Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Chicago Area >
May 4, 2009 08:31 PM

Lobster roll? Fried clams?

Wondering if there are any new places in Chicago/near suburbs where you can get decent "clam shack" style seafood. New England style. The best is if they have...

Lobster roll
Fried clams (steamers are great too!)
Good clam chowder ....

Recs for any/all of the above? Especially if you are a New Englander at heart....

We went to Bob Chinn's this weekend as we had a craving for some of the above and it was such a disappointment. Why do people go to this place?!?! Sorry... I gotta rant a little.

-- No fried clams. No Lobster roll. Unlucky me.
-- So I ordered shrimp fried rice (yeah, I know... but they didn't have what I really wanted) and
they brought me fried rice with no shrimp! Honestly... what the hell?!?
-- Food took way to long to come... and the place was empty (saturday at 2:30pm)
-- They brought out everyone's order with no fries.... brought out the fries 5 minutes later.
-- Steamed little neck clams were not little necks -- they were big and tough.
And barely warm.
-- Corned beef sandwhich "special" was corned beef, on 2 pieces of bland bread. Not
toasted, no mustard, no pickle, no nothing...
-- and to quote Woody Allen..... "and such small portions!"

So the "shrimp" fried rice was comp'ed. They were embarrassed. My first and last visit to this place.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. IMO, if you go to Bob Chinn's and get anything but crab, you're doing so at your own risk. I didn't even realize they had any of the things you ordered, except for the fries :)

    1 Reply
    1. re: jesteinf

      Point well taken. I should have known better.

    2. I haven't been to Bob Chinn's in several years, but the last time I went the food was very good, however, I ordered fried seafood, I wouldn't try testing the chef.

      Just curious, but why would you want to order New England Seafood in Chicago? Isn't the point of a lobster roll to eat it sitting on a picnic bench within spitting distance of the ocean? I wouldn't think it would travel well. Have a slice of deep dish pizza and enjoy the clams when you are by the ocean.

      1. Yes, you won't find "clam shack" type food at our traditional seafood restaurants (Mitchell's Fish Market, Shaw's Crab House, Hugo's Frog Bar, etc). About the closest you'll come is the Fish Keg on Howard at the border with Evanston.

        1. The Fishguy on Elston makes a pretty nice lobster roll, but it's takeout only. Here's a link to their website:

          1. You should have had the rice with a pitcher of the Mai Tais - you stop caring about the lack of shrimp!

            Seriously, Chinns is great for crab. I can recommend the mahi as well.

            The lobster was ok, surprisingly a little overdone and tough.