DIG IN! Savor the taste of the season.
For more than 30 years, Jim’s Dock (1175 Succotash Rd, Wakefield) has been satisfying the locals with incredibly affordable fare, including clam cakes which feature actual clams (pick up a dozen for under $7). BYOB and dog-friendly, too!
Aunt Carrie’s (1240 Ocean Rd, Narragan-sett, auntcarriesri.com) is a madhouse no matter the time of day yet always worth the wait. The “Lobster Roll special” includes a cup of chowder and two clam cakes. The lobster roll is served on homemade bread with “no fillers or celery” and is offered cold or warm (for you Jersey weirdos). Family-owned and -operated for more than 90 years, the Aunt Carrie’s empire has now expanded to an ice cream parlor across the street.
Clam cakes have somehow eluded the marquee at Iggy’s Doughboys & Chowder House (iggysdoughboys.com) but that hasn’t stopped throngs of hungry fans from lining up for a dozen (or two) belly-busters (visit the site for a $1 off coupon). The original Oakland Beach location (889 Oakland Beach Ave, Warwick) is open year-round and recently celebrated its 25th anniversary, and you can’t beat the view from the outdoor patio at the seasonal location in Narragansett (1157 Point Judith Rd, Narragansett).
That neverending line at Iggy’s has led some of us impatient folk to rediscover Seven Seas Chowder House (26 Palmer Ave, Warwick), the shackiest of all clam shacks (never judge a book — or clam shack — by its cover). The clam cakes are always on point, as is the $10 Coconut Shrimp platter. Wash it all down with a bag of piping-hot “Doughgirls” and just call it a day.
Stop by Monahan’s Clam Shack by the Sea (190 Ocean Rd, Narragansett, monahans ri.com) and pick up “RI’s most affordable lobster roll” for $14.99 a la carte.
Or head to Buster Krab’s (265 Great Island Rd, Narragansett, busterkrabs.com) across from Salty Brine Beach for “The World’s Most Expensive Lobster Roll.” Damn, that’s barely an exaggeration at $24.99, but the hollowed-out grinder roll makes for an ample vehicle, alongside a pile of fries and choice of dipping sauce (cucumber-wasabi, please). This is the perfect place to wait out the late-afternoon exiting beach traffic.
For the freshest lobster roll in town, look no further than the legendary Champlin’s Seafood (256 Great Island Rd, Narragansett, champlins.com). The price is reasonable (usually around $17) considering the heft of crustacean crammed into the griddled hot dog bun. That is the benefit of having your own wholesale operation and retail market (Champlin’s serves New York’s Fulton Fish Market and Boston’s Fish Pier, among others). Relax on the upstairs deck and watch as fishing boats pull in with their daily catch.
For you lazy, crustacean-craving Cran-stonians — head to Marchetti’s Restaurant (1463 Park Ave, Cranston, marchettis.com), where the mountainous lobster roll is as generous as the legendarily copious pasta plates.
Our obsession with Crow’s Nest (288 Arnolds Neck Dr, Warwick) is well-documented among friends who insist we need to drive south of Route 4 for a decent lobstuh roll. But Crow’s Nest one-ups the competition with the lobster club sandwich. Lobster and bacon plus a heaping side of fries for around $16? Yessir. Skippers from the nearby marina (in the Apponaug section of Warwick) and faithful blue-haired regulars fill this place year-round.
We’ll keep the seafood rolling and start with the 29th annual Charlestown Seafood Festival , which offers clam cakes and lobstuh rolls and everything else from the ocean, plus land-based delicacies and monstrously sweet treats. In between mouthfuls you can take in tribute bands (Draw the Line = Aerosmith, Dirty Deeds = AC/DC, All Heart = Heart, the Great Escape = Journey), arts and crafts, rides, and much more. The fest is at Ninigret Park in Charlestown August 2-4 (charlestownrichamber.com); admission is $8, free under 11.
And plan to head back to Ninigret on August 10 for the summer edition of the Rhode Island Brew Fest (the inaugural event was held last winter at the Armory in Pawtucket). Forty or so breweries will be pouring 150 or so different beers from 1-4 pm and 5-8 pm. Hit ribrewfest.com for ticket info.
Trinity Rep will celebrate its 50th anniversary on Saturday, August 17 with a block party and open house from noon till 8 pm. There will be performances of beloved scenes and songs from the theater’s rich history, and they’ll share the spotlight by opening the stage to the state’s other talented troupes. But wait, there’s more: tours, workshops, tech demos, a sale of props and costumes, music, acting classes, face painting . . . . Get more details and updates at trinityrep.com.
The Wooly Fair , the annual “pop-up, participatory arts carnival,” is at the Steel Yard in Providence August 16-18. This year’s theme is “Off the Grid and On the Lamb,” which will explore the possibilities of human-generated electricity. There’s family fun while the sun’s out, and “grown-up revelry” at night. Free your mind at woolytown.com.
The 17th Annual Rhode Island International Film Festival will unleash its cinematic bounty August 6-11, with screenings, seminars, workshops, tours, and more in Providence, Newport, Jamestown, Westerly, and points in between. There’s a lot to sort out: all the info is at RiFIlmFest.org.