Ready to see the Ocean State out-Ocean State itself? Head down to India Point Park for the Rhode Island Seafood Festival today (9/7) and tomorrow (9/8) from 11 a.m.–7 p.m. (First-years and/or directionally challenged Brunonians: click here for map.) The idea may sound fishy to you, and that’s literally why you should go: hang on to the last smells, tastes, and sounds of summer while the weather is nice and you have very little homework to do.
You don’t have to pay anything to get in, and there are tons of great food vendors—Clam Jammers, Plouf Plouf, and Blount Calm Shack, to name a few—who will be serving up yummy (read: fishy) dishes. If you’re over 21, you can let loose by the water and enjoy a brewski or a glass of wine from the local breweries and wineries that will be serving at the festival. Any local seafood festival without live music by local bands who play on “The Pier Stage” would simply be nautical nonsense; let these jams become the soundtrack to your meandering, eating, drinking, and merriment.
Enjoy the final few days of summer in true Rhode Island fashion. Be sure to get a group of friends and make the trek south to the Rhode Island Seafood Festival today and/or tomorrow. You’ll be glad you did.
It’s not often that dining forays off College Hill actually deepen my appreciation for the stuff available to us through good ol’ BuDS, but a recent jaunt did the near impossible. I wanted so badly for Blount Clam Shack, the quintessentially New England outpost of fried seafood and 1950s kitsch, to be great. Unfortunately, these expectations proved lofty. Blount’s not awful; it’s just not worth it.
You may recognize the name: Blount is, after all, the supplier of those soups they serve at Jo’s and The Gate. Each year the locally owned franchise goes through some 800,000 pounds of clams, harvested fresh from New England waters, which make for an abundance of hush puppy-esque clam cakes, old-school fried clam rolls and whole belly clam platters. In addition to creamy New England clam chowder and its red Manhattan counterpart, Blount makes a Rhode Island specialty called the clam bake, which tastes like a beachfront cookout poured into a giant stewpot: potatoes, corn, chorizo and clams in a clear, salty broth. Don’t be mistaken; there’s other seafood, too — haddock here and there, scallops and a guest appearance from the lobster roll. They’ve even got a burger section, which is incredibly bewildering since 1) you’re at a clam shack and 2) you’re across the street from Rick’s Roadhouse.