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Whole bellied clams?

sgams Jan 6, 2010 05:45 AM

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

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  1. DanielK RE: sgams Jan 6, 2010 06:04 AM

    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
      Adam23 RE: DanielK Jan 6, 2010 06:39 AM

      Agreed. Also I have had them at Hanks Oyster Bar

    2. s
      Steve RE: sgams Jan 6, 2010 07:14 AM

      Excellent at Kinkead's with fried lemon.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Steve
        Joe H RE: Steve Jan 6, 2010 07:18 AM

        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
          DanielK RE: Joe H Jan 6, 2010 07:24 AM

          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. s
        sgams RE: sgams Jan 6, 2010 08:02 AM

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

        1. m
          MDBBQFiend RE: sgams Jan 6, 2010 09:47 AM

          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
            hon RE: MDBBQFiend Jan 6, 2010 10:46 AM

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

            1. re: hon
              MDBBQFiend RE: hon Jan 6, 2010 11:53 AM

              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
                DanielK RE: MDBBQFiend Jan 6, 2010 12:11 PM

                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
                  hon RE: DanielK Jan 6, 2010 12:32 PM

                  Exactly! Wouldn't mind trying the fried cherrystones.

                  1. re: DanielK
                    MDBBQFiend RE: DanielK Jan 7, 2010 04:59 AM

                    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
                      flavrmeistr RE: MDBBQFiend Jan 7, 2010 05:44 AM

                      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. e
              Elyssa RE: sgams Jan 7, 2010 01:47 PM

              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.

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