4 Wave Avenue, Middletown
(401) 847-8141
www.flosclamshacks.com

If you're like us, you've been running all over the place looking at butterflies and mansions and mysterious stone towers, and you're starving. And even if you're not like us, perhaps you're feeling a bit peckish anyway. Why not stop by Flo's Clam Shack for a quick bite to eat? Since 1936 they've served such traditional shore favorites as chowda (white, red, and clear), clam cakes, and spicy stuffed quahogs. Fresh fish arrives daily. Since 1994, Flo's has regularly garnered awards in Rhode Island Monthly's Best of Rhode Island polls. Some of you with more cash than smarts might even opt for the fifty-dollar special—a bottle of Moet and two hot dogs. If so, make sure you have enough cash, because Flo's does not accept credit cards.

Flo's began operation out of a renovated chicken coop in the Island Park section of Portsmouth in 1936 and soon became the favorite target of hurricanes. The original building was destroyed in the hurricane of '38. A later building was washed away by Hurricane Bob in 1991, leaving only the drive-in sign. Flo's was rebuilt the same year, and in 1992 a second location was opened in Middletown. This time they picked a building that had already survived the '38 hurricane.

The Middletown location may be the baby in the Flo's family, but it's also, well, let's say more gentile. Not only is there indoor seating, but upstairs there's also a raw bar (with over ninety hot sauces), and a deck with a view of Easton's Beach. The menu includes sit-down eats like baked and sautéed seafood dishes in addition to the usual clam shack take-out offerings.

Against our better judgment, we couldn't resist trying another menu item—the "R.I. Lunch Hot Cheese," dubbed "A Newport classic." This turns out to be melted cheese on a hamburger roll. It's not anything like a grilled cheese, though, because the American cheese is melted and whipped with cream, which gives it the gooey consistency of the nacho cheese you get at movie theaters. Tasty, but messy. The counter help claims the sandwich is very popular with local regulars, but we can't help but think it's a joke they play on the tourists.

Perhaps because they had plenty of them lying around after the various hurricanes, Flo's hands out rocks with numbers on them to customers waiting for their orders. This is how you know the food is really good. How many other eating establishments do you know that regularly give their customers weapons?

Flo's appeared on the "Crunchy" episode (S2E8) of the Food Network's The Best Thing I Ever Ate on February 19, 2010. Featured: Flo's Fried Clam Roll and Fish and Chips.

Komes Rozes explains the clam shack trinity on the CBN News Channel

Flo's Middletown is open year 'round, Monday to Friday, 11am-9pm; and Saturday and Sunday, 11am-10pm.

Awards

ABC6's Best of Southern New England Viewers' Poll:: Best Fried Clams (1997, 1998).
Newport Life Magazine's Best of Newport County: Best Fried Clams (1997), Best Raw Bar (2006-2009), Best Clam Cakes (1998-2000, 2009), Best Stuffies (2003, 2007), Best Take-Out (2004).
Rhode Island Monthly: one of the ten best clam shacks in Rhode Island (1997).
Rhode Island Monthly's Best of Rhode Island: Best Clam Cakes, Best Clam Shack, and Best Fried Clams (1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000).
Rhode Island Monthly's Readers' Poll: Best Fried Clams in Newport County (1994, 1995, 2009), Best Clam Cakes in the East Bay (1999), Best Clam Cakes in Newport County (1999, 2009), Best Clam Shack in Newport County (2001-2004, 2006-2007, 2010-2012), Best Fish and Chips in Newport County (2002, 2004, 2006), Best Takeout/Delivery in the East Bay (2005).

Reviews: Yelp

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