Rhody Hits and Misses

January 28th, 2019 § 2 comments

HG has written often about the pleasures of eating in Rhode Island. Best clams in the world. Good (when in season) oysters. Squid. Hearty, cheap ethnic restaurants. And, of course, the cuisine of HG/BSK’s daughter, Gifted Lesley R. When in the Ocean State, don’t miss: Rhode Island clam chowder, clear, briny, full of clams and without the tomatoes of Manhattan style or the white glop of New England clam chowder; fried squid with hot peppers (official dish of the state); Del’s Frozen Lemonade, the ultimate antidote for heat and thirst. Lunch at rough and ready Flo’s Clam Shack. HG is ambiguous about New York System Wieners. These are short hot dogs, tucked in a steamed bun and topped with meat sauce, chopped onions and mustard. Interesting, but not as good as a traditional Katz’s (of New York) dog with sauerkraut. Clam cakes should be avoided (in HG’s opinion, they are nothing but lumps of fried dough with no discernible taste of clam), Stuffies are clams stuffed with bread crumbs and chopped clams. The bread crumbs overwhelm the clams. Far inferior to HG/BSK’s Clams Casino. Rhode Islanders love doughnuts (witness their waistlines) and consume more per capita than any other state. Seems there is a Dunkin’ Donuts shop wherever you look. The Dunkin’ Donuts sports stadium is known as “The Dunk.” They also love coffee syrup and use it to flavor milk, ice cream and milkshakes. HG/BSK thinks this is a bad dietary choice.


§ 2 Responses to Rhody Hits and Misses"

  • Jim Clarke says:

    Well, let me say this about that. First, your analysis of the chowder is spot-on. It’s got a clear, briny taste unsullied by anything extraneous. But the key to really enjoying it is the clamcake, which should be used to absorb some of the broth.

    NY System wieners, I grant you, are an acquired taste. And that taste is best acquired early in life. Preferably at 3 a.m. Drunk. In Olneyville.

    And Del’s Lemonade (the original, not these new flavors such as watermelon) is pure magic, diabetes division. And I’m not just saying that because I drove a truck for a summer and it covered a year’s worth of college tuition.

    Stuffies too are not to be missed, but get them at a higher-end restaurant. They’re easy to do badly.

    And yes, coffee syrup is just a silly regional affectation that probably drives up the cost of health insurance in the state.

    • Gerry says:

      Enjoyed your sharp and funny response to my musings about Rhode Island cuisine. Rhody clams are the best. So, why muck them up in the form of clam cakes and stuffies? To raw clams on the half shell add some olive oil, finely chopped garlic, a small square of bacon. Pop under the broiler for a brief cooking. Aqua heaven.

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