Whole Belly Fried Clams from the Boat House Grille Left Me Fully Satisfied

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If I ever won Powerball, I probably wouldn't last long. The main reason is that twice a week I went out to eat whole fried clams until my heart exploded. Food prices are crazy and restaurants are just too expensive for me right now. It's still spring and in local restaurants a fisherman's plate already costs 40 dollars or more.

That said, I haven't had a plate of fried clams in a while and I barely had enough money for a night out. With limited funds, we needed to get our money's worth and let me tell you that Boathouse grill in Essex, Massachusetts, did not disappoint.

The Boat House Grill – Essex, MA

Located near the Ipswich line, the Boat House Grille was established in 2016 in Lewis' former home. I used to love that old place, it was part of that dying breed of old-school New England restaurants that had Prime rib Friday served by raspy-voiced waitresses. Although the Boat House Grille has a more modern feel, it's still as lively as the old place every time I go there. This is the sister restaurant to another local favorite, Blue Marlin Grille, located across town. You really can't go wrong with either location for nice portions of local seafood, steaks and more.

Fried Clams from Boat House Grille

fried clams from the boathouse grillfried clams from the dock grill

It's still a little early in the season and there are a lot of big clams being dug right now. This might put off some, but for me you can't fry a clam that's too big. I kind of like the big, chewy “honkers” when they're fried just right, they have tons of flavor. My plate of fried clams had some large ones, but there were also some smaller ones mixed in. One bite and I entered fried clam nirvana and all was right in the universe.

I like the fried clams at Blue Marlin, but I think I like the ones at Boathouse even better. They have that classic taste with just the right amount of crunch that comes from a mix of flour and cornmeal. They reminded me a lot of that. by JT Farnhamwhich many emphatically claim are the best fried clams around. I savored every bite and ignored the fries to focus on the clams doused in their spicy tartar sauce.

blackened haddock tacosblackened haddock tacos

The clams were a little too big for my wife, so she opted for blackened fish tacos, which she upgraded from pollock to haddock upon request…and my onion rings. Needless to say, we were both very pleased with our choices. This wasn't a cheap dinner, but it was a good value considering we both left stuffed and even had some to take home.

Thank you Boat House Grille for satisfying my craving for fried clams. Can't wait to go back!

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