Compare Clams at Clam Box w/ Farnham's & w/ Essex Seafood?(Plse Don't Shoot)
I know you're prob sick of this topic, and i can just HEAR the muttering of "geez, get a life, it's just FOOD!" Howevahhh,
IF you have, in the past, actually eaten the fried clams (and rings hopefully) at Clam Box and Farnhams OR Clam Box and Essex Sfd., would you plse tell me why one was better than another, for you ?
We only do fried clams a few times a year; we always go to Clam Box (having been forced in the past to try Village Sfd(last yr.) and Woodman's( 3 yrs ago and before.) because i can't imagine better. Trying them at F and ES would not be a cheap proposition; it's not like you can just get $5 worth of clams and rings to sample; aside from the fact that we don't like wasting food....
I vaguely remember some CH doing a fr clam crawl yrs ago and if that were you, might you link it?
thanks youall for your patience and help on this. and for not using real bullets.
Clam Box > Essex Seafood > Farnham's > everywhere else
Caveat: All three of these are excellent and I would recommend each of them.
The Clam Box usually has big belly clams and it tastes like they change out oil the most frequently. Essex Seafood has a bit more variability in the belly size, but always sweet. Farnham's has very good clams, but on one occasion they were a bit overcooked (giving Essex Seafood the slight edge).
We usually end up going to Essex Seafood. They have very good chowder and it's rarely too crowded. We've eaten outside when a pickup truck towing a small boat unloads its quarry of clams to the kitchen. Perhaps that boat-to-kitchen quaintness colors my perception.
If we have guests coming to town, we might bring them to Farnham's because it has a beautiful view of the marsh and they also have very good chowder. Also, they have cod cheeks more reliably than anyone else (though they still often run out).
We rarely go to the Clam Box, because the wait simply isn't worth it for us when Essex and Farnham's are both so good.
I acknowledge the Clam Box as the best, the platonic idea for fried clams. Whenever I'm in the north Ipswich neighborhood, I go there. But it is a fairly long drive from my house in Gloucester, so I frequent Essex Seafood, as it is much more convenient (esp. if I am taking them home). I've never had any bad food at Essex, but I do admit it isn't as good as the Clam Box. For me, it's the sweet spot of quality and location.
Clam Box makes the best fried clams I've ever tried: super fresh big bellies, perfect fry job, great batter. I only tried Farnham's once some years ago, and that one time was enough to convince me it's not worth chancing the drive up from Brookline: long wait in spite of what seemed like a modest line, clams not very sweet nor tasty. I enjoy ES a lot, and think it does a fine job with their clams, I just wish you could request big bellies there. I agree with phatchris, Dube's is great, at least the equal of ES. I once took a father and son who are exceptionally picky about their clams, and we all thought the clams were excellent. Be forewarned that it's definitely a different scene/vibe than the clam shacks.
I have been to Essex Seafood once..last summer..and the clams and scallops my better half and I had were soo bad that I would never go back. I know people say they like it..but the scallops tasted old and the clams were chewy..and both were greasy.
I've been to Farnham's a couple of times and like it a lot. The only issue is the lack of parking. I don't mind waiting in line..but you have to be able to park and when it's busy it can be impossible.
I love the Clam Box..so if you like the Clam Box..then I think you will really like Farnham's...just go at an off time.