One of the best things about living on the east coast is your proximity to other states and their indigenous foods. In one day, you can travel through 3 or 4 states and try everything from New York pizza to Connecticut hot dogs to Rhode Island seafood!
Champlin’s is a seafood shack in Narragansett, Rhode Island that is hailed as having some of the freshest and most delicious seafood in all of Southern New England.
It is part restaurant, part fish market, and the vibe is uber-relaxed seafood shack.
You might want to sit outside in the summer, but in the winter, it is INSANELY cold, and empty!
You order up front, gather hot sauce and lemon, and wait for your number to be called.
Stuffies are giant clams called quahogs that are chopped (they are too tough to eat when they are whole), then mixed with bread or crackers, peppers, and an assortment of other spices. The clam mixture is then stuffed into the shell and baked. It may be my FAVORITE way to eat clams.
This stuffie is good but not fantastic. A bit dry and crumbly, mixed with slightly sauteed red peppers and large pieces of clam. Sadly, it lacks the moist consistency and truly in your face briny taste of a truly awesome quahog.
Don’t get me wrong…it is still really delicious. Just not in the upper pantheon of quahog-ness.
A hot, savory doughnut. Crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside. Bready, salty doughnuts studded with huge bits of tender and salty clams.
This could turn anyone into a clam lover. Dip it in some malt vinegar and it is a tangy-salty-fried haven of flavor.
Creamy, rich, and deeply flavored with the buttery taste of lobster. It has a balanced flavor with plenty of sherry and zippy cayenne pepper playing off of the naturally mild lobster. This seems less like a cream soup with lobster and more like the liquid essence of lobster that simply happened to be creamy. Really fulfilling and delicious on a winter’s day.
Or in the middle of summer.
Anytime you’re awake, really.
The lobster roll is exemplary, as far as Maine style lobster rolls go. That means that it has finely diced celery, a bit of mayo and is served on a buttered, toasted, top split hot dog bun. Lots of tail and claw meat, cooked until done but not rubbery, are mixed with crunchy celery and creamy mayo to create a delicious lobster salad. Nestled in that warm toasted bun, the lobster is tender but retains a light bite that keeps the shellfish from being mushy. It is light, rich and carries the fresh taste of the ocean.
I can’t recommend Champlin’s enough! The food is incredibly well priced, incredibly fresh and incredibly delicious. Though there is nothing earth shattering or amazingly inventive at this restaurant, that isn’t why you go there. You go there for fresh seafood, perfectly prepared. Only a few hours a way. Cooked by the people who caught it.
Man, I love the east coast!