The fried clam is made by deep frying a soft-shell clam that has been dipped in batter. It was allegedly invented in Essex, Massachusetts by Lawrence Dexter "Chubby" Woodman on July 3, 1916 in his small village restaurant. Later, Howard Johnson, also from Massachusetts, began frying his own variety, and made them popular throughout the country. His version is made with clam strips, which are clams without the belly. These strips are usually breaded, rather than battered.
Fried clams are an important part of New England cuisine. They tend to be served at seaside clam shacks, restaurants accompanying roadside ice cream stands, and casual dining establishments. They can be eaten as a dinner, or put in an oyster pail "to go." For a lighter meal, a clam roll is made by piling clams into a hot
bun. Tartar sauce is the usual condiment.
So now you know where this is going yes Woodmans the best fried clam around I was raised on them. A 45 minute ride north of Boston in the small town of Essex http://www.woodmans.com/index.html
If Howard Johnson was any good they would still be in business and remember the rest are all copys. Oh the belly's are a must for me but if you want strips they have them also.