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May 28, 2011 10:14 AM

Sea Swirl...what happened to your fried clams??

OK, we've been to Sea Swirl (Mystic CT) twice now for fried clams. The first time, about month ago, we ordered the whole belly fried clams, which they get many accolades for. Yuck. We are clam lovers, but the clams were mushy, oily and the bellies WAY too big. They were really gross.

The second time we went, we ordered the clam strip roll, figuring we'd get the nice, crunchy fried clams we remember...once again, so greasy the roll was saturated with oil and the clams were not the slightest bit crunchy. So many magazines have written up Sea Swirl and they used to be, no.

The older lady standing at the window took about 5 minutes to even acknowledge us and ask if she could help us when we were trying to order. Whoever they have on the fryolator needs to be fired...probably a young, inexperienced college kid that hasn't been properly trained. Such a shame...we live in the area but won't be back.

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  1. It's always a travesty to ruin good clams, but I've never met a belly that is too BIG!

    And as far as clam strips go, you get what you deserve with those rubber bands.

    10 Replies
    1. re: CapeCodGuy

      Fully agree. Can anyone who would even consider a clam strip ever be considered seriously?

      1. re: Clams047

        Give me a break, clam snobs...we ordered both big belly's (and we love clams) and their unusual enormity, coupled with soggy, oily breading that wasn't crisp...they were texturally disgusting. And the strips were soggy as whether they were strips or whole belies, they need to get their act together on the fryer.

        1. re: bostongal

          Well guess you answered my trip tp the Sea Swirl,
          Only thing to do is buy 5 pounds of soft shell clams, shuck them and dip and fry them my self. This way they would be excellent
          thanks for the threads on this place If you want it done right do it yourself

          1. re: Frank Terranova

            Thats my plan for today. I dug some steamers on Saturday.
            Tip for those who want to make your own. To open the soft shell clams, drop a few at a time in boiling water for about 15 seconds, then take them out and drop in ice water. You can then open them by hand and remove the cover on the neck and the clams will still be uncooked.

            1. re: chefjohn

              Nice tip, thanks. What's your coating consist of? I've experimented with all sorts of different measures of milk, flour and cornmeal and I can't duplicate the crunchy nirvana that is lovingly made at my favorite shack, Marathon Seafood in West Dennis, MA.

              (And tell me you don't throw away the ones with GIGANTIC bellies? :->)

              Marathon Seafood Restaurant
              231 Main St, West Dennis, MA 02670

              1. re: CapeCodGuy

                I just dip them in milk and then ground up oyster crackers. I use flour when I don't have the crackers in the house.

      2. re: CapeCodGuy

        Try Rice Flour totally. Its flavorless, keeps the clams Light and very very crisp also great for Squid even if people put that stupid vinegar peppers on them

        1. re: Frank Terranova

          Thanks for that tip Chef. I will pick some up.

          1. re: chefjohn

            Hey Chef J,
            Too bad you cant trust these places to do a simple thing like fry food. I once went to this Flo's it was horrid, and their sanitary observations needed attention. Find a nice night set up a little fryer and do then with some French Fries, Its worth the labor

            1. re: Frank Terranova

              excellent info guys! i was so spoiled by growing up on the south shore, vacationing in NH & ME, and eventually learning to fry the beauties myself at my first job at Phoebe's in seekonk, i rarely even bother ordering fried clams anymore. you have inspired me to bust out the dutch oven, open a cold beer, and show my NJ native chef hubby how it's done! cheers!

      3. Just had the clam strip platter this evening. Excellent--as always. Didn't have the clams, so I can't judge them. Can't judge anything else on the menu, but as for my money--well, that was well-spent....

        3 Replies
        1. re: bookhall

          Interesting that you mention having strips yet acknowledge not having the "clams".....


            1. re: CapeCodGuy

              you're right on target with that, CapeCodGuy!

          1. Went yesterday and noted no loss in quality (we're talking whole bellies here). That is not to say that the OP didn't hit it on a bad day. To my way of thinking, there will be good days and bad at a lot of casual chow locales. I can live with that. I tend to be a bit forgiving on consistency when it comes to a roadside shack. It can be part of the charm. Or not, if you demand more from a drive-up.