I've had fried whole belly clams only once this summer. I wanted to try out a new place (at least new to my area), in Worcester. This "Clambox" has 3 locations.......I think.........with the main one in East Brookfield. NOT related, so I hear, to the "original" "Clambox" on the north shore. The clams were a workmanlike average, and $16 for a small......I could have had a clam roll at the same price. They were not busy. They acted delighted to see me, and offered a genuine "Thankyou" when I left.
I've been to Ronnie's, the gold standard for fried, whole belly, clams in this area, a few times this season, but only for ice cream. I'll try to get there soon, for clams, and report. The "Clambox" mini chain mentioned above, has opened a location almost across the street from Ronnies. The building has been home to many a failed restaurant........we will see how they do.
Ronnies uses only clams from Ipswich Shellfish Co according to their signs. One can sometimes tell when an establishment buys a lower quality/cheaper product from one of the many other suppliers in our area. If I'm paying a lot of $$$$$ for fried clams, another dollar or two for tip top quality is worth it, at least IMO.
<message edited by tmiles on Tue, 07/10/12 1:54 PM>