Whole Belly Clams: Huot’s on the Maine Coast

Stone crabs in Maine.
Stone crabs for the stew.

It’s been a quiet week in Lake Wobegon…oh, no, that’s not right. However it has been a relatively quiet week, in that same lazy spirit, here on the coast of Maine. It’s interesting the way the priorities become simply what’s for dinner, what’s for lunch, and I wonder what their fried clams taste like?

Behind me Francisco is putting together a giant seafood stew, with crab, mussels, lobster, swordfish, and some Maine produce.  Having someone with me who cooks better than I do is heaven.

I bought some clams today and boy, there’s a right way and a wrong way they do things up here in Southern Maine.  At Huot’s Restaurant, a side window beckoned with the tender whole belly clams cooked up perfectly and then dumped into an overflowing paper carton just at the right moment. Ohhhh with nothing at all (don’t need the tartar), the strangely-shaped mollusks are crispy, light and just right.


After fishing in vain with no bites, it was time to return to the cottage. Without any demands, we lingered and I thought about the clams we had the first night we were here. Oh God, what a disaster! But they should be. They only cost $7.95!  Value?  $0.

Huots charges $18.15, but hey, I’m on vacay, the cash is burning a hole in my pocket, I have an appointment to take a nap, and later I’ll linger languidly on Facebook. Vacation.