(NECN: Marnie Maclean, Kittery, Maine) - It came down to the wire, but after hundreds of votes were cast, a winner has been declared in the "Baby, You're the Best" contest for best fried clams.
It's a good chance order 385 has some fried clams on it....it's the star attraction at this roadside retreat on Route 1 in Kittery, Maine.
Bob's Clam Hut has been in business since 1956--and its reputation goes well beyond the Maine border.
"All the way from california for these killer clams!" one customer said.
That's a big clam commitment - which is just fine with Owner Michael Landgarten.
He bought Bob's 26 years ago. Finding the best fried seafood joints had always been a hobby--not a career path.
Then, he spent a day working at Bob's..which was for sale.
"My heart told me the answer, it was so clear....I love these people saw I work ethic I had never been aware of," Landgarten said.
"You're in the kitchen....you just want to work."
NECN Reporter Marnie Maclean got her hands in on the clam-making process.
"Gloves....first thing you do is see you have fresh flour," Edgar Martinez said.
Martinez was Marnie's guide. He knows the drill, he's been at Bob's for eight years.
"We've been around for a long time...such a family place..the people who work here--everything makes us original our clams people love it," Martinez said.
The heavy volume of customers means a lot of paper and plastic. Bob's is going green. The restaurant is now composting and educating customers on how to recycle.
That's new...but what brings customers back year after year...is what doesn't change. And those are the fried clams.