Thursday, July 28, 2011


Rhode Island has lots of so-called clam shacks, the most famous, arguably, being Aunt Carrie's ( in Narragansett. There's Evelyn's ( in Tiverton, Flo's ( in Middletown, and Iggy's ( in Warwick. Mention one of them and expect any number of responses, or groans, in roughly three categories: 1) praise - for both the actual food and the idea; 2) childhood memories - clams, ocean, sand, ice cream; and 3) indigestion - vivid recollections of exactly what was eaten, when, where they sat on the deck, how lousy they felt later. For some people eating at a clam shack is akin to indulging in "secret airport vices", i.e. throwing normal caution and restraint to the wind for a dive into oil-soaked and salt-encrusted pleasures.

The fried clams at Blount's Clam Shack (335 Water Street, Warren  401-245-3210) aren't actually very greasy (not very clammy either). My friend enjoyed them. Liked the fries (though definitely could be hotter) and chowder too. Wednesday night is fish taco night so my enthusiasm was high. The "taco" turns out to be a wrap, a fish burrito really, which was disappointing for sure. The wrap itself was overlarge and actively cold. It encased the fish, some lettuce and a little hot sauce. Unfortunately my mind had a background image of Austin, Texas, and two soft-shelled fish tacos with fresh salsa, shredded lettuce, and a little sour cream. Still, with some surgery to alter the size of the wrap, it was good enough given the great circumstances - early evening sun, Wednesday night races, the crunch of clam shells underfoot.

Personally, clammier, greasier and hotter works better for me but Blount's cleaned-up version of a clam shack is likely healthier and the location is just right.

Note: This is a totally outdoor, summer-only, venue.

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