RE: jfood Sep 5, 2006 12:19 AM

                            Food boards abound with testimonies to Legal's clams (full bellies, by the way, not strips) being legitimate. A close friend who's been known to fly cross-country just for clams finds Legal his clam refuge when away from the Northeast. This is not to say that they're the same as those at the Clam Box, and quality varies from location to location, but he says that they're much better than "forgetaboutit." I hold no particular brief for Legal, never having eaten at one and owning no Legal stock, but let's be careful not to fall victim to the dismissiveness of anti-chain snobbery.

                            The Sterns advocate a place named Denmo's Snack and Dairy Bar in Southbury, about 15 miles from Danbury.

                            1. re: meatme
                              jfood RE: meatme Sep 5, 2006 02:29 AM

                              No chain-snobbery intended. I have eaten in several Legal locations and each have been of the quality that I would characterize as forgetaboutit. Your friend and I have a different opinion, no biggie. Never been to Clam Box but if I am near Ipswich will definitely make a detour. As I have said in other posts I will always try another place for fried clams.

                              Personally I have found the best fried bellies at hole in the wall converted McDonald's type buildings. For example the Cream Cone in Dennis, MA. and the Clam Castle in Madison CT have outstanding clams. There is also a place in Amagansett NY that I ate two consecutive lunches this summer that were outstanding.

                              You have made my day if this Denmo's is good. It's ten minutes from my In-Laws. Will probably visit next week and will report back. Thanks Meatme.

                              1. re: jfood
                                The Chowhound Team RE: jfood Sep 5, 2006 03:27 AM

                                A reminder- please keep recommendations here focused on the Tristate area. If you'd like to discuss great fried clams in other areas, please start a thread on the appropriate board and then post a "heads up" here, pointing anyone interested towards the thread on the correct board. Thanks.

                                1. re: jfood
                                  meatme RE: jfood Sep 5, 2006 03:42 AM

                                  I think that the board permits links to Roadfood, so here's Denmo's:

                                  http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Write...

                                  If you like conversions, the Sea Swirl in Mystic, CT looks like it was formerly a Carvel's. The last time I was there, quality was about the same as the Clam Castle, but not up to the best Cape Ann shacks (Clam Box, Farnham’s, and Essex Seafood) or Arnold's on Cape Cod.

                                  There’s a current Cape Ann discussion on the Boston Area board:

                                  http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

                                  Enjoy!

                                  1. re: jfood
                                    RickTheClamBellyFan RE: jfood Dec 6, 2006 10:22 AM

