Our group of three went to the Clam Box for an early dinner tonight, for the third time this summer for their wonderful extra-long lobster rolls and onion rings. We did not, however, visit the Clam Box in Brookfield this time, but rather their location in Auburn. Let me start off by saying that the Auburn location’s ambience does not resemble the Brookfield location in any way. First of all, Auburn’s “dining room” does not have that “clam shack” atmosphere that Brookfield’s does, and Auburn does not have an outdoor dining option, as Brookfield does. Oddly, the rearmost portion of the “Auburn” dining room is reserved for non-drinkers only (of alcoholic beverages that is). This segregation is defined by a poorly-executed cardboard rendition of a Massachusetts town line sign, which hangs above the entrance to this tee totaling area (it reads: “Entering Auburn - No alcohol across town line,” which means that the “drinkers” are actually sitting in Oxford, right on the Oxford/Auburn line [strange]). We assume that this segregation exists because the owners did not wish to incur the expense of another liquor license from the Town of Auburn.
Now for the food: While the lobster rolls were packed with succulent claw and knuckle meat, light on the mayo, with only a sprinkling of chiffonade iceberg tucked into the well-buttered and grilled New England-style roll (as good as the ones we enjoyed in Brookfield), we cannot say the same for the onion rings. While the batter was as tasty and light in texture, they were saturated in grease toward the end of the order, sitting in a pool of oil in the paper container. Yuck!
Service was abyssal. Although the restaurant was practically deserted at the time we arrived, we waited for nearly 30 minutes for our food to arrive. Our server was apologetic, explaining that there were only 2 employees on when there should have been 3.
While the drive to the Oxford/Auburn location of the Clam Box is, actually, a shorter ride for us, coming from Leicester, we will make the longer trek to Brookfield to enjoy our lobster rolls and onions rings next summer.
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