The last time I ate at Bigelow’s, I was disappointed by the fried Ipswich clams, and I blogged so. “Someone please tell me I caught Bigelow’s on an off night,” I wrote back in Dec. 2009. Much angry email ensued; Bigelow’s fans are not a retiring bunch.
So I’m happy to report that my fried-clam lunch Tuesday was an unqualified success. The clams were tender, nutty, delicate, crisp — everything that makes fried soft-shell clams one of the world’s absolute best things to eat. I thought that coleslaw would be a nice, fresh counterpoint and so I forewent fries in its flavor. Good call; the coleslaw was delicious. The verdict on the clam chowder I took back to the office with me: Manhattan was excellent; New England too glutinous, and why was there corn in it?
As always, Bigelow’s gets an A for atmosphere. The restaurant—basically a counter surrounding a fryolator—seems not to have changed since it opened in 1939. It’s a lean, mean, fried-clam machine.
Bigelow’s is at 79 N. Long Beach Rd., Rockville Centre, 516-678-3878.
Almost everyone, it seems, gets the fried Ipswich clams at Bigelow's.