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Seeking delicious fried clams Quincy/Dorchester

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chowfamily Jan 29, 2007 06:37 AM

My Sister and her SO are coming from England for a visit in February, he for the first time. The first thing they want do do after getting off the plane on a Sunday evening is go out for fried clams. My sister has fond memories of going to a cozy Savin Hill neighborhood pub and having great fried clams about ten years ago. Neptune Oyster or B&G would probably be safest for food quality but have a different kind of atmosphere. Should we rethink atmosphere for quality? Would Kelley's Roast Beef in Revere be a possibility? A good comfortable local (Quincy/Dorchester region) option would be best. I know this topic has been covered many times, but the North Shore is not possible, and its not a big fried clam season. I just don't want her to experience the slick greasy almost belly-less balls with freezer-tasting fries that so often disappoint. Any ideas/suggestions are most welcome, and I appreciate your indulgence in addressing this topic again!.

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  1. C. Hamster RE: chowfamily Jan 29, 2007 08:07 AM

    Was the neighborhood pub CF Donovans? They probably still have safe clams.

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    1. re: C. Hamster
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      chowfamily RE: C. Hamster Jan 29, 2007 08:40 AM

      I honestly can't remember, but it sounds like it well could have been, or would fit the bill anyway. I'll give them a call to see what's on the menu. Thanks for the suggestion.

      1. re: chowfamily
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        Pegmeister RE: chowfamily Jan 31, 2007 03:33 AM

        Sorry, but CF Donovans doesn't have fried clams on their menu at the moment. They offer them seasonally or when the price is right. Neptune Oyster has great fried clams, around $18 for an appetizer portion. I find that it's enough for a meal. Kelley's Landing in Weymouth always had good clams and awesome onion rings. I'm not good with route numbers but it's over the Fore River Bridge on the way to Nantasket. Which reminds me that Schooners across from Nantasket Beach also had great fried clams along with a view of the beach. If these places aren't convenient, you could always go to Legal's at Braintree Plaza. While, I'm not a big Legal fan, I will go there for clams and the atmosphere is nice.

        1. re: Pegmeister
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          chowfamily RE: Pegmeister Jan 31, 2007 09:17 AM

          Thanks so much for your response. We might go for Neptune Oyster and pay the price/atmosphere since it is close to the airport. Legal's is also an option, and Atlantic Seafood on Boylston also serves them. I should taste-testing them all, but I am still compensating for the chowhoundish delights of last year!

          1. re: chowfamily
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            chowfamily RE: chowfamily Jan 31, 2007 01:56 PM

            I am thinking that I might call CF Donovans and suggest it for a Valentines/February comfort food addition to their menu. Whenever I mention the topic off=line it sets off hunger pangs, and memories of quality not recently experience.

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      spirit7125 RE: chowfamily Jan 29, 2007 08:40 AM

      I had the fried clams at Kelley's yesterday..along with a scrumptious Lobster roll. They are very, very good..not gritty at all and good sized. Portions are very large though. We got a small and it was too big as a side dish for two to split. I have had better at Woodman's, but it's just too far to drive.

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        spirit7125 RE: chowfamily Jan 29, 2007 08:42 AM

        ps...there is no seating at the Kelley's in Revere..so the ambiance isn't quite there in the winter.

        3 Replies
        1. re: spirit7125
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          chowfamily RE: spirit7125 Jan 29, 2007 08:56 AM

          Thanks for letting me know - I was going to ask about that.

          1. re: chowfamily
            Joanie RE: chowfamily Jan 29, 2007 08:59 AM

            I've actually had better luck at the Kelly's in the Jordan's Furniture in Natick than I have the clams at Kelly's on the Beach. Not my #1 suggestion for atmosphere, but they were good. What about Tony's or the Clam Box in Wollaston? Are those both closed for the season? I thought one of them stayed open but not sure. There's also the very basic Morse Seafood on Washington St. in the south end.

            1. re: Joanie
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              chowfamily RE: Joanie Jan 29, 2007 09:08 AM

              Unfortunately both Tony's and the Clam Box are closed for the season, and Natick is too far for this visit, but it is good to know for future reference. Thanks.

