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BEST LOBSTER ROLLS AND FRIED CLAM STRIPS?

s
SASSYMI2 Jun 17, 2012 07:56 PM

VISITING BOSTON FROM MICHIGAN FOURTH OF JULY WEEK. STAYING IN BURLINGTON,MA. WILL BE SPENDING TIME IN BOSTON, NORTH SHORE, NH AND MAINE.
MY FAVORITE DELICACIES WHICH I CANNOT GET AT HOME ARE FRIED CLAM STRIPS AND LOBSTER ROLLS.
LAST VISIT TO BOSTON LOVED THE CLAM BOX IN IPSWICH AND BOB'S CLAM HUT IN KITTERY MAINE FOR FRIED CLAMS. WENT ALL THE WAY TO WISCASSET MAINE FOR THE BEST LOBSTER ROLL OF MY LIFE!!
ENJOY A HOMEMADE TARTAR SAUCE WITH MY FRIED CLAMS AND LOBSTER ROLLS DIPPED IN HOT BUTTER.
ANY MORE RECOMMENDATIONS IN MA, NH OR SOUTHERN MAINE COAST FOR SAME OR BETTER?

  1. Prav Jun 17, 2012 09:34 PM

    Check the thread you started a few years ago: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/612393

    Some great suggestions in it - not trying to be snarky, but a lot of the same suggestions hold true 3 years later.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Prav
      Chris VR Jun 18, 2012 05:54 AM

      As well as

      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/614696
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/614697
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/621604
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/624369

      It would be great if you could give us some feedback on what you liked and disliked from those visits. It makes this site a better resource, and lets people know more about where you've been and where you might like to go.

    2. Boston_Otter Jun 18, 2012 06:14 AM

      If you like clam strips, try whole-belly fried clams. It's not too tough to find clam strips around the country, but whole fried clams are something truly unique.

      1. m
        mkfisher Jun 18, 2012 06:17 AM

        And at least in my opinion, we don't have a lobster roll as good as what you'll get at Red's Eats in Wiscasset.

        3 Replies
        1. re: mkfisher
          d
          DoubleMan Jun 18, 2012 07:09 AM

          Those are good, but not worth the 50-60-hour wait in line. I'll take the hamburger bun style rolls at Kennebunkport's Clam Shack any day over Red's.

          1. re: DoubleMan
            b
            bakerboyz Jun 18, 2012 10:56 AM

            Actually better than the drive to Red's and the long wait is to buy an already steamed lobster (or two) from your local supermarket when they are on sale at $5.99, pick lobster meat, grill hot dog roll, melt some warm butter to drizzle on top and you now have a Red's lobster roll.

            1. re: DoubleMan
              m
              mkfisher Jun 25, 2012 12:49 PM

              I've had the Clam Shack roll too. I prefer Red's, but I will agree that the Clam Shack is excellent as well.

          2. t
            treb Jun 18, 2012 07:02 AM

            for a great lobster roll, got to Belle Isle. No atmosphere but, their food is fresh and reasonable.

            1. m
              mmerriman Jun 18, 2012 08:17 AM

              clam strips? That's a waste of time. eat the whole clam.

              21 Replies
              1. re: mmerriman
                s
                SASSYMI2 Jun 22, 2012 06:12 PM

                You clam belly guys are relentless. I have tried the whole bellies twice and i think they are disgusting. Can't a guy say that his favorite chidhood and adult food was Howard Johnson's clam strips and not get corrected or criticized by the belly crowd?

                1. re: SASSYMI2
                  The Professor Jun 22, 2012 06:34 PM

                  Probably not.

                  1. re: The Professor
                    s
                    SASSYMI2 Jun 22, 2012 06:42 PM

                    AMEN BROTHER

                    1. re: SASSYMI2
                      d
                      devilham Jun 23, 2012 08:39 AM

                      While a fan of whole clams, I too loved the HoJos clam strips, especially the clam roll, Sassymi2, you are not alone!

