Over the last several weeks, Charles & I have asked many people which restaurant or clam shack they feel has the best clam cakes & chowder. We were told about the old standbys, and we had been to most of them; but we were looking for that one place we’d never been to or heard of before, that special place with clammy clam cakes & chowder.
Well folks I have some good news for you, I think we’ve found what we've been looking for! There is a place in Charlestown, RI called The Hitching Post. Now, for those of you who know us, you know that we spend most of our summer weekends down in Charlestown. How could we have been going to Charlestown all of these years and not known about The Hitching Post?...A place that has been around for 60 years?!!?...I don’t know and I am pretty upset, but alas, after a recommendation from a friend, we found it.
Now let me tell you a bit about the family run shack called The Hitching Post. It is located at 5402 Post Road (Rte. 1) Charlestown, RI and has been in business since 1950…they must be doing something right. The gal who served us is third generation and truly enjoys working at her family’s restaurant. Eat-in dining is available, but they also have a sweet little outdoor garden where you can sit and enjoy the food and weather at the same time. We choose to sit in our car and eat, as the buggy time of night was approaching. (And I usually end up with tartar sauce all over my face.)
I’ll start by telling you about the chowder, saving the best for last. Clear chowder is the only chowder style they offer. Why? Because it is the traditional way Rhode Islanders make their chowder. That’s news to me, but it's OK because I really enjoy the clear chowder the best. The broth is very light; almost too light, but still very delicious. (I think because they don't use a ton of butter, the broth is very light and pretty healthy!) You can taste the ocean with each spoonful, as well as onion and celery. As you stir the chowder, you can see the clams swirling about in the bowl…yes, actual clams!! And they are soft, tender clams, not the chewy kind you may be used to. As far as the potatoes go, there weren't a ton of them and they're cut into small cubes which made me happy because they are my least favorite part of the chowder. I actually ate them all!
At The Hitching Post they offer “clam fritters” instead of clam cakes. Why? I don’t know, but I’ll find out! It doesn’t even matter because they are just so good! We ordered 6 clam fritters and we actually got 7! Mistake? Who cares!! These fritters also taste like the ocean (in a good way) and are light and airy and actually have clams in them!! With each bite I took I’d carefully examine my fritter, and to my surprise, I’d see at least 3 clam pieces waiting in the dough pillows for me to eat. YAHOOO!!!! YUUUUMMMMM!!! GIDDY UP!! I can't believe we finally know where to go for good clam cakes, I mean fritters, and chowder! My summer is now complete, and I can rest easy knowing that The Hitching Post is near!!
Oh, I must tell you about the tartar sauce…totally homemade! I could tell it was homemade just by looking at it. The tartar sauce has a fresh, crisp, sweet taste that paired very well with the clam fritters.
Go to The Hitching Post and play with your food!!