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Fried belly clams near Mystic Seaport

Montebello | Apr 26, 2008 02:27 PM

In the mid-1990s I visited the Wooden Boat Show which, in the summer of whatever year that was, was ensconced at the Seaport Museum. Near dinnertime, I cycled up to a roadside stand on the main drag just north of the museum and ordered a plate of fried fat belly clams, having never had them and wondered what the heck they were. Eating them was one of those unforgettable gustatory experiences for me, like eating one's first oyster or pomegranate, or surrepticiously stealing your first gulp of cold beer from your Dad's glass. Ever since, I've been craving fried soft shells but I just can't get them anywhere down here in Baltimore. Sure, there are "fried clams", which are nothing but strips of ocean surf clams - they're OK, but nothing like fat bellies! Resolved, therefore, I will take an Amtrak to Mystic with the family for a long weekend this summer to visit the Seaport, the Navy submarine museum, walk by and point at the Mystic Pizza place, crack away at some 3-pounders at the Lobster in the Rough, then embarass myself with a delightsome mess o' fried bellies! Problem is, does that stand still exist? Or is there some other place in the area that has some lip-smackin' good bellies? Don't want a fancy sit-down type of joint.

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