                                    See...the thing about negative opinions concerning food is that seldom can a negative be completely wrong (unless it's a dish that the critic isn't very familiar with). Only positive reviews can be wrong. Sounds a bit harsh, but think about this: One person says the clams are good, another, bad. If they are bad, even to only that person, it generally means he or she has had better. If one says, say, the clams are "good," amid other bad reviews, then it can only mean that the person giving the thumbs-up review hasn't had better, has lousy taste, or settles too easily. It's not snobbery or conceit. It's simply based on numbers of experiences. Example: I went to Paul Prudhomme's restaurant in 'Nawlins. I was anxious to be impressed. Really, I was. I ordered a dish that I make regularly: crab and shrimp etoufee. I thought, "well, this ought to blow mine away," and I was hoping it would. If it had, I could have, A) learned something, and B) enjoyed the experience of a known chef's culinary expertice. Ummm...horsebleep. My etoufee makes his look and taste like high school cafeteria lunch. In my old age, I'm getting bored with big reputations based on very little substance, or based on hyperbole and little else. I've had similar situations, just using recipes of famous chefs. This is not to say that I think I'm in their league, but that there are some things I know I do very well and their recipes are rather dull, or worse: culturally wrong. I've had Paella at the supposed best Spanish restaurants. Puhleeze. I've had Paella "parties" for 20-30 people at my home and I've never had a paella that compares with mine in any of those restaurants. Restaurants with reputations can be wonderful, or they can be a bad joke. In the case of Legal Seafoods, I think the entire chain (for my money) is merely the overpriced solution to having to shuck shellfish, turn on the broiler and wash the dishes--yourself. I have never had a meal at Legal that I couldn't triple-outdo myself. But this is only opinion, so I'm not going to belabor the point (which I already have--sorry). HOWEVER...in the case of their fried whole belly clams, they simply have no taste. They don't season the flour dredging, so it comes out a not very greasy (I'll give them that ONLY) mess, and it's a mess that is often not crispy at all. They're over-priced and tasteless (and usually smaller). Bigelow's on Long Island is a crap hole. It feels and looks filthy. But it's not this that bothers me. I know they're being lazy in order to approximate the "feel" of a sea shanty-type chowder house, but still, come on, dudes...clean up your act. There's no law that says you can't appear genuine and authentic and clean at the same time. The clams, I repeat, are overpriced and not usually very large (which is understandable, since they get their deliveries from New England, and perhaps the best stuff doesn't quite make it down the pike?). The coleslaw really blows. The french fries are a non-essential joke (frozen shoestrings). The clams have slightly more taste than Legal's, but not very much more, and the whole thing is generally overpriced. Oh, yeah, and just to add insult to injury...I've also had their chowder too. Puhleeze! gooey mess, full of flour (to my palate. If I'm wrong about the flour, then I stand partially corrected. I say partially because if I'm wrong, it's not by much...if it's not added flour, let's just say it's DEFINITELY a roux and it's an overly floured roux [more flour than butter]). A good chowder just doesn't taste of flour and doesn't resemble glue. It should make you feel as though you're ingesting way too much cream, and make you feel guilty. Bigelow's chowder works on that level: makes you feel guilty--guilty to be paying good money and adding all those calories for something that you could use to hang wallpaper. I'm really not that hard to please. I like simple and fresh. If you want to gussie things up for me, do it in the presentation. I'm always a sucker for beautiful presentation, but let's face it, folks...any of you who are responding to this chowhound segment (fried whole belly clams in the tri-state area) would happily forego the presentation for a true north-shore whole belly clam experience...am I right? Still leaves us with the problem (well, leaves ME with the problem, anyway), and that is that it is woefully improbable that any fans of New England Style fried Ipswich Clams living in the tri-state area are going to be happy with what they find. I have always thought that a true chowder house, whose specialties are typically the clams, lobsters and lobster rolls, and a good cole slaw could be as successful as a land office somewhere on the north shore of Long Island, where hardly anything good exists in the way of seafood, unless it's priced like Daniel Bouloud's restaurants or Richie Notar's Nobu places. I wish I yearned to be in the restaurant business, but sadly it's a bad proposition (only 10% of new restaurants even remain in business beyond the first 2 years). The north shore of Nassau County used to be full of decent places. Well, I'm still searchin'. The best of them, supposedly, is Riverbay on Mineola Avenue in Williston Park. It sucks. They do a nice job with a selection of raw oysters (so what? That ain't cookin'). They also do a nice fried oyster, so why in heaven's name don't they do the same thing with Ipswich clams? They don't offer them. There's a little place in Glen Head, L.I. called Crabby Dan's, and they do an entree of our beloved WBC's for $17.95, which ain't bad, as I recall. I'm going to go have them again this week and I'll report back). In any case, in my humble opinion, my fellow WBC lovers: don't let your frustration cause you to settle. It's already a lousy situation for us. Don't let the dearth of good food in our area lower your standards. We should take pride and satisfaction in our futile (so far) search for excellence. Let us go where no man has gone before...to find the best piss clams goin'. There MUST be an answer to this vexing problem!!!...I mean, without having to go north and buck all those pesky Red Sox fans (no pun intended, Johnny).

                                2. re: jfood
                                  c
                                  cervisiam RE: jfood Dec 5, 2006 03:14 AM

                                  jfood, have you tried westfair in westport? i think it's pretty darn good, and when i ran by there in july, the clams had bigger bellies than the ones at the clam box in maine....

                                  1. re: jfood
                                    RickTheClamBellyFan RE: jfood Feb 17, 2009 04:15 AM

                                    Sorry....I have no recollection whatsoever of the name of the place. I believe it was nearer to Bethel or possibly on the way to Newtown, somewhere along route 58 (57?). It's been so many years, I just can't conjure it up. Sorry. Believe me, if I could I would because it would be an almost tolerable trip for me to make for authentic clambellies, since there's nothing on Long Island except Bigelow's and Legal, and neither does it for me. Bigelow's at least LOOKS like the real deal. They are, as someone posted, greaseless and for the most part just crispy enough, but alas they lack flavor.

                                3. jenniebnyc RE: bigmackdaddy Sep 4, 2006 11:30 PM

                                  Check out Buoy One in Riverhead LI. Went last week and had great fried clams (with belly). The chef is from Mass.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: jenniebnyc
                                    Motosport RE: jenniebnyc Sep 8, 2011 02:39 PM

                                    Buoy 1 in Riverhead and Westhampton is my favorite for fried clam bellies. I've watched them make them fresh.

