Okay, so maybe this post isn’t quite Providence-specific. Or even Rhode Island-specific, really. But as I prepare for another hours-long car journey from NYC to PVD, I thought it’d be worth sharing one of my favorite roadside food stops along the route.
Sea View Snack Bar is just off the highway in Mystic, Connecticut. The shack itself is quite small, with a simple two-window order/pick-up system and a menu laden with deep-fried fishy delights. The menu also has several photos, in case you need reassurance that your fried fish strips will, indeed, be breaded and fried. And the Bar proudly highlights that they serve “100 PERCENT FRESH SEA FOOD,” that extra space irritating only the most word-nerdy among us (guilty as charged).
If you settle for no less than the comforts of restaurant dining, you’re in the wrong place – a spotty PA system alerts you to pick up your food, and crooked picnic tables are the only seating. But such minor details are forgotten when you hold a hand to the sun and see this:
A picturesque blue sky, cute sailing boats, gravel stones crunching beneath your feet. Peering jealously across the bay at those pretty seaside dwellings, I almost forgot about the fried clams I ordered. Well, until the musky aroma of hot oil and salt started wafting from a neighbor’s table. I spied eagerly – lobster roll, fried fish strips, crab cakes. It all looked delicious and steaming hot. (At another table, some fool had ordered a hot dog. No comment.)
Our number was impatiently announced, so I went and grabbed these guys:
The holy trinity – fried clam strips, french fries, coleslaw. The ‘slaw was good, tart enough to balance the fried half of the plate. (Okay, perhaps more than half the food on this plate was fried.) The clams, while strips and not full bellies, were briny and delicious, and we couldn’t stop popping them in our mouths. There was some passive-agressive offering of the last clam – you know the situation: no one wants to take the last morsel, but cold shoulder awaits the one to grab it. (In the end, my brother got the clam. Ah, to be young.)
Greasy hands are not best-suited for getting behind the wheel, but it’s not like our beat-up Honda Civic doesn’t have worse things to complain about. We drove away with full bellies, salty lips, the view of the water quickly receding and Providence on the horizon.
Sea View Snack Bar
145 Greenmanville Avenue, Mystic CT