                      1. re: devilham
                        r
                        rachgrn Jun 23, 2012 10:32 AM

                        For what it is worth, the HO JO's clam strips hold a special place in my heart too, its ithe only strip I have ever enjoyed. I will forever remember eating at HO JO's off of RT 2 in Concord as a little girl. After they were gone you could buy the frozen blue box with orange writing at Victory Supermarkets. Childhood memories!

                        1. re: rachgrn
                          The Professor Jun 23, 2012 03:30 PM

                          Same here...great childhood memories. The clamstrips were one of my Mom's favorites, and we could always count on a few orders of them, usually late at night when returning home from a trip on the NJ Turnpike (when HoJo's had the lock on the food concession). It was practically a ritual.

                          The first time I had whole belly clams though, it _was_ a revelation. I definitely still like the old school clamstrips, but nowadays will always opt for the bellies when there's a choice.

                  2. re: SASSYMI2
                    Chris VR Jun 23, 2012 05:43 AM

                    Where did you try them? Were they regular or big bellies?

                    1. re: SASSYMI2
                      t
                      treb Jun 23, 2012 05:52 AM

                      When your near the mecca of clam territory (Ispwich), you have to expect unfettered purity and scantity of the clam and it's devourer.

                      1. re: SASSYMI2
                        Boston_Otter Jun 23, 2012 06:19 AM

                        Sure, but you didn't say that before. I've had clam strips all over the country, and frankly, a clam strip at Bob's isn't going to be that much better than HoJo clam strips. I think that's why people here were helpfully suggesting that you give our local specialty, whole bellies, a try. Now that I know you hate them, I'd suggest going to the Clam Shack.

                        1. re: SASSYMI2
                          BlueMagic Jun 23, 2012 10:24 AM

                          I have often wondered exactly what a clam strip was. Earlier this week, when I was at the Ipswich Clam Box for my lobster roll, the woman in line ahead of me asked what the difference between fried clams and clam strips was. The very nice woman behind the counter stated that they make their clam strips by slicing the up the bellies of big bellied clams into strips. Not sure it this is how everyone makes them, but for some reason this info surprised me.

                          1. re: BlueMagic
                            r
                            rachgrn Jun 23, 2012 10:29 AM

                            That surprises me as well. My 15 year old ordered strips at the Clam Box and they were like the other 25 places he has had them. There was nothing remotely similar about them to their fried clams. Their fried clams are the best we've ever had. The strips were nothing that stood out. In my opinion only.

                            1. re: BlueMagic
                              Chris VR Jun 23, 2012 05:43 PM

                              That doesn't sound right. First, the bellies aren't at all the right texture for clam strips. Second, big bellies are in high demand and people will pay a premium for them. My understanding is that clam strips are hard shell clams, like Quahogs, cut into slices.

                              This page http://www.weloveclams.com/strips.html explains it pretty well.

                              1. re: Chris VR
                                StriperGuy Jun 24, 2012 06:49 AM

                                I have also heard folks say that strips are actually from Sea Clams which are not quahogs. Sea clams are MUCH bigger and not so tasty.

                                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlantic...

                                1. re: StriperGuy
                                  StriperGuy Jun 24, 2012 08:41 AM

                                  And sea clams are MUCH less expensive.

                                2. re: Chris VR
                                  BlueMagic Jun 25, 2012 04:52 AM

                                  I have never really given much thought to how they were made, but like I said ..for some reason it surprised me. Maybe the woman behind the counter was trying to keep it simple for the customer..lol. and like someone else posted, the strips are made from slicing up sea clams. EIther way, I would rather have the clams with bellies..but the small bellies. Clam strips..to me..are chewy and flavorless.

                                3. re: BlueMagic
                                  e
                                  eatntell Jun 24, 2012 09:26 AM

                                  The woman behind the counter at Clam Box probably meant that they don't fry the VERY BIG bellied clams, and slice strips from them. That would make sense. Unless they charge the same for strips and for clams with bellies, slicing strips from clams that they can fry does not make good business sense.