                                  2. meatme RE: bigmackdaddy Sep 5, 2006 01:01 AM

                                    Also see the following similar discussion on the Manhattan board:

                                    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

                                    1. Fred19 RE: bigmackdaddy Dec 5, 2006 02:25 AM

                                      If any of you really want good clams, the place to get them is in Essex, MA at a place called Woodmans. In 1916, Chubby Woodman invented the fried clam. The restaurant has a large basket where they fry many pounds of clams in a tremendous fryer, big enough to fry a whole pig. Their clams are the best that I ever had. Watching the clams go into the fryer is a real treat.

                                      They serve wine in decent size plastic cups and it is a great serving.

                                      ~Fred19

                                      http://www.woodmans.com/new_york_time...

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: Fred19
                                        s
                                        Scott_R RE: Fred19 Dec 5, 2006 07:57 PM

                                        *Invented* fried clams? You mean, until 1916, no one had thought to fry a clam?

                                        1. re: Scott_R
                                          Fred19 RE: Scott_R Dec 6, 2006 12:44 PM

                                          Before then steamed or raw or with pasta.

                                          ~Fred19

                                        2. re: Fred19
                                          RickTheClamBellyFan RE: Fred19 Dec 7, 2006 10:28 AM

                                          Well, duh. You guys with the references to good clams in Massachusetts aren't "getting it." We KNOW there are great fried whole belly clams on the Cape, etc., etc., etc.. We're posting here because we're in a quandary as to how to get them down here, in the Tri-State area. Thanks, but it's a foregone conclusion that they are in abundance in New England.

                                        3. d
                                          dw438 RE: bigmackdaddy Dec 7, 2006 02:40 PM

                                          How was Crabby Dan's in Glen Head?
                                          FYI when I was a kid I got fried clams at HoJo's, which was just about everywhere but close to me in Roslyn and East Norwich.

                                          5 Replies
                                          1. re: dw438
                                            RickTheClamBellyFan RE: dw438 Dec 9, 2006 10:27 AM

                                            Yeah, but HoJo's never had anything other than strips. They never did whole bellies (Ipswich). I think, dw, that you suffer from something that we all do: nostalgia hahahahaha. I haven't been to Crabby Dan's as yet, but we're definitely going to go very soon. I won't forget to post. I don't know how many of us here are Long Islanders, especially north shore Long Islanders, but if it's good, I know those of you who are will be happy to hear about it. Will report soon. Oh, by the way, the HoJo's in East Norwich (I think) has been a great (and expensive...aren't they all?) steakhouse for many years now, called Rothmann's. They do a fantastic Sunday brunch. Unlimited self-serve lobsters (cold, sorry, but that's not a bad thing), colossal shrimps, as well as all the usual brunch food. You serve yourself all this great stuff, then you're supposed to order a dish that they serve you--which is really anti-climactic after you've been stuffing your face with lobsters and shrimp. What we do is order the steak very rare, then take it home, cook it to medium and have it for dinner!

                                            1. re: RickTheClamBellyFan
                                              coll RE: RickTheClamBellyFan Dec 9, 2006 06:59 PM

                                              We got married there when it was Burt Bacharachs, everyone said it was the best food they ever had at a wedding! Started out in Huntington now we're on the east end, but yes North Shore!!

                                              1. re: RickTheClamBellyFan
                                                d
                                                dw438 RE: RickTheClamBellyFan Nov 12, 2007 12:03 PM

                                                Of course those HoJo memories were that of a child going to lunch after Sunday church. The palate is much better now [I think].
                                                Also - the East Norwich HoJo's on NY 25A was turned into a IHOP, then an independent pancake/diner type house. You can still tell those converted 1950's HoJo's by the architecture ... still expect to see an orange roof, Simple Simon and the pie-man. Rothmann's is next door ... at the corner of NY 106.

                                              2. re: dw438
                                                RickTheClamBellyFan RE: dw438 Nov 9, 2007 04:14 AM

                                                Sorry...haven't been to Crabby Dan's again (I guess I lied, huh?). haha...seriously, though, I do intend to try them again soon, and I will post. I promise. By the way, I do remember HoJo's fried clams. I think, however, you are somewhat like me in that you may also be a nostalgist. In truth, dw438...they weren't any good. They were frozen strips, on the order of french fries. Hey, I would eat a few right now. I don't "hate" fried strip clams, but I just can't think of them as fried clams. Tell the truth...they're more like fish-based french fries, now aren't they?

