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Old Port Lobster Shack

jaweino Mar 19, 2006 01:13 AM

At Last!! A real New England lobster/clam shack in the area.

We started off with the Steamers and Clam Chowder. The steamers are the real thing, Ipswich clams served with clam broth and drawn butter. The order was a good size and the clams were tasty. Non-New Englanders be warned; ask for instructions if you've never had these before, or you're liable to end up with a mouthful of sandy, rubbery, inedible stuff. The broth was a bit on the watery side, but I only used it for washing the clams.

The Clam Chowder was very good with lots of clams and no flour or other thickeners. In other words the real thing.

The Lobster Roll was also very good. It comes on a real New England style roll, which he has baked to order at a local bakery using the molds he brought from Maine. IMHO I make a better one, but I am also delighted that he will sell the rolls, so that I don't have to import them from Boston anymore. It is served with a good cole slaw and very good kettle potato chips. When he first opened he was making the chips himself, and says he will start doing that again soon, but the chips he was serving today were quite satisfactory.

The Fried Clams were heaven. They were real Ipswich whole belly clams in a very light cornmeal batter. They came with a good homemade tartar sauce. I would never put tartar sauce on anything but potato chips or fries, but it served that purpose very well.

The Fried Scallops were good, but not great. I objected to the panko crusted batter, and suggested that he treat them the same way the clams are done. He kind of agreed, and by the time we left, he said he was going to change it. They were large fairly flavorful scallops, but not as intense as the small Cape Scallops I'm used to.

The only dissapointment to us were the onion rings. They were good beer battred California style with a puffy batter. I still crave the lightly battered New England style.

All in all we were deighted to find this place, and look forward to returning often.

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  1. s
    semmel RE: jaweino Mar 19, 2006 01:47 AM

    crawls back to the puter after I flipped over in the chair. s-s-s-s-steamers?

    I posted a how to a while ago.

    1. r
      rworange RE: jaweino Mar 19, 2006 11:17 AM

      I'm guessing you are of the mayonnaise camp of lobster roll, since I can't imagine that you could make a better melted butter version ... I mean it is lobster and butter ... and he gets superior lobsters.

      Thanks for the tip about the steamers. Recent reports made it look like they wouldn't be back. I have to be down that way to pick up my Easter kielbasa from Polish Deli in Palo Alto. So, a stop for steamers is on the schedule.

      1 Reply
      1. re: rworange
        jaweino RE: rworange Mar 20, 2006 12:19 AM

        I would suggest that you call ahead and have him save some steamers for you. We were lucky and got the last of them on Saturday at lunchtime.

      2. h
        Hungry RE: jaweino Mar 20, 2006 02:10 PM

        Are Steamers much better/different than regular clams?
        Can't wait to try this place, too bad hubby is allergic to shellfish but I'm hoping I can get there with a friend this week!

        10 Replies
        1. re: Hungry
          Concetta RE: Hungry Mar 20, 2006 03:00 PM

          They have other items besides shellfish to choose from, including fish&chips, grilled cheese and hot dogs. My husband's not a big fish fan and loved their fish&chips.

          1. re: Concetta
            Hungry RE: Concetta Mar 20, 2006 03:16 PM

            I know that, I tried to tell him all the other stuff they have but I guess he's not too excited about travelling all the way to a place called Lobster Shack. Kind of like going to In-n-Out when you don't eat meat and getting grilled cheese. :(

          2. re: Hungry
            jaweino RE: Hungry Mar 20, 2006 04:02 PM

            Steamers definitely are different. I think most New Englanders would say they are also much better. You'll have to decide for yourself.

            1. re: jaweino
              Peter Yee RE: jaweino Mar 21, 2006 06:41 PM

              Agreed that they are definitely different. My wife makes me bring several pounds of steamers everytime I fly out of Logan airport. She refuses to eat Manila clams claiming that the flavor is inferior -- nowhere near as sweet and enticing as New England steamers.

            2. re: Hungry
              Reuel RE: Hungry Mar 20, 2006 06:38 PM

              Steamers are soft shelled clams that are VERY different from the hard shelled variety we see here. Steamers' necks are long and covered with an inedible membrane. When properly cooked (steamed, naturally) the membrane slides right off the neck and is easily left behind. The clam is then dipped in a bath made from the steaming liquid to finish removing any residual sand. Once properly washed, the clam is then either eaten directly or dipped in a second bath of melted butter and then consumed. Mmmmmmmmmmmmm.

