For lunch, we went to Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana in CT - to sample some of their famous "clam pie," which is basically a white pizza with fresh clams on top. So imagine our disappointment when we arrived only to be met with this sign:
What bad luck!
We ended up ordering their "summer pizza" which was amazing: it's served on a rectangular baking sheet, and the crust is thin yet doughy, with the perfect amount of cheese, topped with basil and slightly caramelized marinated fresh tomatoes.
While the pizza was out of this world, we just had to ask our waitress: "why no clam pies today?" As soon as we uttered the question, the couple in the next booth piped up: "They never have clams on Mondays."
The waitress expanded on this by explaining that apparently "Eric" is the only one who shucks the clams, and he works 6 days a week... Monday is his only day free from his high-pressured, fast-paced mollusk responsibilities. In fact, (she announced somewhat tauntingly) there was presently a huge pile of clams in the back - patiently waiting for Eric's magic touch. Drats.
So, with clams in mind, we continued our journey north to The Clam Box in MA, which according to Road Food has some of the best fried clams in the country.
Road Food was wrong; dead wrong.
We ordered their two types of clams: strips and native... both were fried, and both were big letdowns.
The clam strips were tasteless, and the batter severely under seasoned. The native clams had little balls of briny flesh attached, which tasted watery and bitter instead of sweet. Even the fries were non-noteworthy.
I used to think anything fried was delicious... I guess I have The Clam Box to thank for setting me straight on that one. Looks like we will just have to get some good old fashioned New Jersey steamers this weekend, to finally satiate our clam craving.
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