The Great Machipongo Clam Shack has become a must-stop destination during my 10+hour drives from my home in NYC to visit family down in NC. The food is excellent and the service exceptionally friendly. I've never had a bad experience, even when the drive itself had me at my wits end due to weather problems or delays.
Couldn't help but notice that reviews linked to Google Maps seem to be overwhelmingly negative -- granted, it's only a handful of reviews compared to 40+ positive (and counting) reviews here.
Small portions? People, if you need more food than what you get with the sandwiches and/or baskets (choice of fries, plus hush puppies and coleslaw) then you have MUCH bigger problems than portion size -- pun intended. If you go away hungry, you must have dropped something. And if you do, let my fried clam-loving Pug know about it. And for the record, the hush puppies are excellent. A bit sweet with a hint of onion, just like they should be. The fries with Old Bay seasoning are incredible, though the sweet potato fries are also highly recommended. (This is why I make two stops during each round-trip visit, so I can switch it up during each drive)
Gluten free? Well, one online reviewer went on a rant about the menu being gluten-deceptive, or some such thing. For some reason she still ate everything, and then complained how certain she was she (and her family) would be sick. Woo-boy, again, it takes all types, but I think this individual is the sort who just really wants a boring chain restaurant -- and the type who might make me toss her in the pet crate and let the aforementioned Pug have the run of the car. Lol! I'm sure there is something on the menu for everyone.
The selection of frozen seafood to take home is extensive -- I always go for the crab cakes, possibly the best I've ever had. The stuffed clams and stuffed flounder have also been yummy choices but, have to admit, I almost always go back for the crab cakes (for $1 they'll throw a frozen gel pack into the bag to keep everything a-okay for the ride home).
Always wish I could spend more time whenever I stop. And already looking forward to the next visit to the GMCS!
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