So I checked out Essex Seafood, apparently one of a few places, to which locals like going.
And clams were what I was there for, so I ordered myself a large clam boat, which after getting, I realized was sized a bit bigger than for one person, especially since it's all deep-fried goodness.
It was $15 for this thing, but it was good stuff. The batter was on the dry and crumbly side with minimal oilyness, but the fresh clam flavors delivered. I was not as much of a fan as the onion rings, which dry flaky batter just made the onions seemed overly dry. But you better believe I forced myself to eat every single last one of those clams.
If I had a longer period of time in the area, I would have attempted to do a comparison of this versus the other known seafood places: Clam Box of Ipswich, Woodman's of Essex, and Farnham's J&T's Seafood and Grill. But alas, this taste-comparison will have to wait until another time, since I ran out of time and stomach-space to go any further.
143 Eastern Avenue Essex, MA 01929-1330 (Map)