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Who has the best fried clams without beef or pork fat?

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Fried clam search here doesn't bring up anything past 2009?! Any ways, I knew Clambox uses lard, but now found out Woodmans does too and Farnham uses beef, so wondering if any fried clams anywhere else are fantastic and veggie friendly? Prefer Woburn to Danvers stretch but of course will go further. I remember a good dive kind of place in Newburyport from a couple years ago. Anyone know the name? Also i used to see good recs for somewhere in Malden or Medford.. what was that place? thanks!

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  1. Kelleys uses all veg

    1. Moultons in Medford gets a lot of rave reviews here. Not sure how they fry though.

      2 Replies
      1. re: mjg0725

        moutltons.. thats the name i was trying to think of.. thanks! so do people think kelleys and moutons are as good as the lard places? Was trhere a crawl this year? who was best?

        1. re: chompie

          Moulton's breading is very different than most of the clam places -- thinner, crisp, semolina, they are medium size bellies and I have seen vegetable based fry oil or shortening containers. Its their signature item and good, fairly pricey -- not that far away from Neptune's clam plate where other items are higher quality. Courthouse Seafood in Cambridge is another in-town alternative, again different breading, but fresh and reasonably inexpensive. I prefer things other than clams from Kelly's and Mike's (in Everett), but the former is another option in Saugus and Medford. In your range there also is the Fish House in Burlington, but I haven't had the clams there.

      2. Tony's in Quincy uses vegetable oil according to their menu.

        1. for a slight variation, Finz in Salem does great fried oysters. Plumper and less rubbery than some of the fried clams out there. Closer to Boston, Drink has good fried oysters, very light batter and fry job. Dont know what kind of fat is used at those places though.

          1 Reply
          1. re: barleywino

            Another South Shore place that uses vegetable oil is The Hingham Lobster Pound.

          2. I called my favorite place that I accidentally discovered (stressful time when visiting a friend @ the Melrose Wakefield hospital) - Liberty Bell (of all places!) in MELROSE. My son has eaten in another location - that would be either Woburn or Stoneham, and he hated it - he doesn't eat any type of shellfish, but he used to work nearby, & whatever he's eaten there gave him the impression that all Lib Bell Rest.'s stink. I think the Melrose one is awesome.

            They confirmed that they use vegetable oil.

            I've had their fried clams about a half dozen times now, and each time they were awesome. NOT greasy, light, sweet - delish. No atmosphere, but the place is very clean. Other items there look good, too, but since I don't live in the area, I stick to the fried (whole belly, of course) clams.

            http://www.libertybellmelrose.com/

            7 Replies
            1. re: threedogs

              cognac bistro in brookline makes great fried clams but i don't know what they cook them in. call and ask.

              1. re: teezeetoo

                Great to know! Brookline isn't too far from me - and, I checked out their online menu & it says right there that they are fried in peanut oil. Doesn't really matter to me - all I care about is that they taste terrific & don't make me sick afterwards. Clams are my once or twice a year treat. :) I love them so much, though, I could eat them all the time, lol.

                1. re: threedogs

                  do let me know if you try it and like it. my husband loves their mussels "escargot" style and always gets their 1.00 blue point oysters, which he says are perfectly chilled and shucked. we've grown to like this place and find it unpretentious, quiet enough to hear each other, and with plenty of mid-priced options and good low-priced wines.

                  1. re: teezeetoo

                    We eat there about once a week, but I haven't tried their fried clams yet. So - tonight's the night. How big a portion do they serve - could I make a meal of them with a bowl of onion soup, say?

                    1. re: BobB

                      i think the appetizer portion of fried clams would work fine with their onion soup, which is filling. i've been perfectly full with the appetizer and a salad (like their frisee salad). i'm also sure they'd make it a dinner size if you asked, they are so accommodating.

                      1. re: teezeetoo

                        Had them Friday night - can't say I was blown away. They were sweet and tasty, but the breading was a bit on the heavy side, and they had very small bellies. OK for city clams I suppose, but no comparison at all to what you get at the the great North Shore and Cape Cod clam shacks.

                        Portion size was quite large for an appetizer though, they could easily be shared among several people. I had a half-dozen oysters and the onion soup to start and couldn't finish the clams.

                        1. re: BobB

                          thanks for the feedback. ok isn't toobad, though I would wish you better! let me know if you find some good "city" clams with big bellies.

            2. You know who has good ones in Roslindale?? The Pleasant Cafe.....shockingly good fried clams......good light batter, sweet clams, just down right delicous....go figure

              1. Could the dive in Newburyport be Bob Lobster on Plum Island Turnpike? I don't know anything about their clams, though.

                -----
                Bob Lobster
                49 Plum Island Turnpike, MA 01951

                2 Replies
                1. re: stomachofsteel

                  I've also heard good things about the Park Lunch fried clams in Newburyport. Can't speak form experience though.

                  -----
                  Park Lunch
                  181 Merrimac St, Newburyport, MA 01950

                  1. re: stomachofsteel

                    We had a delicious chowdown at Bob Lobster a while back. Picnic tables over the salt marsh was a great setting. Here's another thread about BL: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/706215

                    -----
                    Bob Lobster
                    49 Plum Island Turpike, Newbury, MA 01951

                  2. RE: Search function - You should re-search with "fried clams" in quotes and set the date range to "all time" - lots of old posts for your reading pleasure.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Bob Dobalina

                      Sorry i havent seen this post in a while..Wanted to say THanks! it IS Park Lunch that i had remembered great clams from! Anyone been there this summer to report? Just wish they had a fishermans combo, but you can only get plates with one type of seafood.. This summer i still see a lot of Clambox fans, but i still am trying to find the non lard places.. Not sure about Essex Seafood. Years ago i found them Blah..but they seem popular this year. I used to eat at Liberty a lot for shrimp and salmon but not for a while cuz they are as pricey as full service places now with not as great food but dont remember their clams being that special but maybe will try again. Any one been there recently? Does anyone local make the battered version of fried clams? I have only heard of it in New Hampshire or Cape and would love to try those..