        2. C. Hamster RE: chowfamily Jan 29, 2007 09:12 AM

          It would have been a hoot to drive them from the airport to a FURNITURE STORE for dinner, though..... :-)

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          1. re: C. Hamster
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            chowfamily RE: C. Hamster Jan 29, 2007 09:14 AM

            That's for sure! Welcome to America! LOL

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            maggie may RE: chowfamily Jan 30, 2007 08:51 PM

            how about Kelly's Landing on L street in south Boston. Excellent clams and other seafood in large portions, nice room and waitstaff.

            1. chowciao RE: chowfamily Jan 31, 2007 05:11 AM

              In Hull you can try Jake's seafood. I had fried clams there that were very good. Casual atmosphere, excellent service.

              Also, I have eaten at Tony's Clam shop on Quincy Shore drive in the winter time. They are still open (and still one of my favorite clam places). They also have a selection of greek menu items. It's even more casual - go up and place order at counter, pick up order when ready. But for great clams, I highly recommend it.

              Oh you know what I just recalled? The Skyline in Marina Bay in Quincy. They have excellent clams there, as well. Nicer atmosphere. :-)

              3 Replies
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                Pegmeister RE: chowciao Jan 31, 2007 06:35 AM

                Sorry but Tony's Clam Shop is definitely closed for the winter. I drive by it every night on my way home from work. Also, checked their website www.tonysclamshop.com and it says closed for the season see you in 2007.

                1. re: Pegmeister
                  chowciao RE: Pegmeister Jan 31, 2007 06:49 AM

                  Wow, when do they close? We were there in late November I think. I know we've gone in March last year as well. Crazy!

                  1. re: chowciao
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                    Pegmeister RE: chowciao Jan 31, 2007 08:04 AM

                    Depends on the weather, usually they close around the 1st or 2nd week in November and then reopen around the 10th of March. It's always my first sign of spring!!

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                pesto RE: chowfamily Jan 31, 2007 05:58 AM

                Just had a beautiful plate of plump, full bellied clams with the most delicious fries at Grumpy Whites in Quincy. Call ahead since they are not always on the menu. The food there is always hot and delicious. It's one of my "go to" places when I yearn for comfort food. Have Fun!

                2 Replies
                1. re: pesto
                  chowciao RE: pesto Jan 31, 2007 06:07 AM

                  I forgot about Grumpy Whites...when they have clams they are great...good call!

                  1. re: pesto
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                    chowfamily RE: pesto Feb 1, 2007 05:31 AM

                    Thanks so much - we are getting warmer!

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                    mwk RE: chowfamily Jan 31, 2007 06:06 AM

                    I'm definitely a big fan of Tony's, and a big fan of Grumpy White's (although I've never tried the clams there, I love everything I've had).

                    There's another place with decent seafood and fried clams, Caswell's in Weymouth on Rte. 53 just north of Building 19. It's got no atmosphere, and you are better getting it to go, but the quality is good and portions are decent.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: mwk
                      chowciao RE: mwk Jan 31, 2007 06:07 AM

                      You know I had one bad experience w/Caswells years ago (and w/clams)...I havent been back since. Perhaps I need to give them another try.

                    2. CocoDan RE: chowfamily Jan 31, 2007 07:55 AM

                      McKay's Restaurant in Quincy across from the Adams' houses has real good fried seafood. Enjoy!
                      CocoDan

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                        Pegmeister RE: chowfamily Jan 31, 2007 08:06 AM

                        McKays? Don't know that one, and I thought I knew every restaurant in Quincy? Is it at the Varsity location?

