Kennebuckport Maine 2019

When we lived in Boston, we would get to the Maine Coast quite often. Unfortunately, our Maine trips have become much less frequent since we moved to San Francisco. Since we haven’t been to Portland for a few years, we were anxious to see what we have missed and to return to some of our favorite restaurants. Our first stop was Kennebunkport Maine.

Kennebuckport sign

Clamming in Kennebunkport

Kennebunkport Maine is a good place to make a lunch stop when travelling from Boston into Maine.  Although we didn’t have a chance to drop in on 41 (George H.W.) and Barbara Bush at their Walker Point compound, we did make time to stop at Kenebunkport’s most popular restaurant: The Clam Shack.

The Clam Shack

We had been addicted to The Clam Shack’s sinfully wonderful, ultra-healthy <not> fried belly clams and onion rings for years. So every chance we have, we endure the long line of cars and even longer line of customers waiting in line for a chance to order at the famed fast food stand. Yes, the lines are long. But hey, you can get a glass of wine or beer while waiting.

clam shack 02 (2)

The last time we were there, we were disappointed with the small size of the bellies (and the resultant predominance of batter in the taste). OK, we thought. Any place can have a bad day and we needed to try again. After a 20 minute or so wait to order and another 15 minutes to get the food, we emerged with our standard order (a quart of belly clams, a pint of onion rings, an IPA and a white wine).

Tom eating clams at Clam Shack

Once again, we found the clam bellies to still be disturbingly small and breading to be the predominant texture and flavor.  Even the onion rings were disappointing. While it is painful to say, our Clam Shack days are over. We ended up leaving much of our expensive lunch with a resolve to not return in the future. We won’t miss the traffic or the seagulls that try to swoop down and knock your food to the ground so that they can get it. But we will certainly miss what used to be a great lunch. So sad and so disappointing.

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