I know that I should be eating more healthy. I know that, and I try. But sometimes I just give in and eat some of the things that I know are not doing me any favors but they just taste so good!! Sometimes you just need to have some good ol’ fried fish. When it comes to seafood, my preference is classic fried haddock and fried native Maine shrimp. And one of my all-time favorite places for both of these is at the Clam Box in Ipswich Massachusetts.
The Clam Box is a classic self-service New England fish shack. You order your food at the window to the kitchen and there is often a line out the door, wrapping its way towards the parking lot. On a recent early summer Saturday mid-afternoon, we stood in line for about 15 minutes before we got up to the window for our chance to place our order. This gave us time to figure out what we were going to order and in what portions. The Clam Box sells all types of fried seafood: clams, calamari, haddock and more and you can order as a “plate” which comes with your choice of two sides, french fries, onion rings or cole slaw, “mini meals” with one choice of side or “box” which is strictly the seafood item. Between 3 of us we ordered a haddock plate with fries and cole slaw and a native shrimp plate with onion rings and cole slaw. Definitely the right amount of food for 3, anymore would have been too much as the portions are so generous.
When we placed our order we were told the cooking would take about 12 minutes. And they were pretty much spot on, they have the cooking of things down to a science and it comes out just right every time. The haddock is light and flaky and the batter is sheer perfection. The shrimp are the teeny, tiny ones from Maine that almost melt in your mouth. The onion rings are good, the fries are better, the fish and shrimp were the stars. Cole slaw, tartar sauce and cocktail sauce all seem to be made in-house and are a perfect complement to the meal.
A few things you should know: The Clam Box has seating inside in a small dining room and outside on a good sized deck. They are not open all year long, usually closed for the winter months. They recently started taking credit and debit cards, which is a big bonus. They change their oil around 2:30 in the afternoon, which can take 15 minutes or so, plan your visit accordingly.
246 High Street