Monday, March 12, 2012

Restaurant Review: Iggy's Doughboys and Chowder House

This is a tough review for many reasons.  If you know anything about Rhode Islanders, then you'll understand where I am coming from.  Let me explain something to you, Iggy's is a landmark, a tradition and a state of mind.  If you visit Rhode Island, you are coming to Iggy's.  If you live in Rhode Island, you are going to Iggy's.  This place has been around since 1989 and its not going anywhere anytime soon.  

I think the best way to describe Iggy's is that it is simple and consistent.  After undergoing a renovation some years ago, you can see that the indoor dining area is sleek and cozy with fantastic views of Narragansett Bay.

What's nice about this "clam shack" is that the location in Oakland Beach, Warwick, is open year round 7 days a week.  Another thing to note, growing up my mom always said that wherever the older people are, that is where you will find good food.  Don't get me wrong, Iggy's has all walks of life going through its doors at all times of the year.  In the summertime the line is out the door and around the corner.  However, as I wisely choose to visit here in March with the strong winds gusting around the bay, I have ensured that I will have little wait time.  Also in the summertime there is outdoor seating available.  

Now the food!  Whenever I come to Iggy's I have to get chowder & clam cakes ($7.49), and a stuffie ($2.59).  These are my favorites and the chowder and clam cakes are what Iggy's is famous for.  The clam cakes are mostly doughy with a few pieces of clams.  I prefer to dunk them into the chowder seeing as they are more like a side of dense fried bread than anything else.  I get the Rhode Island clam chowder mostly because I can't have dairy.  The broth is simple with potatoes and small pieces of clams.  My mom got the New England clam chowder.  The main difference is the very thick cream based broth with noticeable thickening agents.  The stuffie has all the right components, just needed to be cooked a bit longer, the stuffing was on the wet side.

Now, my mom's way to judge local seafood is by ordering the Fisherman's Platter, coming in at $17.  Now let me tell you!  My mother grew up in New Bedford, one of the if not the biggest fishing hubs around!  My mother knows good seafood!  Oh and she's Portuguese.  Don't mess with her tastebuds.

Like I said before, everything is always fresh, simple and consistent.  The Fisherman's Platter has Bay scallops, clam strips and whole bellies (very sandy that day), shrimp (you can tell they were frozen and not whole), onion rings, french fries, clam cakes and a good portion of fish fillet (looked to be cod and the batter could have been cooked just a touch more).  It also came with cole slaw and a cup of your choice of chowder.  Oh and lest I forget that Rhode Island's own Yacht Club sodas were available, I prefer the lemon lime I think mostly for its insanely bright green color.  Mom opted for cream soda.  Very very good soda.  

All in all a Rhode Island experience.  Views of the bay while you eat and enjoying each others company.  Food is not fancy or perfect, everything comes in styrofoam containers with plastic utensils, but you know what you are getting when you go.  I'll avoid the lines in the summer and take advantage of the scenery when the crowds die down or when I feel like braving the line for a chance to enjoy the summer in Rhode Island.  

Iggy's is a tradition for a reason.  Come find out why :-)

Iggy's Doughboys and Chowder House on Urbanspoon

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