Jeff Gagnon and Doug Bell hail from the northeast and know their stuff! They bring in seafood from up north as well as down south and thus make the place where northern and southern seafood meet! Everything is made to order, fresh, and absolutely outstanding! We loved DJ's Clam Shack so much, we went back for dinner at the end of the week!
The front porch is right on Duval Street - the main street of Old Town Key West and is a great place to sit and observe. When walking Duval, it is as if one were transported through time to an era when buccaneers, privateers, and pirates walked these streets! The architecture is of the old colonial Caribbean and southern Florida is the only part of the continental US that is in the Caribbean. Duval street provides plenty of entertainment simply by those who pass by. In fact, on one occasion, a family passed by to the delight of everyone (see above)!
The back is a secret oasis, an enclosed deck of a ship or back seaside porch...it is a seafarers deck! Large fans cool in heated weather and the hum is very relaxing but most of the time, the weather is cooler than most places in Louisiana or Texas. Picnic tables and wine barrels for seated dining make for a wonderful al fresco experience....and if Doug or Jeff pass by, they'll ask you how things are going!
Clams have historically been considered a peasant food, but most peasant food is by far the best, and often elevated to gourmet status. Thus is the case at DJ's Clam Shack. These south bay, long island middle neck clams from New York are brought south and made in a very classic manner (see Guy below). The jalapeno is not as hot as one would assume and adds the perfect spice to the garlic and lemon infused butter broth - be sure to soak it all up with the accompanied garlic bread which is house made! Even if you're not a fan of clams, this dish is still worth ordering - it is the classic iconic representation and will change your perspectives. It is also the perfect size for a lighter lunch however, if you are particularly famished from walking Duval, go for the Lobster Roll!
The Lobster Rolls are 100% Maine Lobster! Known as the best of the best of Lobsters (Homarus Americanus), they inhabit specific waters in and around Maine. The meat is sweet, rich, decadent and unmistakable. Doug and Jeff's Lobster Rolls are packed full of lobster meat - if they skimp on anything, it's everything else that goes into a Lobster roll! Massive chunks of Lobster meat from the tail to visibly clear claws overflow the roll: to master its consumption requires both hands and lots of napkins! It is so large, a couple might be tempted to share one. It is strongly advised against this lest you wish to have cause for a quarrel - take one for the team and get your own - you won't regret it (but sharing one you will!).