Sunday Restaurant Review

“The Chowder Bar”

The Chowder Bar

123 Maple Avenue

Bay Shore, NY

        Yesterday, here in New York was a cold and damp rainy day. When I suggested to my wife the idea of clam chowder she jumped at the opportunity as she too felt the chill in the air. She asked if I was planning of going to the Chowder Bar for a delicious bowl of their yummy soup. Indeed I was.

        I started going to this quaint little seafood restaurant located next to the Fire Island Ferry in Bay Shore way back in the 80’s. It was shortly after I asked for the recommendation of one of my bread delivery vendors. He recommended this restaurant even though he knew it would be a bit of a drive for me.

        The drive was well worth it as both my mother, who has since passed many years ago, and I loved everything we ate that day. I do have fond memories of that day spent with her. I have been going there ever since. Luckily, I have even moved a considerable distance closer so I could go more often. They do not have a large menu nor is it a “bougie” fancy pants restaurant. No, not at all, as a matter of fact, it is laid back and relaxing place. Almost like a small dinner. The inside still has its original counter where you can sit and watch the chef preparing your meal though the small service window.   After all this time it continues to have a really good selection of hot soups and after long cold day on the beach or traveling on a boat, their soup sure helps to warm you right up.

        By now, three decades later, I have eaten every fried item on the menu, several times. Even after all this time, I am never disappointed with their food. Their consistency in the making of the food has remained the same throughout all this time, which is more then I can say about most things and most places in life.

        On this most recent visit, I ordered a quart of New England Clam Chowder and the fried shrimp basket. It was, of course cooked to perfection and it is always just how I remember it on that very first trip way back in the 80’s. When I mentioned to my son, who is currently up in Boston, that I had gone to the Chowder Bar and ordered the clam chowder, he said his favorite soup there is the seafood bisque. He even tried to convince me I made a mistake and that should have ordered the soup that he likes. Both are very good. I have also had the Manhattan clam chowed many, many times and it too is delicious too.  

        Any trip there always takes me back to when I first took my mother. Soon after, when I was dating my wife we went there on a date. To this day, I continue to recommend this cozy eating establishment to friends and family.  

        So if you ever in the neighborhood of Bay Shore on Long Island NY stop by for a bowl of soup and maybe the fried flounder boat. I promise you, you won’t regret it.

The Drunken Chef (Russ)

© Russ Ahrens and The Magic of a Perfect Pairing, 2022

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