Before I moved to central square a few weeks ago I live in the north end, right in the heart of Italian feast country.
Luckily, on my first try, I found the very best calamari stand (probably in the history of calamar stands). If you're ever at one of these events, look for the stand with the skinny old guy with no teeth and the ship captains hat who is known simply as "the captain."
His secret: before breading he keeps the squid cold, but dry (i.e. not in melting ice) so that everything fries up smoothly after a nice flour dredge. Also, he fries the squid in two separate oil baths.
There's some other magic there too. All I know is that I ate that stuff for 4 straight nights.
BTW: they do clams on the half-shell which look very nice as well.
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