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May 21, 2007 09:28 AM


Wondering about recs for the best clamshacks and best items at each and if they are open yet??

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  1. Clambox in Ipswich. Was there yesterday so they are open. Had big belly clams, very good but I didn't think that their onion rings were great. Essex Seafood in Essex, good clams and better onion rings. Open all year.

    7 Replies
    1. re: chuck s

      We were there about a week ago as well. I'm a sucker for onion rings and have FINALLY trained myself to resist the Clam Box's, because they really aren't all that good. The fries are fine, though. I like the 2-way combo of clams and scallops; BFP has a non-New Englander's fondness for clam strips and reports that theirs are notably superior to the bad chain-restaurant ones that give clam strips such a bad reputation. The clam chowder is also quite good.

      I'm also quite fond of the completely unrelated establishment called the Clam Box on Wollaston Beach in Quincy. Not as iconic as the Ipswich place, but it has its own charms.

      1. re: chuck s

        woodman's of essex has the best fried clams and an idyllic setting...

        1. re: cherrygarcia

          Never heard anyone advocate this position before. The consensus is that Woodman's is an overrated tourist trap!

          Although it gets mixed reviews on this board, I'm a big fan of Dairy Joy, in Weston. Yes it's expensive, and yes everything else on the menu (except their soft serve and their great onion rings) is to be avoided, but I find their clams to be as good or better than the places up north, and they're a lot more convenient for most of us!

          1. re: Blumie

            Dairy Joy does have great full belly claims, espcially when considering it's locality. BTW, I would think "idyllic" is a bit of a stretch, also :-)

            1. re: Harp00n

              Well, it's idyllic if you enjoy the view of the parking lot or the Dunkin Donuts next door.

              1. re: Blumie

                Yeah, the views ain't much. In Woodman's defense, their onion rings are incredibly good. Some of the best I've had.

                1. re: DoubleMan

                  ditto. woodmans certainly isnt bad, just overrated. and the o-rings are the best.

      2. Farnham's in Essex(?). Perfect small crispy clams.

        3 Replies
        1. re: sflory

          like Farnham's but i like the ClamBox better. a lighter fry and much larger portions and consistently larger clams, especially the big bellies. and i don't know about the previous posters but i love CB's onion rings.

          1. re: ScubaSteve

            I haven't had Farnhams, but I'll agree with ScubaSteve and seefood that Clam Box is great - lots of great clams at good prices (Woodman's does not compete). Looking forward to trying the Cupboard in Gloucester.

            1. re: steinpilz

              at the Clam Box last night. no crowd, big bellies, awesome scallops. i still don't get the griping about the O-Rings here. i get 'all rings' and eat them all, luv 'em.

        2. I was at Essex Seafood on Friday and the big bellied clams appeared gigantic (I had lobster instead). The steamers were as dirty as I've ever had ... something about the rough seas must have dumped all the grit in them. To his credit, the counterguy tried to warn us off them ... saying we probably wanted a small because we were having lobsters too. We were gluttons and of course regretted it. Have to say that the lobster wasn't cheap but it was sweet delicious and perfectly steamed by the pros at Essex.

          1. My vote goes to Farnham's , 88 Eastern Ave. Rt. 133, Essex, MA . The fried clams and seafood chowder are top notch.

            1. Have any of you had the chance to scout out the Quincy area yet? I ask, yet again, because you were so helpful in recommending Neptune and Grumpy White's last winter in response to an urgent request from my American sister living in England. Neptune was outstanding, and Grumpy Whites was fun and tasty. Any insight on fried oysters would be very welcome as well. If it were not for this pesky mid-life metabolism I would be all over this...

              2 Replies
              1. re: chowfamily

                The Cupboard in Stage Fort Park, Gloucester. Just our little secret. If not, Essex Seafood or Farnham's is the Real Deal with better views. Gotta say clambox in IPS is good but NEGATORY on their onion rings.