Jeremy's Ale House: Fried Seafood, Beer in Styrofoam Cups, Off-Duty Firemen
It's not that the fried seafood at Jeremy's Ale House near the South Street Seaport is the best you've ever had. It's more like an ideal version of boardwalk food -- greasy, but also fresh-tasting and generous. Beer comes in giant Styrofoam cups in either 16- or 32-ounce servings ($4.75-$6.50), and some of the guys (and they are all guys) parked at the sticky wooden tables seem to have been there all day, three or more empties stacked in front of them as they watch soccer on television, bitch about their gambling habits, or gossip about various station houses.
Fried clam strips.
Sadly, Jeremy's does not serve whole belly clams, but it does have some of the most clammy fried clam strips ($9.95) I've ever had. Usually these most resemble deep-fried rubber bands, but here they are fatter than the norm and taste of minerals and brine. The crust is just fine, craggy and crunchy enough to satisfy a fried seafood craving. (It is, however, no Bigelow's.)
If the fries are a bit soggy, add a little more salt, dip them in a mix of ketchup and tartar sauce, and you'll forget you ever minded. The New England clam chowder is also passable -- not gloppy! -- a creamy bowl that's light on actual clams but heavy on clam flavor.
Jeremy's is a no-nonsense old-man bar crossed with a seafood shack, a welcome antidote to the mall-ification of the rest of South Street Seaport.
Jeremy's Ale House
228 Front Street