A Sampling of Reviews

Amaral's Fish and Chips - 4 Redmond Street - Warren, RI 02885

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 From Yankee Magazine, published March/April 2008.


Eating New Englandy

25 New England foods and the best places
to find them

"Stuffies" are to clams casino what steak is to chicken: big and hearty. Shells are packed with chopped quahogs and bread and/or cracker crumbs, and flavored with herbs and/or veggies and plenty of clam juice, often with a red-pepper-flake kick. Amaral's definitely have that zing, but no green pepper, no bacon, no chorizo -- just the basics.




    From the book, New England's Favorite Seafood Shacks: Eating up the Coast From Connecticut to Maine, published June 05, 2006.


Amaral's Fish & Chips

Best bites: fish and chips, fried scallops, fried smelts, clam cakes, "natural" clam chowder

Don't expect views or pristine clapboard at Amaral’s. This tiny Portuguese diner tucked away in a nondescript business park in Warren is not about looks. But the name piqued my interest, and the food backs it up: This may be some of the lightest, crispiest battered haddock in Rhode Island, and the rest of the fried seafood — clams, shrimp, juicy wonderful scallops and totally addictive smelts — is just as winning; a couple of combo dinners let you mix and match. The "natural" chowder is a thick, pale grey-green version of the cream-less Rhode Island kind, full of hefty nuggets of clam; in the red chowder, tomatoes give the plain version a spicy kick.

"If the gods on Mount Olympus ate clam cakes," writes Quahog.org, a virtual shrine to the all-holy bivalve, "they'd buy them here."




    From the Warren Times-Gazette newspaper, published May 17, 2006.


Stuffies rule at Amaral's

Of course, coffee milk can also be found over at Amaral's Fish and Chips, together with perennial Rhode Island favorites, stuffies and clam cakes. Amaral's might seem like the new kid on the block compared with Delekta's and Rod's.

Nevertheless, Amaral's has been cranking out nearly 3,000 clam cakes per week since brothers Donald and Tony Amaral opened the doors in 1984. They can be found in the kitchen monitoring the quality of their stuffies and clam cakes, as well as the Rhode Island clam chowder so many locals favor. Rhode Island clam chowder features a clear broth loaded with potatoes and clams and, at Amaral's, plenty of green parsley that adds a nice touch of color.

Clam cakes are unique to Rhode Island, as anyone from out of state has realized when expecting something akin to a Maryland crab cake. A clam cake, on the contrary, is a crunchy fried dough fritter with minced clams interspersed throughout the steamy soft interior. Rhode Islanders clamoring for Amaral's ever-popular clam cakes can be found lining up out the door on any given Friday. Just don't ask for the recipe.

The stuffies at Amaral's are almost as popular as the clam cakes, but minced clams are about all they have in common. According to Donald Amaral — in a disclosure rare in these parts — there is no added sausage in their stuffies, because he feels that would only mask the flavor of the chopped clams. In Amaral's stuffies, bread crumbs are mixed with minced quahog, onion, celery and spices. The mixture is placed back on the quahog shell before it is baked and served piping hot. The Amaral brothers also have regular visits from those expatriated Rhode Islanders who hunger the year long for clam cakes and stuffies, often making Amaral's the first stop.



And some golden oldies (we're consistent)...



    From the Rhode Island Monthly magazine, published August 1994.


Best Fish in the Ocean (State, that is)

We wanted to know who makes the best fish and chips in Rhode Island. And not only the best, but the real thing - you know, batter-dipped, deep-fried, flaky fish with nice, thick fries - like they eat from newspapers over in jolly old England.

So we enlisted a professional-a true-blue, dyed-in-the-wool Englishman - for the job. He traveled from one end of the Ocean State to the other, sampling fish and chips at every stop, and discovered the best at Amaral's in Warren.

This spot is far from high glamour - the booths sport formica tables and hard benches, and the silverware is plastic - but the food makes up for any of that. The fish is tender and flakes with a fork; the fries are fresh, hot, and thick; and it's a huge portion. It's the best $4.25 trip back home our Englishman ever took.

-Kerri Hicks




    From the Providence Journal newspaper, July 15, 1987.


Bellies Up

From a self-proclaimed clam lover came these Instructions: Put the whole clam into your mouth at once. The idea is that you want the soft, round clam belly to fill your mouth. The clam juice should squirt out while you're chewing on the neck, filling your mouth with sea taste.

And these guidelines: The best fried clams reach an ideal balance between soft, juicy and chewy. Tartar sauce is absolutely essential for dipping the fried clams (though, sadly, I found, much of it tastes prepackaged).

Thus prepared, I launched into my first fried-clam-tasting experience, never imagining that I would come to enjoy eating the squishy, batter dipped sea fauna. I soon found out, though, that once you acquire a taste for them, fried clams can become addictive.

So, for those who have already acquired that addiction, and for those who think you might like to try, here's a list of a few places to get fried clams In Southeastern New England, along with a rating based on a recent sampling by both the experienced and the novice clam taster. The list is only a partial one; there are many other places along the coast that serve clams. Try them; the best clam shack may be just down the road at your local beach. Good luck and happy clamming.

The Ratings:     * * * * excellent     * * * good    * * fair     * poor

* * * * Amaral's Fish And Chips, Turner Street, Warren. Restaurant and take-out. Fried-clam side order is $4.80 (about 25 clams). A clam plate with fries and coleslaw is $6.30. Our generous portion of clams in a light flour batter had squishy, melt-in-your-mouth bellies; the clams were fresh and tasty. With red checkered tablecloths, this place is not exactly a rough clam shack, but service was fast, the atmosphere casual and the utensils plastic. Amaral's uses Maine and Maryland clams, fried in a combination of vegetable oil and animal fat. The tartar sauce was thin and liquidy so you could easily dip your whole clam in it.

( Summary of the review's ratings of other restaurants:

* * * The Seagull, Succotash Road. Wakefield.
* * * Harry's Seafood Emporium, off Route 103, Swansea.
* * * Sandbar Fish & Dairy, 775 Hope St., Bristol.
* * * George's of Galilee, Sand Hill Cove Road, Narragansett.
* * Aunt Carrie's, Ocean Road, Point Judith.
* * Ocean Express, Allens Avenue, Providence/Cranston line.
* * Evelyn's Nanequeket Drive-In, Main Road, Tiverton.
* Portside Restaurant, Great Island Road, Narragansett.
* Rocky Point Chowder House, Post Road, Warwick. )




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