Living the gluten-free good life in D.C.

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Crispy, crunchy clams, a (unbeatable) New England treat

August 10th, 2008 by Brandi

Anytime I’m packing and planning for a trip to New England to see family, I’m often drooling in anticipation of the regional foods I’ll get to enjoy. Lobster in the rough, clam chowder – the ooey, gooey, white kind, not that red New York stuff - steamers and Fenway Franks bring back childhood memories. It’s a sad thing that some of these treats will never leave my childhood (Fenway Franks are yet to come in a GF form), but there’s one snack I can always look forward to. Fried clams.

New England clams are good any way, really – steamed with drawn butter and lemon, baked in seaweed on the beach or deep fried served with slaw and fries. Sadly, for us gluties, the fried option is usually off limits.

But alas! This is far from the case at Woodman’sin Essex, Mass. The self-proclaimed inventors of fried clams, the Woodman’s family recipe is naturally gluten free and they know it. They use an egg wash with corn meal and have a designated frier for clams and for French fries. I won’t lie, their slaw is tops too. If you order the special with extra fries and no onion rings, they’ll ask if you’re celiac and how you found them. There’s a few of us who have crossed their paths.

Be prepared to wait on the street if you make a trip up North (just a quick flight from DC if you miss the thunderstorms) to enjoy a heavenly, fried taste of New England’s briney waters. During the summer, the crowd never clears. It is open year round, though, and it’s always a nice visit in December. Remember to bring cash. No credit cards accepted.

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