                                                1. re: dw438
                                                  RickTheClamBellyFan RE: dw438 Nov 20, 2007 01:09 AM

                                                  Okay, gang...time for the Crabby Dan's clam belly review --

                                                  A HUGE "don't bother." Here's the lowdown:

                                                  Price: no problem
                                                  Quality: Impressed with service and the fact that fresh broccoli was served on the plate. Yes, folks...I said FRESH
                                                  Clams: (drumroll, please.............................) Major NOPE.

                                                  The coating is typically North Shore Long Island Italian. In other words, they use a bread crumb coating. BOOOOOOO!!!!!! The size of the clams was quite decent. I asked the waitress if the clams were running small. She asked the chef and returned with the answer, "He says they're medium sized." Frankly, I was impressed with the honesty, and it was overstated. They were quite good sized. However, as I said, the coating was all wrong, so it's a "not even close" in the whole belly (Ipswich) clam lover's quest. Sorry, folks, I thought we had a live one, but naaaahhhhhhh.

                                                2. steve h. RE: bigmackdaddy Feb 2, 2007 12:33 PM

                                                  the fried clams at rowayton seafood (exit 12 on 95, just a few miles north of stamford) are pretty good (lightly coated ipswitch clams) but the real stars are the fried oysters. not cheap.

                                                  1. monalisawoman RE: bigmackdaddy Nov 10, 2007 05:18 AM

                                                    Hello to the Porky's guys!!! Jeeze. There was nothing like a cup of chowder on the top deck of the ferry....
                                                    Also, i have been to a new place on the North Shore: Bad Bob's BBQ in Manorhaven. They have really good fried clams. If it's still warm enough, they have picnic tables over-looking a beautiful marina. If it's cold out, i guess it's just take-out. The sweet potatoe fries are delicious as well.

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: monalisawoman
                                                      RickTheClamBellyFan RE: monalisawoman Nov 20, 2007 01:12 AM

                                                      Thanks, Steve H. I'm gonna have to try Rowayton...that's not all that far from the north shore of long island.

                                                      Monalisawoman...just one thing--you say Bad Bob's BBQ in Manorhaven had good fried clams. BUT, are they whole bellies? (Please say "yes"...Manorhaven ain't that far to go when a big clam Jones hits). Thanks.

                                                      1. re: RickTheClamBellyFan
                                                        monalisawoman RE: RickTheClamBellyFan Nov 24, 2007 07:03 AM

                                                        YES. It's a little chilly to eat outside at the picnic tables, but worth steaming up the car ;-)

                                                    2. RickTheClamBellyFan RE: bigmackdaddy Nov 20, 2007 01:30 AM

                                                      I think I may have posted this in the wrong place. I beg your forgiveness if I did not, and you're reading this for the second time. BUT.........

                                                      I did, as promised, return to Crabby Dan's in Glen Head, Long Island.

                                                      Review: HUGE NOPE. They use typically American-Italian (which means typically suburban tri-state area) coating of bread crumbs and flour. They just obviously don't understand the spiced dredging flour routine of New England. Sorry, gang. We'll have to keep searching.

                                                      1. l
                                                        laylag RE: OrderFire Nov 20, 2007 10:12 AM

                                                        There is also a Lobster Roll Northside not far from Riverhead on Sound Ave. Imagine the clams are the same as the one on the South Fork.

                                                        6 Replies
                                                        1. re: laylag
                                                          coll RE: laylag Nov 20, 2007 12:34 PM

                                                          Riverhead open weekends now, if at all. Sort of the same, owned by different branches of the family. There are better clams out there.

                                                          1. re: coll
                                                            c
                                                            chowareyou RE: coll Aug 18, 2009 03:42 PM

                                                            Coll, have you gone to the Northside recently? I went twice over the last couple of years and I can't say I felt good about dropping my money there. I really hated the bisque. At the time, the two crabcakes came to over twenty dollars and I was just disappointed. It's so close to my house and I would love to run over there and sit on the porch, since there is NOTHING good in this area, but I haven't been able to bring myself to try again. Same with Cooperage, which isn't that great shakes. Just wondering since you are from out here. Thanks.

                                                            1. re: chowareyou
                                                              coll RE: chowareyou Aug 19, 2009 03:17 AM

                                                              Even though Lobster Roll is five minutes from me, I only went there for the first time this summer. I moved out here about the time they opened for business, so you can see I wasn't in a rush. Mom was on a quick visit, we had talked Cooperage but I've lost all my love for them, and she was on a budget anyway. We shared puffers and all had lobster rolls, and were quite happy with everything. I've visited the Amagansett location many times and since I never have high expectations, they always end up better than anticipated, food better than most fast food and service always perfect. Same here. I knew it wouldn't be Riverhead prices, but not bad for the East End in general.

