When we arrived in Cape Cod, my cousin Paula told us about a crab shack she had seen on TV and was arguably the best on The Cape. The next day we stopped for lunch at Arnold’s Lobster & Clam Bar to verify this claim for ourselves. With a full parking lot and a line out the door, we wondered if the wait would be worth it. The line was moving quickly, though, so we decided to try this popular crab shack.
Arnold’s has an extensive menu with seafood rolls and fried seafood baskets comprising the majority of choices. Sam and I decided to go for the best of both worlds and split a lobster roll and fried clam basket.
We didn’t order the “Ginormous” lobster roll, but nonetheless the lobster roll we did order had huge pieces of lobster meat. The lobster meat was couched in a piece of lettuce and a white roll and had very little mayonnaise, which I was glad about. A side of tangy coleslaw was a great complement — I think the New Englanders have their menus down.
When we were choosing our fried basket, my cousin Leslie alerted us to the two different kinds of clam baskets we could order: clam strips and whole clams with bellies. Apparently the juicy clam belly is removed on the clam strips because some people don’t care for the texture of clam bellies even though the bellies impart a greater clam flavor. We wanted whole-clam-goodness, so we ordered the clam belly basket. Crisp on the outside and just chewy enough on the inside, the clams were a great treat.
My aunt also ordered a basket of onion rings for us to share. The onion flavor was so intense and the thin, crispy texture of the onions so perfect that my standard of onion rings has been raised by these onion rings.
For her main dish, my aunt ordered fried scallops, which were very tasty but very rich.
Arnold’s also had a Raw Bar inside, where Sam tried an oyster. How’d it taste? Good, but not much different than California oysters.
When we arrived at Arnold’s we planned to get ice cream at the ice cream bar attached to the back, but after such a heavy meal I couldn’t bear to look in that direction. That was ok, though, because ice cream shacks abound on the Cape.
And our meal had made us happy as clams.