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Apr 25, 2012 01:11 PM

Fried belly clams.

Who, in your opinion, makes great fried clams?

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  1. if you enter fried clams in the search bar for this board you will find 134 threads on the topic.

    You might want to edit your title to include a geographic area, it's a long way from Provincetown, MA to Greenwich, CT

    Here in south central, CT, I'm partial to Clam Castle in Clinton/Madison (town Line on RT 1) and Turks in West Have (Savin Rock)

    10 Replies
    1. re: bagelman01

      Thanks! Geographically, I'm thinking New Haven to to southern RI.

      1. re: knucklesandwich

        Had some really excellent whole bellies at Glenwood Drive Inn in Hamden last week. Really excellent - FAR better than I've had at several RI places including Iggies, Flos, Champlins, Georges or Aunt Carries.

        1. re: Clams047

          You strike me as something of an authority. Have you tried the fish market in Flanders?

          1. re: knucklesandwich

            By all means not an authority, but I have enjoyed whole bellies at several dozen places throughout New England. Oddly, Glenwood in Hamden & Harry's in Colchester rank about the best I've found for fried whole bellies, along with Buttonwood Fish & Chips in Warwick, RI. (Odd because the first two are drive-ins, not traditional clam shacks or seafood restaurants.)

            I've not been to the Fish Market nor Clam Castle. I''ve been to Lenny & Joes - quite good, but they do tend to be pricey.

            It's been a while since I've been up to Ipswich / Essex, MA so I'll reserve comment there, although I do recall enjoying them at Woodman's & the Clam box (as a reference). When in Maine, I tend to stay more with crab & lobster salad rolls, but I've had some very excellent whole bellies at Five Island Lobster in Georgetown, ME and at the Lobster Shack in Cape Elizabeth, ME.

            In summery, IMO both Harry's and Glenwood serve as good of a whole belly as one can get. There's no need to drive north. (For the most part, don't bother with RI.)

          2. re: Clams047

            I agree with Clams Glenwood had great ones, Westville Seafood has been good as well they are on Litchfeild Turnpike just off Whalley Ave in New Haven. Further north Lenny and Joe's in Madison

            1. re: mmalmad

              agree with you about Glenwood and Westville seafood, but not Lenny and Joe's. Highly overrated and overpriced, Try Clam Castle instead.

              also see author is a relative

              1. re: bagelman01

                That's one strange website. First I'm skeptical of anyone who annoints anything the "world's best" as the author does with the fried clams from Cindy's in Maine. My favorites are from Marathon in Dennis, MA. Has the author compared Cindy's to Marathon's? Doubt it. Second, there are tons of pictures posted about Cindy's, who the author proclaims as the world's best clams, but all the pictures show are the kitchy items around the place, or of a car passing by, and even the outhouse which serves as the bathroom. But not ONE single photo of the clams! Or any of the food for that matter.

                The Cape portion of the site lists more defunct places than current. The ones mentioned that are still open, are pretty lousy, (Salty's, Jerry's....really?) and have never been any good. Very strange site, bizarre really.

                1. re: CapeCodGuy

                  mostly out of date, but some interesting clam history. Blogger sold his home on the Cape 4 years ago and doesn't get up there anymore to update. The most interesting product he covered was the fry your own kit that comes from just off-cape.

                  Agree with you about Marathon being excellent. Never liked the clams at Jerry's, but always loved his fried oysters. Unfortunately, we gave our house in Hyannis t the kids and I don't get there too often.

                  1. re: bagelman01

                    Yeah, I remember that kit from years ago. It cost a fortune. Digger-choice is apparently out of business now. Looks like the clam web site hasn't been updated for years.

                2. re: bagelman01

                  Many have mentioned Clam castle I will try them next time I am in the area

        2. Matunuck Oyster Bar. Had the whole belly clam roll a couple weeks ago ($11). Light, greaseless and tasty! Some of the best fried clam I have ever eaten. They also sell them as a pint. Warning: this is not a clam shack; it is a sit down restaurant, and it does get mobbed. On the other hand, their raw bar is varied, including oysters that grew in sight of the restaurant. And oh, the clams!

          1 Reply
          1. I go to Ipswich & Essex, Mass., for Woodman's and the Clam Box. I live in RI but every time I have tried fried clams in-state they were either too heavily breaded/battered, overcooked, greasy or, worst of all, rancid. As for the clam-fry "kits": Woodman's simply dips the fresh, small, neckless soft-shell clams in canned condensed milk and dredges them lightly in fine corn meal before quick-frying in hot, deep lard. I prefer larger clams like they use at Farnham's in Essex, but find Woodman's and the Clam Box lighter and more flavorful. If you are interested in cooking them, the sadly-defunct Gourmet Magazine published a good article on Ipswich/Essex fried clams some years ago.

            Thousands (millions?) of fried clams are sold daily during the summer in New England. Who shucks and de-necks and skins them all? I have been told that groups of women in fishing towns churn them out unheralded. Let's see THAT show on the Food Network!

            1. May be a bit too west, but Black Rock Oyster Bar & Grill

              1. The best I have had in Southern NE, were at Wood's in Plymouth. I have never tasted better clams and the price and portions are incredible.

                2 Replies
                1. re: gryphonskeeper

                  Agree that Wood's does a nice job, and the pricing is fair and portions are excellent. I also like that you can sit at the plastic tables inside on the pier overlooking Plymouth harbor. My favorites, however, are all over the bridge, I have about 6 places that are my go-to clam shacks. In order of preference:

                  Marathon in Dennis; They have a unique extra crunchy coating that is awesome. Plates come with a huge pile of their super thin onion rings and a mountain of crispy, but not too special, fries. Prices are a very reasonable $15-$16 for the plate. An added bonus, if you like big bellies as I do, ask for them, and they will accommodate.

                  Sesuit Harbor Cafe: The portions are not the best. Nor is the value. The clams themselves aren't even all that special or unique. But this byob shack has a great setting right on the jetty at the entrance of Sesuit Harbor in E. Dennis and you eat outside at picnic tables.

                  The Original Seafood Restaurant: Great clams. A huge clam roll with fries is usually on special for a very affordable $12. Never had a bad meal here.

                  The Clam Shack: Much like Sesuit Cafe, it's all about the setting where you sit at the mouth of Falmouth Harbor right on the pier overlooking the sound and Martha's Vineyard in the distance. Pricing goes up in-season, which is a bit of a bummer, but the food is very good.

                  Kreme 'n Kone: It's not the best, but it's very good, and they let you order 2 items on a platter, which is something more places should offer. I like to have clams and scallops, or clams and fish instead of a massive fisherman's platter which you need to order at most places to get variety.

                  Friendly Fisherman: Eastham. The above statement notwithstanding, we always order the fisherman's platter here. It's easily enough food for 3 people for $36 and includes clams, clam strips, scallops, fish, calamari, shrimp, rings and fries. A mountain of food and all of it terrific.

                  1. re: CapeCodGuy

                    go to Farnham's instead of Woodman's......much better for clams. Woodman's is where the tourists go.