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MYSTIC'S SEA SWIRL, FRIED CLAMS SLIPPING?

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The highlight of my NYC to New England forays has been my stop at the seafood shack in Mystic, "Sea Swirl," where I've consistently enjoyed what I think are the best fried clams anywhere (and that includes Cape Cod/P'town and Essex). But two sub-par experiences this season (in two visits..) have left me wondering: what's happened? Has anyone else noticed? Or did I just hit bad luck twice? I'm particularly interested in anyone who goes there often's thoughts. The first visit was their second day of the season, and cold, rainy, and I was the only one there. Figured that alone explained the less-than-steller experience. But today, same deal. The clams were fresh, good quality and decently sized, as always. But the problem was the preparation. Coating missed or fell from nearly half each clam, they were greasy (compared to usual), and worst of all, soggy. No crisp exterior like I've come to expect for the last 5 years or more since I discovered this place. Thoughts, experiences? Have they changed owners? Hired bad cooks this year? And is there anyplace in the same area (within a few miles) that I should switch to? Three strikes and you're out, I say!

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  1. I've been going to Sea Swirl for years (thanks to Road Food, Good Food) and
    I also noticed it ain't what it used to be by a long shot. I was there last summer and
    remember being so disappointed (especially after a long drive from NY). But there is
    a silver lining when in Narragansett visit Aunt Carries or in Cape Cod, Baxters.
    Both are way better these days for fried clams.