I had tried this lobster roll back in the days before I took photos of them all. It’s certainly a favorite of many Connecticut lobster roll lovers. So, I knew I would be heading back. What I remembered about it was a strange lobster roll, chopped up and stuffed in a ramekin, served on a dry hamburger bun and not so great scenery. I remembered wrong, the scenery is actually great. I think I went on an extremely crowded day the last time and sat in the back area so I didn’t get to take in the whole view. It really is beautiful, classic Connecticut, all sailboats on the water, opening up to the wide sound.
I was however, correct in my memory of the lobster roll. It was more chunks and less shreds than I had remembered. Large chunks of claw and knuckle meat, stuffed in to a round form type thing, heated up with butter and put on a somewhat dry hamburger bun. The bun was really nothing special, think McDonald’s Big Mac bun, sesame seeds and such. Just like that, except more dry. It is grilled, but I think that is a mistake that dries it out more. The stuffed into a lobster meat cake concoction is really a curious, and to me, not good lobster creation. As I touched it, the lobster meat was all stuck to each and didn’t easily break apart, rather like they had been packed in that form for quite some time. I don’t think they are putting this in the mold when you order. The meat was not quite dry, it had a decent texture, not much flavor, warm, strangely didn’t taste very buttery.
This was the moment that for the first time in Lobster Gal history, I began to question my belief that I prefer a hot lobster roll. I don’t think I really do like hot better. I found myself wishing it was one of the tasty cold ones. I began to see why people don’t like hot lobster rolls. First, they’re hot, and it’s summer, so there’s that. Second, the meat is inevitably drier than cold, just by virtue of the re-heating, since they are never hot from being fresh cooked. Third, the butter never really sticks much because, well, melted butter is liquid and if they use a lot, it still doesn’t stick, just sogs up the bun. So, a hot lobster roll often doesn’t even really taste very buttery. Thank goodness I’ve taken to ordering a side of melted butter with every lobster roll, it covers a multitude of sins of both the hot and cold variety.
That was the description of the hot lobster roll, we also ordered the cold, just to see. This was a whole different can of worms. The cold lobster roll is served on the standard buttery grilled hot dog bun. The bun was much better than the hamburger bun. The lobster meat was very different. I was surprised that two versions of lobster meat could be so very different. This was very shredded, almost no chunks, just swimming in mayo and with chopped up celery. The meat, when I wiped off some mayo to sample alone, didn’t even taste the same, maybe it was the mayo marinade. It’s also worth mentioning that they don’t have a fryer at the Abbott’s location, so no fries or onion rings or any such accoutrements. The fryer is at their sister property 100 yards down the road, Costellos. I went to Costellos as well, I’ll give it its own review, but it if you want this lobster roll, I would head to Costello’s. It’s the exact same lobster roll, with shorter lines, a better view, and a fryer.
I asked the gal at the counter when I ordered my lobster rolls at Abbott’s if the meat was fresh picked. She gushed about how they have tanks of lobsters and they cook them all there and how great it is. Told me we could go take a look at the tanks if we want. Sounds good. But, after eating both the Abbott’s and the Costellos lobster rolls, I couldn’t shake the suspicion that the meat on these lobster rolls is frozen meat. It just had that texture and flavor. It also had the spongies that are kind of folded and curled up, indicating to me that they have been packaged that way and sitting in that position long enough to permanently hold it. Fresh lobster meat spongies are flexible and straight, frozen aren’t. It tasted like decent frozen meat, not bad, just didn’t taste fresh picked. So, I did some asking around and found a guy who used to work at Abbots, jackpot! He said that the meat in the lobster roll is indeed frozen meat. I knew it! Maybe I am getting a more refined lobster palate where I can distinguish different types! Now, to be clear, this info isn’t official info from Abbott’s or Costellos, so I can’t confirm that it is 100% accurate. But, the guy did work there, and didn’t even know that I write a blog about lobster rolls, so he had no reason to tell me a tale. So, there it is. When I though about the girl at Abbott’s answer, she did say that they have live lobsters there and they cook live lobsters there, she never really said that they pick the meat for the lobster roll there and use it on the lobster roll. Maybe she was confused by my question, maybe she knew what I was asking and gave me an accurate, but misleading answer, maybe she was right and they do use fresh picked meat on the lobster roll and the guy was wrong. I’ll let you decide that one. I won’t be back for any more of their lobster rolls. Abbots did look like it had a nice selection of desserts.
Hot weighed in at 6 oz.
Cold weighed in at 5.2 oz.
Visited August 2012