last week had a little vacation.. spent it in part in Southport, ME and in part in Boston. it was a great time, got to see family, got to see two beautiful parts of the country, caught up with some old friends and definitely got to eat some good food.. specifically i’m talking about the new england specialty: the LOBSTER ROLL.
if you don’t know a lobster roll is more or less lobster meat on a hot dog roll, plain and simple. sometimes a little mayo, sometimes some celery, sometimes a leaf of lettuce or a little butter or whatnot but usually better when not overly complicated.
my goal for the week was 10 lobster rolls, but unfortunately, i only made it to nine (with three being from one place.) all totalled i tried 7 different places’ lobster rolls. here’s my reviews (in order from least to most fav.)
7. McSeagull’s: this one seemed like they didn’t really have a lot of passion for their lobster roll. it was a busy place in booth bay harbor and they definitely had their hands full. the bread was a little on the stale side and a little to bulky for my taste.. a common theme you will notice is how important a role the bread plays in the lobster roll. it can make or break your final score. Grade: C
6. Newagen Seaside Inn Restaraunt: overall the newagen seaside inn gets a very high rating. this is where we stayed friday-wednesday. the staff is fabulous and the place is dope. the restaraunt is really nice with a great view and some really good food on the menu.. the lobster roll was not one of their better options though.. it was good but not great. again, the major downfall for this roll was the bread. the lobster inside the roll was fantastic but the bread was over-toasted and there was too much of it. better options on this menu include the chicken wings and the burger. sitting out on their deck is a really nice place to be. Grade: C+ (although the restaraunt overall would get an A-)
5. Linda Bean: the Linda bean is the little restaraunt associated with the LL Bean factory outlet and store megaplex in Freeport, ME. that place was pretty crazy, especially if you like outdoor stuff. retail on swolls. the little to-go window we got this roll from was pretty busy with shoppers taking a break to get a bite. not far from the window we found a picnic table in the shade that was pretty nice. there really was nothing wrong with this roll. the bread was great, the lobster was lightly mayo based but not layed on too thick. there was a little celery in the mix but not enough to detract from the wonderful lobster meat and there were even a couple bread-n-butter pickle chips on the side which i like. all that being said this lobster roll also did not blow me away. the competition on this trip was fierce. Grade: B-
4. Legal’s Harborside: if the view was what we were rating here this one might be #1, but it’s not so it’s landing here. in all honesty this was czzle’s favorite.. but she’s pregnant and not into lobster right now so she didn’t do much but take a bite out of every roll i got so her opinion is not as highly touted as it usually would be. i’m starting to get into the area where we’re getting pretty picky, ’cause this was a pretty outstanding lobster roll. if i had one criticism it would again be the bread. it had the butter and was not overly toasted but i think the ratio of bread to lobster was a little too bread-heavy. came with chips and a decent slaw. the lobster was fresh and tasty. Grade: B+
3. The Chowder House: cool spot in booth bar harbor.. the outdoor bar is a boat on a dock. the chowder house looked and felt the part. loved sitting outside there with the fam and getting lunch. i got a cup of clam chowder, a lobster roll and a local pale ale. fantastic combination. this is livin’ right here.. in the shade with a cool breeze, a cold beer, good fam and a delicious meal. this lobster roll was very good.. there was a little more mayo going on than would be ideal and the bread fell apart a little bit towards the end, but if this ended up being you only lobster roll you’d ever have in your life then you did a good job. Grade: A-
2. Brenda’s Lobster Shop: now we’re getting to the nitty gritty. a little shack looking place on the side of the road with a hand-written sign, a very small inside seating area and a walk-up window. just the look of the place screamed “legit lobster roll right here.” it reminded me of some of the chicken wing shacks you see in the south. we just happened to be walking by and it was a perfect little detour. i met brenda herself, she was super friendly, and a little on the busy side. we got a lobster roll (which came with a bag of lays) and a diet dr pepper. this was pretty much the perfect lobster roll. the only thing that separates this from the #1 lobster roll would be that it may have had a TINY bit more mayo in the lobster meat than i would’ve preferred but again, we’re getting into very little details here. this was a fantastic lobster roll. i would come back to brenda’s again and again. Grade: A
1. Robinson’s Wharf: we have a winner! this place is the lobster roll total package. it was so good i came back twice and ate three of these things. robinson’s is on a dock right at the bridge to southport. beautiful surroundings, not overly fancy, perfect. your table is on the dock where actual lobster-trap boats come by to unload their catches from the day.. in the hour and a half that we were there three boats came in with lobster scores. just sitting at this place you felt like you were in the lobster mecca of the world. the roll itself was perfect.. simple, tasty and fresh. it came with a bag of cape cod chips and a dill pickle spear. part of what made this lobster roll great was the fact that there was not much more to it than a leaf of lettuce and lobster.. the roll itself was basically no more than a fresh hot dog bun, lightly toasted with a lil’ butter… that’s it. this place is worth a pretty far drive (but probably not so much in the winter.) if you are anywhere even close and you like lobster i recommend making a mission to robinson’s. hopefully someday i will be back. Grade: A+