For so many people south of Boston, summertime is meant for an afternoon or evening drive over to Wollaston Beach in Quincy, where on can sit on the sea wall, soak up the beach atmosphere, and have fresh, delicious seafood at The Clam Box. But did you know that there is another seafood shack on Wollaston Beach that is every bit as good as the Clam Box, and is so close to The Clam Box that even a snail could walk from one to the other? Indeed, Tony's Clam Shop is a destination place for those in the know, though honestly there aren't many of them, as The Clam Box seems to grab much more press.
As with The Clam Box, Tony's Clam Shop is a compact place with indoor and outdoor seating, including an indoor area with a glass roof (on a rainy day, it can get pretty loud!). And Tony's, like The Clam Box, has a varied and extensive menu, with a long list of seafood items, as well as burgers, hot dogs, and other comfort food (including some very fine corn fritters) for those who aren't into clams, haddock, or shrimp. There is even a small section of the menu dedicated to Middle Eastern food, including the satisfying chicken kabob salad, tasty grape leaves, a garlicky but flavorful hummus with paprika, a delicious falafel rollup, and an equally good falafel plate with hummus and tahini, and nicely seasoned kafta. If you are a clam lover, however, this is the place to get them, as the fried clams here are some of the best on the South Shore. And if you like other seafood dishes, items such as the substantial fish sandwich, the huge fried sea scallops (which go perfectly as part of a scallop and clam combo plate), the stupendously good lobster roll, and the non-greasy and nicely battered fish cakes and crab cakes (made a bit more crunchy than usual thanks to a good amount of celery used) are terrific options as well.
Tony's Clam Shop has been around for a long time, but while it is an institution of sorts to Quincy residents, you won't find many people outside of the South Shore who even know of its existence. Those who spend their weekends at Wollaston Beach are indeed lucky, having two terrific seafood joints along Quincy Shore Drive. Just remember, though; if The Clam Box is packed, head a few hundred yards south to Tony's Clam Shop. Chances are, it won't be your last time at this great little spot along Wally Beach. [Ed note: Call in advance toward the end of October, which is when Tony's usually closes for the winter.]
Copyright © 2006-2016, Boston's Hidden Restaurants (www.hiddenboston.com).