Saturday, July 31, 2010

Weekend Cooking...Smitty's Clam Bar

Too hot to cook...ok, actually it is quite nice let's go out and get something to eat. Let's go to that seaside town favorite, the clam bar.

If you look at the picture of the signs, you will not see anything that says Smitty's, but that is what everyone calls it. The 'real' name appears to be The Clam Bar at Smith's Marina...but to the people that pack the place, it's Smitty's. Located in Somers Point, just south of where I live and very conveniently very close to my branch of the county library, it is just the place to go for a seafood fix.

Every time I have been there has been for lunch. Odd but true. This place can get very busy and I like to avoid the rush. But go by there at dinnertime and you will see people sitting outside on the benches or checking out the boats at the surrounding marina or seeing what is going on along Bay Ave., waiting for a table to free up and their name to be called. But I like it early in the day.

Arrive a little before opening, when they are just putting the stools out at the counter and the cooks are still stirring those seriously big pots of chowder and you will see the provisions for the day being delivered. Big net bags filled with clams, little necks and top necks, that you can get raw or steamed. At Smitty's raw seems to reign, the clam shucker preparing plate after plate after plate to order. Few are the customers who don't seem to start with the chowder or clams..or both!

Then, it is time to move on to the entree. Again, the lucky early arrivers can see the boxes of all sort of fish and seafood arriving for the day. You can't beat the fried clams..or the shrimp or scallops..or the crabcake is pretty good. Or go for the combo and get them all. There is always a list posted on a whiteboard with the fish of the day, fried or baked with a sauce of your choosing to pick from. Yesterday, they had mako, tuna, grouper, flounder and a bunch of others. The guy at the stool next to me had mako in a ginger soy sauce and his buddy had a big cold seafood salad. They both looked quite nice. But no ginger mako for me.

I am a simple person, and after my cup of chowder...maybe I should have had the bowl...I went with a flounder sandwich with fries and a nice coleslaw. For me, it is usually that or the fried clams. Keep it simple. Those guys next to me also had the presence of mind to bring a little cooler filled with beer, the perfect beverage to go with ya 'chowda.
It is BYOB at Smitty's..The Clam Bar.

This is my contribution this to this week's Weekend Cooking.
"Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend."
Be sure to check out the other entries this week. As always, hosted by Beth Fish Reads.


  1. OMG, I am drooling at this post. Good seafood and places like this are one of the many many things I miss about MA. Every year when we go back up, we just about eat seafood for lunch or dinner every day. Overload is the key word but it has to last us for a year. Enjoy the clams!!

  2. with all that ocean in Florida, they should have places like this! especailly since everyone that lives there is from the NorthEast.

  3. Yes! They have places like this literally every five miles (maybe less) on the coast. One of my favorites is in New Smyrna Beach called JB's Fish Camp. Even better, up in the panhandle, you can get your oysters that are so fresh, they were caught that same day. Mmmmmm...

  4. Catie--so would you say Smitty's is "take the ferry from Lewes to try it good?" Because I've never seen a place like this in Delaware and my mouth is watering!

  5. Raw clams? I know people eat raw oysters, but didn't know they eat raw clams. My husband would love Smitty's!

  6. Hummm, not all that far from OC, NJ is it? Next time we're at the shore, I know where I'm going!

  7. It is just across the causeway from Ocean City. In fact, most people go that way, over the 9th St. Bridge, to get back to the Parkway and pass with a block or two of Smitty's. You can see it from the causeway.

    Beth, is it worth a trip from Lewes? well I think a trip on the ferry is worthy in itself. and then go to Ocean City, to the boardwalk, and stop at Smitty's and work in the Cape may lighthouse on the way back. Now that is a day!

    Kathy, you have never heard of raw clams??
    ok, I have never eaten one myself, but people here eat them in the dozens..a dash of hot sauce or horseradish...slurp.

  8. I'd love to live somewhere where we'd have places like this one. No such thing for me, though. Now I am hungry...:-).

  9. Well, living in Maine I'm partial to lobster, but then I grew up on the Chesapeake Bay so crabs and oysters are right up there, but a good clam is something wonderful to indulge in. I've not had the NJ variety, but you sure make it tempting to take a detour on one of our trips from DC to Maine. I'll only come tho if you meet me there!! LOL.

    And ginger mako is really tempting too. Anyway, thanks for the drool...and the great pictures.

  10. Well, I am sure that you won't find this surprising, but the closest thing we have to this in the midwest is Long John Silvers (gross!) It is posts like this that make me realize that I do miss the east coast.

    My favorite seafood delights include steamers and fried clams --- yummm....

  11. This looks like a really nice place! Not a shellfish person myself, but what a wonderful restaurant this is.

    I like your write-up of it, too.

  12. Oh... this post has made me hungry!!

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