Feed Me

The dish on Long Island's restaurant and food scene.

I love almost everything about Bigelow’s—the whole idea of a clam shack along the distinctly un-maritime Sunrise Highway, that it’s been in business since 1939 and neither the menu nor the decor has changed appreciably since then, that it’s a lean, mean fish-frying machine.

Along Bigelow’s back wall is a breading station, a grill and a couple of fryolators. Facing this “kitchen” is a curved counter with 30 stools. The menu, beautifully designed, features one of my favorite foods—fried Ipswich clams, that is, soft-shell clams with the bellies still attached.

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So what’s my beef? The food. On a recent visit, my French fries and Ipswich clams tasted more like each other than anything else. The fries, supposedly fresh-cut, were devoid of any potato flavor, and the clams had hardly more clammy oomph than your average from-frozen clam strips. In the past year, I have had much better clam bellies at Legal Sea Foods in Huntington Station and Artie's South Shore in Island Park.

Someone please tell me I caught Bigelow's on an off night.

Bigelow's is at 79 N. Long Beach Rd., Rockville Centre, 516-678-3878.

Photo by Lily Hydrangea of Long Island Daily Photo