Searching for the Perfect Fried Clam | Rhode Island
September 23, 2007
· Posted by Greg Lloyd
Bill Ives of Portals and KM shifts his usual focus to raise a question near and dear to all of us who live in New England, Searching for the Perfect Fried Clam. He lists three tempting choices in Massachusetts, settling on Woodman's in Essex as his first choice. I'll certainly put that on my list, but must nominate Evelyn's Drive Inn in Tiverton RI for the Clam of Honor. Not only do they have great fried clams, but they're also my top choice for Rhode Island style (clear) clam chowder and traditional Rhode Island stuffies ("Fresh local quahogs halved and filled with our spicy blend of chopped clams and chourico").
If you go to Evelyn's, don't pass up the chance to finish your meal at Gray's Ice Cream just a few miles further south on Route 77 in Tiverton Four Corners. Home made ice cream flavors include all the usual choices (including both Coffee and Coffee chip) along with New England specialties like Grapenut and fresh Ginger.
In Rhode Island's world of chowders there are only two native varieties: clear (mostly broth with clams, potatoes, and a bit of onion, salt pork and seasonings) and red (clear with a dash of tomato and red pepper flakes - from Portuguese style I think). In Rhode Island "White" means cream based clam chowder - good but a little over the top for local tastes. Don't ever confuse Rhode Island "red" chowder with clams dunked in tomato soup named after that New York island to the south.
I also like the Rhode Island clear, red (and white) chowder and local seafood at George's Point Judith, and Horton's Seafood, Providence.
See Quahog.org - The Definitive Rhode Island Road Trip - for Ocean State facts, lore, sights and cuisine. Don't get me started on Rhode Island's love of coffee milk - the official state drink.