Boulevard Clams, 2006 Long Beach Blvd. Surf City. Go to BoulevardClams.net.
Boulevard Clams is a spot I have been meaning to get to over the last two summers of Shackin’ Up, but somehow never got there. This LBI shack offers a large menu stocked with everything you could dream of when it comes to fresh seafood. From sandwiches and pasta dishes to fried favorites in both platter and bucket form, soups, raw bar favorites, a full fish market and more, they really go out of their way to cover all the bases.
This year I put Boulevard Clams on the top of my list, but of course with COVID calling the shots as of late, dining inside was not an option. No matter, my dining companions and I called ahead, grabbed our food to go and found a great spot overlooking the bay to enjoy it.
Lobster bisque — Creamy and rich, this pale pink bisque made for a perfect starter. It definitely could have used more actual lobster meat, as there were almost no chunks in it (and the ones that were there were miniscule). But the flavor was excellent and overall it was a really enjoyable soup.
Lobster roll — The menu advertises it as “a traditional Maine Lobster roll” but this minimalist version, served on a fresh bakery roll piled high with lobster meat and drenched in clarified butter with a lemon wedge on the side is actually a Connecticut-style lobster roll (a Maine lobster roll is more like lobster salad, made with mayo and celery). But regardless of the confusion, the lobster roll at Boulevard Clams remains one of the best versions of this sandwich that I have had the pleasure of enjoying. The bakery roll was sturdier and of better quality than the normal hot dog bun that most lobster rolls are served on, and the piles of lobster meat made it a hearty and enjoyable sandwich. For those who may have never had a Connecticut style lobster roll, I implore you to give it a try. The only downside to this sandwich is the price, a whopping $27 – but dare I say, it’s worth it.
Fried jumbo shrimp — Butterflied fried and coated in a crispy breading, the shrimp were fresh, flavorful and quite tasty. Shrimp can sometimes be fishy, but these were sweet and perfect with a dunk of tartar sauce. Served with a side of fries, this simple yet beloved seafood favorite was executed perfectly.
Whole belly fried clams — Anytime I see whole belly clams on a menu, I order them, as most places outside of New England only offer clam strips, which are a very different dish. These were superb — briney, breaded and fried to a pale gold, these Ipswich clams were really hard to stop eating, even with all the incredible choices we had in front of us. If you come to Boulevard clams, these are the clams to order. A real home run.
Throw it back
Stuffed clams — If the whole belly fried clams are the clams to order at Boulevard Clams, the stuffed clams are the ones NOT to order. The menu describes them as “three large cherrystone clams filled with vegetable and clam stuffing.” While that may not be a lie, the flavor was bland and it was difficult to find any clams among all the bread, vegetables and general filler. We left the last one on the plate and nobody was fighting over it.
Lobster roll, above
Whole belly fried clams, left