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Traditional chowder (cream based)

Mr Taster Aug 24, 2009 04:35 PM

I was reading this post in anticipation of a trip to Boston.


It seems that the traditional (cream based) chowder is a lot harder to come by. What's your favorite?

Mr Taster

  1. g
    Guinness02122 Aug 24, 2009 04:44 PM

    I have to agree with myself on that post, but if you're driving, you might want to try Moulton's in Medford.

    178 Winthrop St # A, Medford, MA 02155

    2 Replies
    1. re: Guinness02122
      Mr Taster Aug 24, 2009 04:52 PM

      Sadly, I will not be driving. I'm staying with family in Ashland and will be commuting by train to the city for a few days.

      Mr Taster

      1. re: Guinness02122
        galleygirl Aug 24, 2009 05:13 PM

        Moulton's is great for most seafood. If I wanted a slam-dunk for chowder, I'd go to Legal..

      2. g
        Guinness02122 Aug 24, 2009 04:46 PM

        Oops! Spoke to soon. Great Bay has closed it's doors.

        1. steinpilz Aug 24, 2009 06:43 PM

          Jacob Wirth by the Boylston T stop has good traditional chowder.

          I usually get the fish chowder at Legals and expect that their clam chowder would be exceptional.

          I also like John Harvard's, not thickened-white-goo but real cream-based chowder. I always get it when the weather is turning cold and rainy, with a pint or two.

          I'll repeat here again my bad experience with the Summer Shack in Alewife, all potatoe and not a clam to be found! Outrageous!

          1 Reply
          1. re: steinpilz
            Mr Taster Aug 25, 2009 12:06 AM

            I thought Legal was a thickened chowder.... is that not the case?

            Mr Taster

          2. trufflehound Aug 24, 2009 07:29 PM

            Stone's Public House in Ashland has a very good clam and smoked haddock chowder. Very good food in general.

            1. CocoDan Aug 25, 2009 06:16 AM

              My personal favorite is still Turner Fisheries, in the Westin Hotel. You'll keep going back!
              They also have the coldest drafts I've ever had.

              1. q
                qianning Aug 25, 2009 07:49 AM

                Noted that you won't be driving, but if you are T willing, go to Kelly's at Revere Beach. I'm pretty particular about clam chowder (can't be thickened, can't be over cooked, must include pork without being too salty), and Kelly's is the only "good" restaurant clam chowder I've had in years. Oddly enough, I also like Durgin Park's fish chowder, but I've never had their clam chowdr, and that places' menu is a bit hit or miss for what's "real" and what's not.

                3 Replies
                1. re: qianning
                  Mr Taster Aug 25, 2009 09:30 AM

                  I might just have to try Kelly's. Google maps says bus 441 will take us to Revere Beach. We'll check it out.

                  Mr Taster

                  1. re: Mr Taster
                    Allstonian Aug 25, 2009 09:44 AM

                    So will the Blue Line. It's a bit of a hike from Wonderland station to Kelly's, but it's a nice enough walk along the beach.

                    1. re: Allstonian
                      Mr Taster Aug 25, 2009 09:46 AM

                      0.7 miles? Hell, that's no hike! I could stumble out of the station and land flat on my face in front of Kelly's! :)


                      Mr Taster

                2. j
                  joth68 Aug 25, 2009 08:30 AM

                  The No Name has insanely good fish chowder. I would avoid the rest of the menu there though.

                  1. MC Slim JB Aug 25, 2009 10:19 AM

                    My favorite is at Neptune Oyster, which does a chowder barely tinged with whole milk, and has a broth based on clam stock, which I think gives it the best clam flavor. Like everything else there, it's made with impeccably fresh seafood.

                    Green Street in Cambridge has offered a corn/clam chowder topped with fried clams which I also love; not sure it's on the current menu.

                    The uber-traditional approach in my view is to serve a clear-broth chowder and pass a pitcher each of warm milk and warm cream at the table so diners can add to taste, but I've never seen this done in a restaurant here.

                    Even in Boston, the home of clam chowder, most places do an awful, flour-thickened, gloppy mess: disgusting. Incidentally, the Legal clam chowder is thickened with a little flour; my objection to it is its overuse of light cream. You could do worse than that one, however, and the chain's outlets are ubiquitous.

                    (I agree with joth68 on No Name, too.)


                    1. p
                      phatchris Aug 25, 2009 02:12 PM

                      Kelly's is the best non-thickened in the area, and while your there grab a scallop roll.

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: phatchris
                        Mr Taster Aug 25, 2009 02:15 PM

                        Scallop roll? Is that like the famous Maine lobster roll?

                        Also, I keep seeing Kelly's "roast beef" ... seems odd for a seafood shack to be this diverse in its expertise. Is the roast beef worth checking out too?

                        Mr Taster

                        1. re: Mr Taster
                          BarmyFotheringayPhipps Aug 25, 2009 06:26 PM

                          Kelly's is a roast beef sandwich place that also does seafood, not the other way around.

                          1. re: Mr Taster
                            hhookk Aug 26, 2009 03:41 AM

                            You can't go wrong with a roast beef sandwich and a pint of chowder at Kellys. Take it across the street and sit on the wall and enjoy a nice beach view while you eat. Kellys is my go to place for chowder.

                            1. re: Mr Taster
                              phatchris Aug 26, 2009 08:10 AM

                              I prefer the seafood to the roast beef, but thats only because growing up in Revere I had about 10 options for roast beef. I prefer my beef thinner sliced than Kelly's. If you want a good beef Pete's on North shore road (short walk from Revere Beach T station) or Beachmont roast beef (short walk from Beachmont T station) are much better than Kelly's IMO.

                              1. re: phatchris
                                MC Slim JB Aug 26, 2009 09:09 AM

                                So do Pete's do a decent roll? This is my gripe with Kelly's and just about every other North Shore style roast beef joint: crappy, Wonder-Bread-like rolls. Still looking for a something a real baker wouldn't be ashamed of.


                                1. re: MC Slim JB
                                  phatchris Aug 27, 2009 08:14 AM

                                  I like the super beef ,although it is a standard supermarket onion roll, its still an onion roll. A lot of times I'll get my beef on a sub roll instead.

                          2. t
                            treb Aug 26, 2009 12:13 PM

                            Not to be picky but, traditional chowder is either clam or fish stock based and finished with cream. I like Legal's lite chowder, not thick at all, Kelly's is also good and finally The Causeway in Gloucester, perfect!

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