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Oct 22, 2010 05:30 PM

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

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. 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.


            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.