                      -----
                      Essex Seafood
                      143 Eastern Ave, Essex, MA 01929

                      Park Lunch
                      181 Merrimac St, Newburyport, MA 01950

                      1. re: chompie

                        Can't speak to Essex Seafood or anywhere else on Cape Ann, but Park Lunch is the real deal for fried seafood. Total dive, iceberg lettuce salads, extremely limited menu (at least of things that you'd want to order), but the fried clams, shrimp and scallops are some of the best - certainly the best I've had between Newburyport and the Maine coast. Relatively light batter, crisp, and huge portions. But be prepared to wait for a table.

                    2. Do people still think vegetable oil is better for you than lard? My God! Lard is the preferred method..it is what your grandmother baked and fried with before we all became 300 lbs! I choose Woodman's because they fry in lard... there are many, many studies that bear this out but one book, Nourishing Traditions by Dr. Catherine Shanahan says it best. As an MD she said that every heart attack victim that she had in her office had a deep fried meal in vegetable oil within 24 hours before the attack. Eat like your grandparents and great grandparents... eat with lard!

                      8 Replies
                      1. re: iwstamp

                        Many folks, like me, eat fish but not meat and want seafood fried in vegetable oil rather than lard or tallow. I appreciate finding out which places are lard-free and are complementary with my dietary needs.

                        The fats that Dr. Shanahan is referring to are trans fats, which are artificially produced and not processed well by our digestive systems. A wealth of scientific data supports the detrimental effects of these processed fats. She heartily espouses the use of expeller pressed vegetable oils. However, even though her books are sound nutritional advice from an M.D., you must also keep in mind that they are not based on any scientific data, and are purely anecdotal. She hasn't published a single journal article on this subject. Just being an M.D. doesn't make you an expert on the molecular physiology of fats. Also, when your grandmother used lard exclusively, say around 1949, life expectancy was ~ 68 yrs, whereas it rose to ~78 years by 2003 (CRS report for Congress, 2006).

                        1. re: Science Chick

                          How to live up to your name, SC!!
                          Last time I spoke to the folks at Essex Seafood (last year), they were still frying in lard.

                          And I was still loving it.

                          1. re: justbeingpolite

                            Thanks Justbeing.....can you tell that I am in the middle of writing an NIH grant???!

                            ........eat and enjoy! :)

                            1. re: Science Chick

                              Yes, you are truly living up to your name, Science Chick!

                              Also, besides the fact that many people don't eat meat but do eat seafood, some of us have a hard time digesting lard. Not that frying is good for the digestion at all (and old, dirty fat is the worst!), but it's good to have the terrific shared info that CHers are willing to share! (poor digestion or not, I'm having my one or two times a year fried clam treat...)

                              Good luck w/the grant you're working on, too!

                              1. re: threedogs

                                i am glad to see my old post revived but thought maybe i would see new recs, not an argument about lard.. My question had nothing to do with health issues, i just dont' eat pork and beef. I agree with Park Lunch, had them years ago and they were good. Would still love some suggestions south of Newbyport, if anyone wants to give recs and not dietary advice...

                          2. re: Science Chick

                            love learnng from you on this board. thk you!

                            1. re: Science Chick

                              Major advances in medications. Just saying Science Chick.

                            2. re: iwstamp

                              I say the same thing. Lard good, veg oil bad, sugar good, corn syrup bad, butter good, margarine bad. The less processed things are, the better your body can deal with them.

                            3. What would you rather do? Eat a wonderful, delicious batch of lard-fried clams and go out with a smile, or eat fat-free for the rest of your life and die with a frown?

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Heuchera

                                LOL...as Jacques Pepin says "Everyone want to die in perfect health" ! :0

                                However, last time I checked, fried clams prepared in vegetable oil were not "fat free" and were delicious!

                                I agree about eating less processed foods, and that the trans fats used by many/most fast food outlets are horrific for you. But to state "veg oil bad"? Really? What about olive oil and other expeller-pressed oils? These are natural and minimally processed and fabulous. Lard that farmers used to render on site might be minimally processed, but commercial lard is made by rendering the fat and then bleaching, hydrogenating and adding preservatives.
                                http://www.cooksinfo.com/lard
                                Certainly better lards are becoming available, but If you don't know what type of lard a restaurant is using, don't assume it is a good one!!

                              2. Haven't been there is several years, but Dube's in Salem used to be very good.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: Amaronee

                                  I've been doing Dube's for 40 years that I can remember, and it's been solid all those years.
                                  Very nice run local family style restaurant with the freshest local seafood and great portions.

                                  1. re: Infomaniac

                                    Infomaniac, do you know if they use animal fat or vegetable oil?

                                    1. re: Amaronee

                                      Sorry, I don't know and really never thought to ask what kind of fat/oil they use to fry, but I'll ask on my next visit

                                      1. re: Infomaniac

                                        OK, Infomaniac, please enjoy the research and report back!