Butter is up there with bacon in terms of making almost everything better, but newish Freddy’s Lobster + Clams (4867 Cordell, Bethesda) provides an exception. We went for dinner recently and mostly liked the food: crisp thick batter on the fried fish, tasty though limp thin-cut fries, and an excellent classic lobster roll.
Freddy’s offers two lobster rolls: cold with mayo, i.e the excellent aforementioned “classic,” or warm with butter, i.e. tasty but soggy and too buttery. Turns out even butter has its limits. It wasn’t my order but I had the last bite, and the bun was so saturated I think there was more butter than bread. There wasn’t any lobster in my bite, because it had all been eaten before I was allowed a taste. I’m told the lobster was delicious.
I ordered the fried whole belly clams, which were suitably briny, maybe a little too chewy, certainly well-fried. One clam had a bonus prize inside: shards of clamshell. Is that a feature or a bug? I guess it means they were real, but I could have done without the shell. I liked the broth-not-milk-based Rhode Island style clam chowder, despite having ordered the “home style” (creamy); when the wrong bowl arrived I asked for clarification but they were pretty confident it was what I had ordered. It wasn’t, but I took it as a sign, and it ended up being good enough that I didn’t mind. But it was also just one of several signs we encountered of servers that could use more training, I think. Pretty raw crew there, it seemed.
The beer selection at Freddy’s is also quite good, about eight choices on tap plus a couple dozen or more bottles. But, Brickskeller-like, they were out of the first two beers I tried to order (one draft one bottled). Third time was the charm, some not-memorable IPA, but I didn’t like being taunted with Bear Republic Racer 5 on the menu and then not getting to drink any.
Butterbeer is not on the menu, but should be. Missing some cross-promotion opportunities there! I could have made my own, I suppose, by squeezing the warm lobster roll into my glass, but I think those might be two great tastes that don’t taste great together. I will not be researching that combo in the future.