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Pegmeister
                          CocoDan RE: Pegmeister Jan 31, 2007 10:21 AM

                          Hi Peg,

                          It's near the Varsity, directly across the street from the 2 Adams' houses in a little strip of businesses. Real good breakfast and lunch. He's also open on Wed., Thurs. and Fri. nights until 8 PM. Good food cheap. Formally Angela's. No booze yet. Try it, you'll like it.
                          CocoDan

                          1. re: CocoDan
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                            Pegmeister RE: CocoDan Jan 31, 2007 10:52 AM

                            I know where you mean. Actually, it's close enough to where I work, I could try it out for lunch I'll need to do a drive by. Did you ever get to the Fruit Basket to try the Italian cold cut sub? We all went for lunch the other day - delicious!!!

                            1. re: Pegmeister
                              CocoDan RE: Pegmeister Feb 1, 2007 05:35 AM

                              Hello Again Peg,
                              I have been to the Fruit Basket and it's very good. Do try McKay's. It's sort of like a diner. Not too greasy. Enjoy.
                              CocoDan

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                          chowfamily RE: chowfamily Jan 31, 2007 09:07 AM

                          Thank you all for your input! They are not arriving until a cold night in mid-February, but I want to give them the best chowhoundish first night out I can deliver!!!

                          1. Karl S RE: chowfamily Jan 31, 2007 10:21 AM

                            There's also the venerable Royal Roast Beef in Eastie, a few blocks south of the Orient Heights T stop. Well known for their fried clams, for those willing to consider the idea that not all of the best fried clams are in Essex County... Doesn't have atmosphere, of course.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Karl S
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                              chowfamily RE: Karl S Jan 31, 2007 01:12 PM

                              Love the thought and the location - thank you!

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                              Southie Frau RE: chowfamily Feb 1, 2007 04:48 PM

                              Try the Original Kelly's Landing, on L Street in South Boston. Nice portions, friendly people and the price is right.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Southie Frau
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                                chowfamily RE: Southie Frau Feb 3, 2007 05:33 AM

                                Thank you!!!

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                                chowfamily RE: chowfamily Feb 15, 2007 10:02 AM

                                My sister and SO arrive this Sunday, and we are zeroing in on Grumpy White's with Neptune Oyster as another possiblity. With the icy weather, availability may be an issue, so if they appear on any other menus about town please let me know. A sincere thank you for all the wonderful input already received!!!

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                                  Pegmeister RE: chowfamily Feb 15, 2007 10:46 AM

                                  Call CF Donovans and check because they had them on the menu as an appetizer special this week. They served them with the skinny onion rings which were quite good. They also haven't had clams on the menu in months, but I guess they got a good price. Specials change on Friday nights and you can't really trust the website as they're not good about updating it so you really should call. Not as good as Neptune, but like you said you don't know what the weather will be like. Also Donovans just redid their menu and added lobster raviolis which were actually cheese raviolis with chunks of lobster on top. I would get it again in a heart beat!!

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Pegmeister
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                                    chowfamily RE: Pegmeister Feb 15, 2007 01:02 PM

                                    Thank you for both of those tasty suggestions!

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                                    chowfamily RE: chowfamily Feb 20, 2007 03:03 AM

                                    Report back - we picked my sister and her SO up at the airport Sunday night. En route we called Grumpy White's and discovered they had already run out of clams. We decided to drive by Neptune Oyster and determined that they had them available. We fortunately got a cozy booth in the back after only a five minute wait, and found parking as well. Three of us had the fried clams, which were very well prepared. The batter was light, crispy, and not at all greasy. The clams were not the largest bellies, but flavorful. My DH had the North End Cioppino, a seafood stew with very fresh fish and shellfish with a bit of heat to it. It was perfect after a long plane ride, and the appetizer portions of clams were ample. It was wonderful to have satisfied the fried clam craving without the sluggish after-effects that less well prepared clams often induce. Wine by the glass and draft beer accompanied the meal. We plan to get to Grumpy White's and CF Donovan's and possibly even the North Shore later in their trip. Thanks so much to all of you who helped make their first evening memorable!

                                    1. yumyum RE: chowfamily Feb 20, 2007 12:12 PM

                                      Hey thanks for the report back. I have been following along on your quest for the clams and totally appreciate the need to consider all the options to deliver the best for your visitors. I think Neptune must have been a really nice way to welcome them to Boston. Have fun!

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