              1. re: Reuel
                rworange RE: Reuel Mar 20, 2006 07:13 PM

                This is just killing me I want some steamers so bad. It has been REALLY a long time. I forget, after removing the membrane, do you eat the neck?

                1. re: rworange
                  Reuel RE: rworange Mar 20, 2006 07:24 PM

                  Absolutlely, eat the neck.

                  1. re: Reuel
                    PolarBear RE: Reuel Mar 20, 2006 09:39 PM

                    Gawd, I've been craving them also, IIRC while in Portland on the right coast, we gripped them by the neck, gave 'em a wash in the salt liquid then a drench in the melted butter then just squeezed them out of the membrane. It's a whole different experience (taste, mouthfeel) than you'll find with any of our local bivalves.

                2. re: Reuel
                  Hungry RE: Reuel Mar 20, 2006 08:07 PM

                  Thanks for the info! I mean as far as taste, most people agree they are much better than regular clams?

                  1. re: Hungry
                    Reuel RE: Hungry Mar 20, 2006 08:27 PM

                    OK, I am not falling into that trap: I love them both. They are used in different ways. Steamers are delicous in their own right and SOME people prefer them because they are softer than hardshells; read: not as chewy.

                    I don't want to get off topic, if OPLS gets real Ipswich (soft shell) clams and offers them steamed, then, try them for yourself. They can be fantastic.

              2. n
                Norm RE: jaweino Mar 21, 2006 01:42 AM

                Sounds great! What is the address of Old Port Lobster Shack? Thanks in advance.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Norm
                  Mick Ruthven RE: Norm Mar 21, 2006 07:35 AM

                  Old Port Lobster Shack
                  851 Veterans Blvd
                  (Whipple Ave / Veterans Blvd X - Veterans Blvd is the exit street, no turn)
                  Redwood City, CA

                2. m
                  Melanie Wong RE: jaweino Mar 28, 2006 03:08 AM

                  I can read your excitement in every word, wish there were a way to hear your Boston accent too. (g)

                  1. m
                    mdg RE: jaweino Nov 10, 2010 01:03 PM

                    When going to Trader Joe's in Los Altos today, I was amazed and delighted to see that Old Port Lobster Shack is opening up a location in the same shopping center! It will be in Homestead Crossing in Cupertino, just over the Los Altos line, where the old China Shuttle used to be. Talk about a culinary upgrade for this center!

                    I've never been to Old Port since I usually get to the Boston area once a year for my lobster and seafood thrills. But it they are going to be in my neighborhood rather than up in Redwood City, I will definitely check them out when they open.


                    Old Port Lobster Shack
                    851 Veterans Blvd, Redwood City, CA 94063

                    China Shuttle Restaurant
                    22382 Homestead Rd, Cupertino, CA 95014

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: mdg
                      512window RE: mdg Nov 10, 2010 02:52 PM

                      This is good news. And bad news for my waistline.

                      1. re: mdg
                        petrelline RE: mdg Nov 10, 2010 05:46 PM

                        I did not need to know about this. I am doomed.

                        1. re: petrelline
                          hong_kong_foodie RE: petrelline Nov 12, 2010 04:47 PM

                          The lobster roll here is soooooo good.

                        2. re: mdg
                          dregypt RE: mdg Jun 20, 2011 11:00 AM

                          I have driven by here recently and the Los Altos location is still not open. The banner announcing the lobster shack is down although there is still a work order permit licensed to the Lobster Shack folks pasted on the door. But it doesn't look like any work is being done.

                          Anybody have any updates or news on this? I was really looking forward to this opening and would be bummed if the deal has fallen through.

                          1. re: dregypt
                            YSZ RE: dregypt Jun 20, 2011 02:24 PM

                            the Portola Valley location is open now if that helps...

                            1. re: YSZ
                              Melanie Wong RE: YSZ Jun 20, 2011 02:29 PM

                              Have you eaten at the Portola Valley location yet? My brother was there recently, as it's closer to him than Redwood City, but he felt it wasn't ready for prime time yet. It opened on May 21.

                              Old Port Lobster Shack
                              3130 Alpine Rd, Portola Valley, CA

                              1. re: Melanie Wong
                                YSZ RE: Melanie Wong Jun 20, 2011 03:01 PM

                                I haven't. It looks good and I've seen lots of people eating there, but a $20 lobster roll is more than my usual lunch budget allows.

                              2. re: YSZ
                                dregypt RE: YSZ Jun 20, 2011 05:00 PM

                                okay, I didn't know about that one and it is actually closer to work. I will try it this week and see how it compares to the RWC location. Thanks!

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