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Sep 5, 2009 04:11 PM

Cape Cod - Fried Seafood Roundup

Next weekend will be our annual trip to Cape Cod. As usual, one night (probably Friday) will be devoted to fried seafood. In years past I've found Clancy's and Captain Parker's to be very good; to say that opinion is not shared by the natives would be a drastic understatement. Looking to take my fried seafood experience to the next level, I've combed through this board for suggestions. The current list of possibilities is:

Cooke's - Hyannis
Sir Cricket's - Orleans
Weatherdeck - West Harwich
Kreme n Kone - West Dennis
Marathon Seafood - West Dennis

I tend to go for fried clams (whole-belly are great), but my girlfriend craves fried scallops. We're looking for a place that does both well. Quality of food is top priority -- decor and atmosphere do not matter so long as the place is clean. We'll be staying in West Dennis but are willing to travel within reason, preferably less than 30 minutes.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions/comments. I'll happily report back after our trip.

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  1. No question, as long as atmosphere in unimportant, Cooke's in Hyannis wins hands down.

    1. No question, as long as atmosphere is unimportant, Sir Cricket's in Orleans wins hands down. In fact, headed there right now!

      3 Replies
      1. re: ppmaysa

        Eh...what the heck do YOU know...? :-)

        1. re: CapeCodGuy

          Just to add to the confusion, my vote would go to Kreme N Kone! However, you really can't go wrong with any of the three - K n K, Cooke's in Hyannis, or Sir Crickets. I personally love the scallops at Sir Cricket's, my daughter swears by the clams at Kreme and Kone...and Cooke's has great lunch specials. Let us know which one(s) you pick and enjoy the best time of year on the Cape.

          1. re: jillian

            I'll add a bit of confusion myself and say that of Kreme N Kone and Marathon, I much prefer Marathon for clams. They have some sort of extra 'crunch' in their batter. Crushed corn flakes perhaps? I've never been able to find out the 'secret' ingredient. And their plates come with piles of thinly cut onion rings as a bonus.

            A word about clams. To me, the perfect fried clam has a sizable belly. It doesn't have to be huge like some prefer, but I like them somewhere between the size of, say, a nickle and a quarter. Smaller than a dime and you may as well be eating strips IMO. Clam sizes vary quite a bit from place to place and often you get good sized ones one day at a particular place, only to get much smaller ones on a return trip. This, I believe, makes it difficult to say definatively who has the "best". Often it's the luck of the draw. (cooking prowess and coating recipes aside)

      2. Thanks to everyone for your responses! As it turns out, another contingent of our party insisted on going to Arnold's in Eastham, so we did. It was very good - nothing was greasy and the coating was light enough to let the underlying fish shine through.

        To start we had some very tasty cherrystones from the raw bar. This was a nice touch. For the main, I always go for a seafood platter to sample a bit of everything. At Arnold's I enjoyed the fried scallops (sweet and tender) and oysters (don't know how to describe) the most - these were exceptional. Fried calamari were ordinary, but fried shrimp were juicy and delicious. Some of my dining companions really liked the fried cod, but I don't get too excited over that sort of fish. The fried clams were good, but they were overshadowed by some of the other items. Next year we'll likely try somewhere else for clams.

        1. I am a longtime Bostonian and Vineyarder, and visited Cooke's for the first time yesterday. The atmosphere is highway-side generic, rather than New England primitive; my DC said it reminded her of Winstead's burgers in Kansas City. The fried clams were fabulous -- not too heavy, more Clam Box than Woodman's, with medium-sized bellies, and not-too-thick onion rings, to boot. That said, the lobster roll, despite a nice toasting, was gummy, and the meat was pre-frozen (it was $10.95 while the clam plate was $18.95 -- the relative prices tracked the quality). The cole slaw needed salt; the fries were Sysco; and the chowder was surprisingly bad -- thick as library paste, a spoon stood straight up, and the wisps of clam got lost in an ocean of cream and thickener.

          1 Reply
          1. re: dsmoxie

            Yes, the atmosphere at Cooke's is as described, non-existant. Never been described as anything more than formica tables where you order at the counter and they bring the food to you. I will say, however, it is exceedingly clean. It's a place theat excels in its fried food. Broiled fare is merely passable. Like you, I dislike their chowder, as it's typical of what is found at most places on Cape. Too thick with an obvious overuse of flour. Never had a lobster roll here as they never looked appealing to me, too small for the tariff when I can make one at home at twice the size for the same price. But for fried clams, fish and the like, there are very few better alternatives.