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Celebrity Pizza, Watertown, Respectable Fried Clams

So I've lived near this place for over 15 years and ONLY ever had the soft serve ice cream. The decor is sterile ice cream place, the hard ice cream is Hood. Until posts on this board a few years back it just never occurred to me the chow could be decent.

I hit it for lunch yesterday and got the clam (medium to small bellies with no choice on size) platter.

The platter included fries and slaw for $17.75. You can get the same size clam serving for $14.50 without the sides.

The clams themselves were excellent, perfectly fried, as good as MANY I've had and certainly better then the ones I had at the Copley Mall Legals a year or so ago. The fry job was spot on, the taste just right. A 9.5 out of 10 on the clams.

The fries were also decent, though I'm not a huge french fry fan and these were just good. Would not get them again, mostly cause fries have to be earth shattering for me to give a darn.

The slaw was just plain lame. Tasted like watery cabbage with a hint of mayo in there. Possibly Sysco out of a bucket, or maybe house made, but mediocre to bad.

I also finished off with a soft serve choc/vanilla twist cone which was some how flavorless and saddening. I remember that taste from previous if infrequent visits, Hood again?

The clams alone are almost worth a trip. A woman at a next door table was gushing about the fried fish sandwich and it looked great.

They also had a $14 lobster roll that I might have to try.

If I have a craving for clams I would hit it again in a sec, though with Shangri La's excellent fried oysters right near by for less dough, it would be a tough call. The place has always had a bit of a sad vibe and maybe that's why I have not hit it more recently. Great outdoor dining at some picnic tables with nice shade umbrellas as well, it was too hot yesterday, but next time.

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  1. Sad vibe? I don't get that at all. Celebrity always strikes me as a happy place, a local classic, mostly for the soft-serve ice cream, which makes it a deserved favorite of families and kids -- who look anything but sad when devouring their cones.

    And as you discovered the food can be pretty darn good. Personally, I would rate the clams more like a 7.5, but I can understand you're enthusiasm: they do hit the spot when you've got the clam craving (and, yes, they are better than the last ones I had at a Legal (Park Square) about a year ago).

    I usually go for the seafood combo plate, which is huge, enough to feed two for about $21. You get the clams, scallops (which are as good or better than the clams), shrimp (just one or two, but very good most times), fish, french fries (tending toward limp) and onion rings (thin and greasy good, usually included along with the fries even though the menu indicates you only get one or the other). And, yeah, a little paper cup of forgettable cole slaw.

    To top it off, there's free parking. The lot is small, but somehow there always seems to be at least one open spot.

    5 Replies
    1. re: katzzz

      Courthouse is where I go for good value fried seafood. They are always fresh, the seafood market right next door may have something to do with it.

      If you give Celebrity's fried clams a 7.5, how would you rate Courthouse'?

      1. re: eatntell

        Never tried Courthouse. A matter of proximity (I live not far from Celebrity). Guess I need to get over to E. Cambridge and eat clams. Come to think of it, I need to try the fried food at Fresh Pond Seafood in Arlington too.

        1. re: katzzz

          i would check but i think courthouse restaurant is on vacation, no?

      2. re: katzzz

        I understand the "sad" comments, I think. The place is called "Celebrity" but it's more like a former child star, in terms of the lighting, decor, etc. ;-)

        Actually, I completely agree with the soft serve comments - I recently revisited for a vanilla cone with chocolate dip (which as a small was a surprising $4.25) and it seemed to completely lack vanilla flavor.

        1. re: katzzz

          They do a great job with their Char-grilled burgers too!

        2. Never tried it, which now seems sort of lame. Did you happen to notice if the dredge is straight corn flour (i.e. gluten free) or flour or a flour/corn mix?

          2 Replies
          1. re: deglazer

            I'd say by the taste flour/fine corn meal, which I actually prefer.

            1. re: StriperGuy

              Thanks, that's my preference too but can't do wheat. Straight corn seems pretty rare in the city. I suppose many places use Fis-Chic or something similar from Drum Rock or the like.

          2. just so we are clear, if you split a combo seafood plate with someone, washed down with lime rickeys and then soft serve dip cones you will be practically immobile in 90 degree heat.

            also, i have never known anyone who has gotten pizza from this place!

            of course, with Stella's 200 meters away, why would you?

            2 Replies
            1. re: hyde

              Why we did it is a mystery, but about a decade ago we got pizza from them a few times. (Adding to the mystery, at the time we lived around the corner from Armando's.)

              1. re: hyde

                The pizza is actually not bad. I worked directly across the street for two years and I had it numerous times.

              2. I'm not a clam lover, but I will +1 the gushing on the fried fish sandwich!

                GG
                http://www.semisweetonline.com

                3 Replies
                1. re: gansu girl

                  Cool.

                  I had some excellent fish and chips this week at Courthouse Seafood in Cambridge as well.

                  1. re: gansu girl

                    Had the fish sandwich last week and I would give it a 9.5 or even a 10, really well done.

                  2. I've got to stop reading chow at 11:30- now all I can think about is fried clams for lunch, and I'm in the financial district, where that is not an option!