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Need clam shack recs on the Cape

I have searched the archives but most of the info is for places on the North Shore... we are in Harwich and would like something less factory-like than Arnolds these days. Any good, small-ish, low key clam shacks left?

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  1. I love PJs in Wellfleet. Been around for years. Awesome food. Might hit it for lunch (on vaca for two weeks.)

    2 Replies
    1. re: StriperGuy

      Just had lunch there- awesome giant stuffed clam with linguica and, duh, clams. Chowder is a bit thinner than I like but delicious. Much better onions rings than Arnold's, IMHO. Rather a tiny lobster role this year. I am allergic so can only comment on the size of the roll- it was about 3/4 of an average New England hot dog roll but people were scarfing them up. We ate in the dining room which is self service and the lines don't seem to be as long.

      1. re: Berheenia

        Just to report back on the PJs lobster roll. $13.99 for a regular and $23.99 for a jumbo. Honestly both had excellent amounts of lobster for the value. There was a GENEROUS amount of meat.

        Only quibble a little plain. Just lobster with a smidge of mayo. I do like a bit of celery, maybe some celery salt or even a tiny bit of minced onion. This was JUST lobster, but the amount of meat for yer buck was more than acceptable.

    2. There's always Kreme & Kone in West Dennis as well.

        1. re: BostonZest

          Yes, any Cape discussions on clams will be found on the Southern New England board, not here. Penny's link is a good discussion and place to start.

        2. Friendly Fisherman in N. Eastham. I also like PJs alot too. Smaller portions than FF, but very high quality. Don't like sitting there though......too close to the road! :(

          4 Replies
          1. re: Science Chick

            Hmmm, have to give FF a whirl some time.

            1. re: StriperGuy

              If you do go, give their HUGE fisherman's platter a try. So big it feeds two or three and you'll get a mountain of fried cod or haddock, whole belly clams, some clam strips, calamari, shrimp, and scallops. Plus fries and onion rings. Last season it was $33.99, fed both me and my brother, plus he had enough left over for lunch the next day. It's about the same price as two clam rolls.

            2. re: Science Chick

              You need to sit in the dining room in back. Same food self service but much nicer and doesn't face Rte 6.

              1. re: Berheenia

                Yeah, inside is ok, but I love sitting outside in the summer......at least FF is well off the road and has some ambience. Sesuit Cafe has them all beat though, regarding the view! I need to head back there this year.......

            3. Captain Frosty's in Dennis, based on a very recent visit. Feels like a time capsule from 1955, very good fried clams.


              6 Replies
              1. re: MC Slim JB

                I first went there in 1974 on my honeymoon. We try go back there when we are in the area and it has stood the test of time. :-)

                1. re: veggielover

                  Good nostalgia always trumps crummy value and general mediocrity.

                  1. re: CapeCodGuy

                    Ha! Well said, CCG. I should embroider that on a pillow...do you mind if I steal it?

                    1. re: ciclista

                      Feel Free Ciclista! Heck, you can print up t-shirts if you want to! :-)

                    2. re: CapeCodGuy

                      I had a great lobster roll there a few years ago, much better than the one I had a few weeks ago at Mac's Shack. :-)

                      1. re: veggielover

                        Even a blind squirrel stumbles onto a nut now and again....

                2. Not a clam shack, but convenient and consistently fresh and delicious, is Georges Fish Market in Harwichport (Kildee Rd just off 28, past DQ going towards West Harwich). Or the market at Chatham Fish Pier. Having been born and raised in Chatham and Harwich, there was no such thing as going to a fried seafood "clam shack" that are often spoke of on this board. If we didn't "catch" the stuff ourselves, the only other acceptable source was a fish market. Grab it to go (don't forget to stop at the packy first) and sit in the warm sand on the beach. Doesn't get better than that.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: seagurl

                    I'll give a +1 to Science Chick's and seagurl's recs. And a VERY BIG -1 to MC Slim's. Although Frosty's has a nice ambiance for a roadside stand it's portions and prices are made to separate tourists from their money. You can do far far better. More akin to what you are looking for is the very busy Sesuit Harbor Cafe in E. Dennis. Order in the beat up old shack and they bring the food out to your picnic table. Excellent food with broad menu. Nice spot on the jetty to the busy harbor. And as a plus, it's byob.

                    1. re: seagurl

                      I think Chatham Pier Fish Market has great fried seafood and is the type of place original poster is describing. Has 3 picnic tables, and a bench around back by the dock. You can also bring folding chairs and take your food onto the beach.

                    2. Also agree with Friendly Fisherman

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: daver

                        I have to jump in..most of you know I hold my own opinion, am a self professed food snob and LOVE a good lobstah roll. Having said that I have had good and not so good at Sesuit BUT overall I find it more good than not. The fact it is BYOB and the location..phew..Friendly Fisherman always is good. I have been eating at Capt. Frostys for many years. I have also gone to Kreme and Kone and a few others. My DD's friends word at Frostys. I like to support them and will go if I am short for time or lazy as it's 4 miles from my Cape Cod home. The portions are small for sure. I love their clam cakes. Their chowder is mediocre. Their regular lobster roll is tiny but they advertise a bigger roll. I have not tried it. I usually get the whole belly clams or shrimp roll. Would I recommend Frostys..probably not as there are better places to go BUT it's not bad and their soft serve I love..coffeeeeee..whoooo

                        1. re: phelana

                          LOl...I think MOST of us qualify as food snobs, so need for apologies, not that you were! Your comments on Frosty's are spot on, although I'm not a fan of the clam cakes. Mine always seem to contain a few peices of clam neck and nothing else but dough. Much of the food isn't bad, per se, it's more about the portions for the prices charged that bothers me the most, thus my typical vitriol when someone mentions them on a "best of" list.

                          1. re: CapeCodGuy

                            I must admit some disappointment last week at Sesuit Harbor Cafe with my clam plate order. Portion size was definitely smaller than what I had last year, although I think the price may have been a bit lower as well, $14 this year versus $15 or 16 last, IIRC. The fries were nothing special, last year they were terrific, but the coleslaw was very good. The clams themselves were very good shellfish, with more coating than usual, though.

                            I actually found Arnold's clam plate to be superior to the Sesuit Cafe plate last week, the Arnold's clams were crispy and golden with just the right amount of coating, though the bellies were a bit smaller than Sesuit. But the Arnolds portion size was better, so it was a better value, and the fries were better while the slaw was almost as good as Sesuit.

                            The lobster roll at Sesuit appeared to be as large as in the past, just the clam portions that were skimpy.

                            Sesuit Harbor Cafe
                            357 Setucket Rd, Dennis, MA 02638

                            1. re: Dan D

                              Dan D...I was at Sesuit about 5 times last year...each time quality and quantity varied for me, in fact re reading my reviews on www.yelp.com I saw this...it's a little frustrating but it is what it is..so many variables in food service..

                              If you want to see where I am eating these days click on http://www.bonairecaribbean.com/blog_...