Friday, July 31, 2015

Bob's Clam Hut

          I've always loved going to Kittery Maine for outlet shopping, but I only recently learned about Bob's Clam Hut - an iconic restaurant just a short walk from the shops. Of course I had to try them out, and highly recommend you do the same!

 About Bob's
          Since 1956, Bob’s Clam Hut has been serving up fresh, classic fried seafood with straightforward, award-winning simplicity as a beloved and long-standing spot for locals and travelers alike. This iconic roadside stand continues to preserve its history and charm while elevating the clam shack experience with quality seafood, original recipes and a welcoming atmosphere. A true Maine landmark open year-round, Bob’s employees often hear from guests that no trip to the area is complete without a meal at the clam hut. With a standout menu of New England shore classics, Bob’s carries out its mission of wowing guests with consistently great food and fast, friendly service.

 My Visit
          I had the chance to talk with the Manager Tim, and tried several of his recommendations including the clam chowder, lobster stew, lobster roll, clams fried two ways, and fried seafood platter.

Clam Chowder

Lobster Stew
Lobster Roll
Clams Two Ways
Fried Seafood Platter
          Everything was delicious, and it was hard to pick a favorite (or even a couple of favorites). The lobster roll was lightly dressed without a lot of mayo (exactly how I like it), the lobster stew had plenty of claw meat, and the clam chowder wasn't too heavy. All of the fried seafood was fresh and simply done; after talking with Tim I learned that one of their secrets is constantly rotating the oil (generally 6-7 times during a busy day) to keep it light, fresh, and tasting great.

          I enjoyed trying the clams two ways; the original Bob's recipe is fried with just flour while Lillian's are dipped in egg wash first. I never would've thought the egg would make such a difference, but eating them side by side I definitely noticed that Lillian's version had more batter and were a bit crispier. Lillian was an employee at Bob's who was so popular that customers would wait in line just to order from her. Though she recently passed away, her memory is honored by this window:

            The company's new bakery in Kittery is also named after Lil, and though I haven't tried it yet I hope to make it in for a cruller soon!

          After the huge lunch we were way too stuffed for a full sized dessert, but we did sample a few of the most popular flavors from Mount Desert Island Ice Cream including:
  • Belgian Chocolate
  • Salted Caramel
  • Madagascar Vanilla Bean
  • Toasted Coconut
          My favorites were the vanilla bean and salted caramel, but I don't think you could go wrong with any of this ice cream!

          After eating I had a chance to tour the kitchen and see the operations at one of the busiest times - Saturday lunch hour. I was amazed by how many people they were able to fit in the double line, and how quickly and smoothly they were able to get the food out!


          The owners of Bob's also have a sit down restaurant across the street called Robert's Maine Grill, which I definitely want to check out next time I'm in the area!

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