                                  1. re: eatntell
                                    StriperGuy Jun 24, 2012 09:45 AM

                                    Not very likely, steamer are so much you could NEVER slice them into strips. I assure you clam strips are NOT made from steamers...

                                  2. re: BlueMagic
                                    9
                                    9lives Jun 24, 2012 08:00 PM

                                    Clam strips usua'lly from large sea clams that are caugh 100 miles+ from shore. They were made into clam strips and made popular by HoJo for many of of us; me included.

                                    What we now know as fried clams, big or small bellies didn't exist.

                                    Woodman claims to have invented it. I've never found anything to prove or disprove it . If they did "invent" the Clam Box in Ipswich improved on it.

                                    For the record, I like big bellies..:)....on my clams

                                    1. re: 9lives
                                      9
                                      9lives Jun 25, 2012 11:38 AM

                                      I misspoke.

                                      Fried clams with bellies did exist. In fact, I used to dig for them and my mother steamed them..crabs too. There were a few nearby clam shacks that we'd go to for fried.

                                      There was still something about the frozen HoJo strips in the freezer that I could heat up whenever I wanted that was comforting..:)

                                      This was in the 60/70s in Oceanside, NY..which had a very active day boat fishing industry.

                                4. re: mmerriman
                                  c
                                  chuck s Jun 25, 2012 12:06 PM

                                  Clam strips are to clams what fish sticks are to fish or chicken fingers are to chicken.

                                  1. re: chuck s
                                    justbeingpolite Jun 25, 2012 12:19 PM

                                    Or lady fingers are to ladies, or potato sticks are to potatoes, or pickup sticks are to pickups, or film strips are to films, or....
                                    but I digress

                                5. l
                                  lowbuckbob Jun 18, 2012 10:02 AM

                                  I have to agree with treb and mmerriman. Belle Isle has the best lobster roll and try whole fried clams. There's no comparison.

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: lowbuckbob
                                    r
                                    rachgrn Jun 23, 2012 07:07 AM

                                    My son prefers "clam strips" over whole belly clams. I feel like every single clam strip he has ever ordered is the same - same breading (very different than the whole belly clams) same size, same consistency. Do clam shacks/seafood establishments even sell FRESH clam strips? I am beginning to think not! We've been all over NE and I feel like all clam striips are the same!

                                    1. re: rachgrn
                                      s
                                      SASSYMI2 Jun 23, 2012 09:31 PM

                                      Just so you guys know, HOJo's has been gone from Michigan for probably 20 plus years. The only fried clams served by all restaurants here are the sad, wet little things found in the frozen food section of our supermarkets. They do not resemble any fried clam strip found in abundance on the northeast coast
                                      Maybe that will help you understand the gems you have compared to the junk we have in the Midwest. That is why I loooooove New England fried clam strips!!!
                                      6 days and counting----watch out clams and lobsters, here I come.

                                      1. re: SASSYMI2
                                        ipsofatso Jun 24, 2012 02:39 PM

                                        I had a good lobster roll from Roy Moore's on Bearskin Neck in Rockport this past Friday. Actually, I never had a bad lobster roll. just some are more excellent than others. Have some wicked good eats!

                                      2. re: rachgrn
                                        CapeCodGuy Jun 24, 2012 07:01 PM

                                        Yes, many clam shacks make their own clam strips. They love it that people (mainly those from the Midwest for some reason) love the breaded rubber bands as they are indeed made form sliced up sea clams so the food cost is miniscule, especially when compared to whole belly clams. To each his own I say. I'd never give up clams with bellies, the bigger the better for me.

                                    2. StriperGuy Jun 25, 2012 12:48 PM

                                      All fried calamari is like squid!

                                      1. Science Chick Jun 25, 2012 12:52 PM

                                        Thanks, Hargau! I agree. I love whole belly clams, but my parents prefer strips and I see no reason to chastise them on that account! Chowhound is to find the best of everything....from filet mignon to a fried bologna sandwich! ;) I imagine any of the shacks that make their own strips from sea clams are in contention. Maybe people think of those rubbery frozen ones, and that's why the negative feedback.....?

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