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Monday, June 14, 2010

No Mo' At Mo's

They’ve gone and messed with Mo’s chowder. I think.

After having bowls of chowder at different places this week, I say that Mo’s is scoring at the bottom of the chowder sweepstakes. How sad is that? Mo’s used to be the go-to place for clam chowder in the Northwest. No longer. It didn’t even taste all that good.

For one thing, they put way too much bacon in it. It tasted like bacon, not clams. For another, they seem to use little or no cream. I love cream and should never have it, so I usually know when I’m getting the contraband stuff. The chowder at the Flying Dutchman had cream in it. Definitely! Mo’s I don’t think so.

There were little or no vegetables in Mo’s chowder. Now, Mo’s never had much of a vegetable presence, but a little green onion or a little celery goes a long way in chowder. Nope. Again, the other contenders had some fresh stuff while Mo’s was lacking. Salt is another thing I’m not supposed to eat, but salt-free chowder is bland. The chowder at Mo’s was not salted enough, if at all.

Why did the chowder at Mo’s make me burp all night? The others never did that. I want to eat my chowder and be done with it, not taste it for hours afterward, especially if I did not enjoy it all that much at the time, thank you. Cook it right so that it does not haunt the diners who eat it.

The very best clam chowder has to have these things to be right, in my book: plenty of clams, milk and just enough cream to taste, potatoes, bits of yellow or white onion and green onion, a little celery, some herbs, maybe a secret ingredient or two.

Some people like a tiny bit of shredded carrot, primarily for color. A dash of paprika does the same job. I think Mo’s spices on the top include paprika. Mo’s always puts in a pat of butter after the chowder is in your bowl. It’s exactly the right touch when the rest of the chowder is right too.

Was I having an off day and Mo’s just got unluckily in the way that day? It surely is popular, with lines out the door even when the restaurant on the same street with the same view and the same general menu is nearly empty.

I guess you’ll have to see for yourself. Me, I’m going back to that place where I know I tasted the cream. Nothing like contraband for dinner!

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