Somewhat recently we were in Providence, Rhode Island for our older daughters cheerleading finals, and we were ruminating over where we wanted to visit for a unique meal while we were there. We make it a point to stop somewhere new every time we are there, but we always end up choosing somewhere in downtown Providence. However, every time we do make the trip up there, we also make sure to visit Newport, to spend some time at Brenton Point State Park, which is a lovely spot along the coast that we have come to really love. By the time our trip was nearing an end, we had realized that we hadn’t yet made it to anywhere interesting to eat yet and we were already in Newport, so we started searching. There were so many options that were available, but everyone was feeling some real working style seafood, and that is how we ended up in nearby Middletown, and at the long-standing slingers of all things from the sea, Flo’s Clam Shack.
The place looks like the kind of place you’re looking for when you think of cold, northeast shellfish town, especially when you’re not from the area. The exterior looks weathered but in the most perfect way, and the interior is cozy with lots of wood everywhere, and of course the obligatory fisherman memorabilia. It’s also no frills, which was perfect as we wanted a nice, warm place that we could relax after the chilly day spent at the park. You order from a counter on the first floor and when your food is ready you’re called back up to pick it up on a plastic tray with everything served on thick cardboard platters. Some food has to be ordered at the raw bar upstairs which also serves what appear to be some really wonderful drinks. There is no end to the selection of fried seafood, and that seems to be the majority of what gets served, although we prefer our shellfish broiled, there are so many things to choose from, even the pickiest of families will find plenty of things to satisfy everyone.
After looking at the menu for a very long time, and with the girls being extremely restless at the table, we finally settled on everyone’s order, seconds before we almost said the dreaded parental phrase “Okay, nobody’s eating ‘cause you can’t behave. We’ll just eat at the hotel!” Jeremy decided on the oyster po’boy sandwich, Jen chose the fried scallops, and our daughters got shrimp cocktail and chicken fingers. We also ordered a plate of their world famous clamcakes, which as far as Jeremy was concerned, was the star of the show. The food was fantastic, albeit fried, and it flew off the table so fast that it seemed as though we couldn’t have even eaten. The clamcakes were unlike anything any of us had ever eaten before, kind of like something between a hushpuppy and a biscuit filled with nice large pieces of chopped up clams. Although the total cost for our meal was a little more than we would have anticipated, the prices were fair enough and the quality was superb. This is not the place you’re looking for if you want a high-end seafood dining experience. But it is the place you want if you want great seafood at a good price, and are also looking for a great time with great people. Definitely don’t pass Flo’s by if you happen to be in the area, you’re guaranteed to regret it if you do!