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Jan 6, 2010 05:45 AM

Whole bellied clams?

Is there any place in Washington DC which serves fried whole bellied clams?

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  1. Legal Seafood always has them, and they do a good job - frankly, that's pretty much the best reason to go to Legal!

    1 Reply
    1. re: DanielK

      Agreed. Also I have had them at Hanks Oyster Bar

    2. Excellent at Kinkead's with fried lemon.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Steve

        Kinkead's was the first in the D. C. area to have fried whole bellied clams. This goes back to 21 Federal on Nantucket where he started. Black Salt also does a good job with them. Some would argue that the tartar sauce is as important as the frying.

        1. re: Joe H

          Joe, my experience has been that Kinkead's and Black Salt have them regularly, but not ALWAYS.

          If your purpose of the trip is whole bellied clams, better to call Kinkead's or Black Salt before going.

          Legal is guaranteed to have them.

      2. many thanks - I'll post my report...

        1. Crisfield Seafood Restaurant, just outside the DC line in Silver Spring on Georgia Avenue, does an excellent whole bellied clam platter with two sides of your choice.

          Steamers are good there too.

          I've been eating them there for many years. They've been in business since 1945.

          6 Replies
          1. re: MDBBQFiend

            I see fried cherrystone clams on their menu but not whole belly clams (i.e. fried steamers).

            1. re: hon

              I believe you're right - the fried whole belly clams are cherrystones - not just a "clam strip."

              The also do steamers, but the whole fried clams are cherrystones.

              1. re: MDBBQFiend

                Actually, I think belly clams are soft shell clams, frequently served as "steamers".

                Cherrystones (along with littlenecks and quahogs) are hard shell clams.

                1. re: DanielK

                  Exactly! Wouldn't mind trying the fried cherrystones.

                  1. re: DanielK

                    Thanks for the clarification.

                    Either way, fried or steamers, give the clams at Crisfield a try. The "decor" is seriously old school and the dishes are classic Chesapeake style.

                    1. re: MDBBQFiend

                      Great spot. All picnic tables and glazed tile with drains in the floor. They just hose it down every night. Their oyster stew is the best I ever had.

            2. I'm pretty sure the friend clams at Hank's Oyster Bar are whole bellied. It's been awhile but I remember being pretty impressed that they weren't clam strips. (I'm from Boston so I grew up with the real thing...anything else is a disappointment.)

              DanielK is also right...Legal's does a good job with this type of item.