Champlin’s is the champ of seafood


When we were younger, a drive to the beach always included a trip to Champlin’s.

The popular seafood restaurant offered affordable lobsters and other seafood, most of which came right off the fishing boats at their docks.

We don’t make it to Galilee as often these days, but when we do, like last week, it is to visit the customer-friendly Champlin’s to enjoy the Fisherman’s Platter. When market prices are favorable, we add a pound and a half lobster.

As you know, seafood prices -- right down to fish and chips -- have skyrocketed. The fisherman’s platter now costs $39.95. (Evelyn’s in Tiverton charges $61.)

At our age, the overflowing assortment of gifts from the sea feeds the two of us, so we are only spending $20 each.

We went on a Wednesday afternoon before the arrival of the Block Island ferry, which delivers hungry tourists nearly to its door. There was no line that usually runs up the steep stairs and around the corner to the friendly, patient cashier who answers your questions and takes your order.

“Yes, you can substitute red potatoes for French fries.”

“A $2 deposit will get you a lobster cracker.” “No, you don’t eat the tails.”

Our number was quickly called. The lady behind the counter who shouts out the order numbers noticed my limited mobility and brought my tray to our table which was on the porch overlooking the channel entrance and docked fishing boats.

During the course of our meal, which was eaten slowly, enjoying every mouthful, we watched both the high speed and regular ferry enter and dock.

The platter is a work of art. A layer of French fries lays the base, to which is added the best sea scallops you’ll find anywhere, shrimp, fried fish, and fried whole-belly clams and clam strips.

They put the clams on top for a reason. Eat them first. Experience tells us that fried clams get cold quickly, so enjoy them while they are piping hot.

It has been a tough year for clams, and I mean the literally and figuratively.

Ample amounts of shrimp and tartar sauce, salt and pepper (don’t need), lemon wedges and coleslaw accompany the meal.

We never finish all our French fries and used to throw them in the water for the seagulls. Champlin’s, like most restaurants on the water, discourages that behavior and have installed Plexiglas between you and the gulls.

You still have a picture perfect view of the water, boats and surrounding area; better than watching it in the background of the Channel 10 News.

There are many other items on the menu, but the Fisherman’s Platter fits our needs and desires perfectly

You can pick your own lobster in the fish market on the first floor. They also sell the lobster knuckles (the best part of the lobster) by the pound. There is also an ice cream shop in the large building, with home-made ice cream.


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