Sunday, June 8, 2014

Flo's Clam Shack

Following our Saturday spent in Connecticut, we continued onward to Rhode Island. Our first stop, was to get some lobster rolls and clam strips at Flo's Clam Shack in Middletown, RI (just across the water from the tourism hub of Newport.

Despite having the opportunity to dine at some of the finest restaurants all over the world, my parents genuinely prefer these local places when we're on the road. Living in New York City, there's no real shortage of fine dining options of all international cuisine types. So my parents don't love the idea of paying premium prices for meals when they're traveling when they can just as easily get the same (or better) in Manhattan.

Flo's Clam Shack was exactly the kind of place they were looking for. As you can see, the decor is going for the authentic fishing shanty look and doesn't try to cater to the upscale Newport demographic.

Like any other typical small local business, they cut down on overhead by having a order window that took cash only (but they did have an ATM on site). We arrived shortly before 12PM, so we didn't have that long of a wait and was able to secure a table for 4 in the upstairs patio area. Prices were reasonable for seafood (other places had lobster rolls going for $18-22).

While the lobster rolls weren't their signature dish (as it was in Montauk's Lobster Roll), my father decided he wanted to try one anyway. Of course, we couldn't go to the Clam Shack without sampling their fried clam strips, so we also ordered their Fisherman's Platter (including fried clams, clam strips, calamari, shrimp, scallops, fish and a clam cake). For their full menu, click here.

For 4 adults and 1 adorable toddler, we ordered:
  • 3 lobster rolls (not the platters)
  • 1 Fisherman's platter
  • 1 kid's fish & chips meal
  • 1 pitcher of Bud Light
  • 2 sides of cole slaw
My personal favorite part of the ordering experience was getting a little lobster shaped buzzer to let you know that your order was ready at the pickup window.

As you can see, that order was MORE than enough food for 4 adults. In fact, I could barely finish my kid's fish & chips (though to be fair, it was sized more like an adult portion).

The lobster rolls were a good serving of cold lobster meat, but it wasn't prepared as a lobster salad. It was just chunks of lobster meat with a leaf of lettuce and a single serving package of mayo on the side. 

Flo's Lobster Roll
It was still pretty tasty, but nothing to write home about. Since we didn't need any more fries, we skipped the lobster roll platter and went with just the roll only.

The star of the meal was definitely the Fisherman's Platter.
Among the multiple fried items, my father's favorite was the scallops and the clam strips. There were even a few fried oysters in there as well, which we liked. The calamari was definitely plentiful, but not sure New England was particularly known for their squid, so wouldn't be surprised if that was more of frozen filler than a fresh catch of the day. The fried fish, on the other hand, super fresh. Unsure if it was cod or some other flaky white fish, but it was delicious as were the big steak fries.

If we go back again, we'd probably order the full portions of Fried Scallops and Fried Clam Strips. We didn't get a chance to try the raw bar, but that looked pretty promising as well, though I was more captivated by the big fish tank across from the upstairs bar. It reminded me of the Georgia Aquarium we visited a few weeks back.

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