While our favorite clams are those from the Clam Box in Ipswich, MA ....
With a lot of positive talk, we stopped by the Clam Box (Ipswich) this past weekend on a short trip to Maine, splitting their fisherman's platter. While the slaw was excellent and the clams perhaps very good, the scallops and haddock were fair, at best. They seemed to prepare everything well - freshly battered & freshly cooked to order and the plate had excellent presentation / not greasy (evidently cooked at the right temperature), but I suspect the less-than excellent experience was probably due to reduced seafood quality- i.e. smaller clams & medium sized scallops - larger than bay, but relatively small for sea scallops.
While not bad, I doubt that I'd put them in the top ten and considering the 70 minute wait (Saturday, about 1pm) to place our order, I don't see myself ever going back. By taking approximately three minutes per order, I suspect the delay is due to cooking everything to order with limited fry bins.
I recall enjoying Woodman's perhaps ten years ago, but if the Clam Box is the best in the area, in the future, I'll stay with RI & CT for the best fried clams, scallops & fish and chips or wait until I get into Maine when traveling north.
Over the past year, I've enjoyed far superior (fried) clams at Glenwood in Hamden CT, Harry's in Colchester Ct and Buttonwoods Fish and Chips in Warwick RI. Although perhaps not in the top five, twice I've enjoyed very good clams this year at Skippers in Niantic CT, although in recent years, I've also had far reduced quality at several RI clam shacks, including Iggy's, Monahans (although they do have an excellent hot lobster roll & outstanding fried scallops), Champlins and Aunt Carries, amongst others.
Bottom line, I much prefer / suggest CT, RI & ME vs. the north shore for my fried seafood fixes, although each does have its good and not so good, so one must pick and choose for the best, even in CT, RI & ME.
<message edited by mjambro on Mon, 06/17/13 8:19 AM>