                                                              You know, I think my husband did get some kind of soup and wasn't thrilled. I believe they use canned soup anyway, so what can you expect. A big part of our meal was the hostess/waitress that day, who was one of the nicest people I've ever been served by. And when we asked about the ginger candies they give you with the check, she brought me a whole bag to take home. That, and the sun setting as we ate, made it a pleasant experience.If I go back again, which is possible, I'll reassess. Lately we've been going into Wading River for casual meals.

                                                              1. re: coll
                                                                c
                                                                chowareyou RE: coll Nov 10, 2010 03:53 PM

                                                                I haven't been on this site in a while so I am catching up. I am glad to know that it's not that bad. I will definitely try it again but not order the soup. I remember having a great new england clam at LLK. I miss that deli on rt 58 which was the polish place that made hero sandwiches. They had great soup. Now it's a nail place. If you know where I can get good soup to take for lunch let me know. I think I will not be going back to Buoy One, RH which I tried and tasted good at the time, then I got a big stomach ache. Ate the coconut shrimp and the fried clams. Wish there was a good fish market by us. I have to trek down to the Ponquogue Bridge in HB to to to Cor-J's for fish!

                                                                -----
                                                                Buoy One
                                                                1175 W Main St, Riverhead, NY 11901

                                                                1. re: chowareyou
                                                                  coll RE: chowareyou Nov 11, 2010 12:25 AM

                                                                  Something about Buoy One annoys me, it might be the attitude, but I refuse to go there even though I'm less than 5 minutes away. I used to like it under the old owner, now he runs the farm stand up on Mill Rd. I go to Mastic Seafood as their prices can't be beat and the variety of fish is amazing, but lately I've been taking an occasional chance on Best Yet. They have a new seafood dept, pick up from Hunts Point daily and if you ask the manager there, he will tell you what is fresh and local (he used to work at Stuarts in Amagansett and knows what he's doing). I mean, you won't find Peconic scallops there, but I've gotten some great flounder and striped bass.

                                                                  For great soup, why don't you try Country Farm Kitchen, it's just a bit down from Buoy One on the same side. Look for the chalkboard by the road. Otherwise, I was surprised to find the Rotisserie Chicken Place next to Petco has decent food, not sure if they make their own soup (possible) but not the kind of place that would serve Campbells. They make their french fries from scratch anyway, if I remember.

                                                                  1. re: coll
                                                                    c
                                                                    chowareyou RE: coll Nov 12, 2010 01:58 PM

                                                                    I had to break down and get some fried seafood yesterday. I was having a craving. We ended up going down to Hampton Bays and went to the only place that was open on dune rd. Turns out Sundays on the Bay is the old Sunwaters. It is now owned by the Oaklunds people. It was just okay. Service was pretty terrible. There was only one table who had just gotten their food, and all the other table cloths were dirty and we had to wait for a table to be made up. The guy had to read the two specials off of a paper, which always annoys me. The grilled shrimp caesar salad was underdressed. The lobster roll was not to mayonnaisy and not overly oniony, which I was happy about. The fried seafood combo was $24, which I thought was quite high. I thought they went for around $17-18, but maybe I haven't bought this in a while. It was not anything that I felt I had to go back for, so the search continues..

                                                        2. coll RE: OrderFire Nov 20, 2007 12:32 PM

                                                          Amagansett/Napeague closed until May. And they don't do Ipswich style, or anything that special.

                                                          1. s
                                                            steelydad RE: bigmackdaddy Jun 9, 2009 11:42 AM

                                                            The Oyster Bar. Grand Central Station. Always a winner.

                                                            1. j
                                                              jdross19 RE: bigmackdaddy May 31, 2010 12:39 PM

                                                              Suprisingly, the best Fried Clams i've ever had were at Ditch Plains in the Village,NYC. So fresh and tasty and perfectly fried, with a great homemade tartar.

                                                              1. menton1 RE: bigmackdaddy Nov 10, 2010 05:02 PM

                                                                Howard Johnson's? Lol.

                                                                1. b
                                                                  bonacbub RE: bigmackdaddy Sep 8, 2011 01:41 PM

                                                                  FYI, I have finally found a place in the Hamptons that has FRESH WHOLE BELLY FRIED CLAMS! Bostwick's in East Hampton, they were decent sized, super sweet and tender and a generous portion. I was in heaven!

                                                                  1. menton1 RE: bigmackdaddy Sep 9, 2011 03:07 PM

                                                                    The Fried Ipswich Clams at Ed's Lobster Bar in Soho are to die for.

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