Digging up the Healthiest
Rhode Island Clam Shacks
The Rhode Island coastline offers a multitude of food destinations. Among the seasonal establishments are the region’s countless clam and lobster shacks, which by the way, do little for the waist line. Still, who can refuse to give in to your selection of seafood, battered and fried to perfection? In my travels, here are some of the best and healthiest clam shacks along the Rhode Island coast. Many of these establishments were closed for the winter but are beginning to open with seasonal weekend hours during the spring. It would be wise to call ahead or check websites for the available times.
Photos By Linda S. Manning
The mild winter and the almost perfect weather brings out the urge to drive to the shore and have clam cakes, fried clams and fried fish! With the national obesity rates increasing anything fried needs to be put on the back burner and counteracted by increasing consumption of healthy and nutritional foods. Whether at a clam shack or your local dining establishment think real foods!
Most people think all clam shacks offer just fried foods, fried calamari, fried clam strips, and fried scallops. With today’s health conscious population, some shacks are casting a line and baiting you to try some of the healthiest and fresh seafood presentations.
Taking a drive through Bristol along the waterfront you will find several food establishments. A favorite of many, and by the way right at the entrance to the bicycle trail, you will find Quito’s Restaurant. Boasting simple, fresh and flavorful shellfish, Quito’s is a favorite among locals, travelers and fishermen. Located on the waterfront in Bristol, and reasonably priced, from stuffed quahogs at $2.95 each to $17.95 lobster rolls. Fried calamari, clam cakes, fried shrimp >and chowder, clam strip rolls, fried seafood platters and yes, Blue Mango Veggie Burgers, Crab Cake Sandwiches and a Steamed Lobster Dinner (at market price) are available as takeout. The inside of the restaurant is small and offers the catch of the day with a different menu. Give it a try and if you partake in the fried foods, bring your bicycle along and cruise the path to a healthy you!
As you travel to the waterfront destinations, don’t miss trendy Newport, Rhode Island. With its history and museums, fine dining and eclectic restaurants, one stands apart as not only a “must go to” but as a healthy alternative, by the way, clam shack. Flo’s Clam Shack is world renowned. Travelers from far away locations stop by to indulge in what Flo’s is famous for, fried clams. Plump lightly seasoned and battered clams fried just right became the staple of Flo’s.
But Flo’s wasn’t always on the Middletown/Newport line. It began in 1936 with a chicken coop moved from a farm and taken to Island Park marking the beginning of the first Flo’s in Portsmouth. Flo’s Drive-In is located across from a small beach. Knocked down by several hurricanes over the years, the original location of Flo’s is still in existence again as a drive-in clam shack.
Flo’s made her new debut in Newport/Middletown in 1991. The new Flo’s emerged amid a beach cottage, one that survived the great hurricane of 1938, proving to be a test of time!
Today, famous throughout the country and located steps from the waterfront, Flo’s has kept up with the times by offering not only the best fried clams and fried foods on the first level, but healthy alternatives on the second level. Walk off the beach and order from the window and before you know it, your number is called. Find a table with a view and the feast begins, all for a reasonable price.
Lisa Miller manager for over ten years is proud to offer baked fish, healthy crab legs (all you can eat on Thursdays,) peel and eat shrimp and a raw bar to die for!
View, then order from the sumptuous display of massive crab legs, oysters, clams, muscles, and shrimp. Staying on the healthy side while visiting the second floor, an assortment of baked seafood dinners are available as well. Try the baked swordfish, baked sea scallops or baked salmon to waken your taste buds. In the summer, live music is offered and don’t be shy if you see Martha Stewart (last year) or BB King!!
“Komes Rozes, owner of Flo’s is a great person to work for.” states Lisa Miller. “He treats people like family.”
Flo’s has won numerous awards, from Best of Rhode Island 1994-2010, Editor’s Pick from Yankee Magazine, Coastal Living and Vanity Fair.
So why not reel in one of the best alternative healthy dinners, ordering from award winning Flo’s?
There are many clam shacks in Rhode Island. Iggy’s in Oakland Beach Warwick, Champlain’s in Galilee, Aunt Carries and Monahan’s Clams in Narragansett and of course, Evelyn’s Drive-In Clam Shack in Tiverton and Blount Seafood in Warren, just to name a few.
So break out the clam diggers and sail on by your favorite shack for a mouthwatering treat!