2003 BEST Chowder, Clam
The Times Bar and Restaurant
To hell with baked beans. Clam chowder is Boston’s crowning food—not potato, not flour, but clam. That’s a distinction understood at the Times, an otherwise largely undistinguished beer hall within a stone’s kick of the waterfront. Each spoonful of the chowder here is heaped with clams so fresh they carry a signature nip of sand and the odd crunch of shell. It’s dense but not gluey, and the flavor is emphatically shellfish. Other chowders boast fancier bisques or gourmet crackers, but this barroom stew wins out on the strength of the defining mollusk.