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Category Archives: claw meat

Costello’s Clam Shack – Noank, Connecticut

Costellos lobster roll

Costello’s is the better looking, smarter, but more shy twin of Abbott’s.  Just kidding, sort of, Costello’s is the sister property of Abbot’s.  It is about less than half a mile farther down the road and it has a fryer, so different menu.  From what I could tell, their menu is pretty much the same as the Abbot’s menu, except that they also have all things fried, onion rings, french fries, fried clams, etc.  They also seem to have better seating and a better view.  There is an upstairs deck overlooking Noank harbor, very pretty spot to enjoy some fried food.  I can’t say that I enjoyed the lobster roll.  This is exactly the same lobster roll as the one they serve at Abbott’s, in case you were wondering.  So, see my review on Abbott’s for my rant on why I’m not a fan.  Unfortunately, the photo above may be one of the best that my meager photographic skills have ever been able to capture of a lobster roll.  Unfortunate because the lobster roll isn’t as good as it looks.  It isn’t bad, just not very good.  The bun here was less dry than Abbott’s, but that was about it.  Note the multitude of spongies in the photo where I piled them up on the side.  The line at Costello’s is much shorter, the view is much better, the menu is more extensive, they even serve whole lobsters and if you’re into the Abbott’s lobster roll, they serve the same one here.  I can’t imagine why there would be any reason to go to Abbott’s.

Weighed in at 5.8 oz.

Visited August 2012

Costello's Clam Shack on Urbanspoon

The Seafood Shanty – Bournedale, Massachusetts

Seafood Shanty lobster roll

Went here on the photo recommendation of my friend Jodie, of “suffered from a tragic lobster roll overdose at the NYC lobster roll rumble” fame.  We were all proud to see she got back on the lobster roll horse.  This is just a little roadside stand before the Cape bridge with a great view overlooking the canal.  I was a little skeptical that a small stand that didn’t serve whole lobsters would serve a fresh meat lobster roll.  But, after being nice enough to check for me, the cashier did report that it was indeed fresh picked.  I was happy about that when I got it because this was a darn pretty lobster roll.  Nothing worse than a great looking lobster roll whose taste doesn’t live up to their looks.  Well, I guess except for one that looks and tastes bad.  This was a very good lobster roll, tasty chunks of claw and knuckle with minimal mayo.  This was also a huge lobster roll.  It weighed in close to the giant Beach Plum, not as big as the biggest standard, Boothbay Lobster Wharf.  But, this was certainly in the giant category.  The bun was standard, could have been more buttery grilled.  Overall, this was a very good, very large, fresh lobster roll, a great way to start a Cape vacay.  Seems to me that most of the best lobster rolls on the Cape aren’t “officially” on the cape, no matter!

Weighed in at 9 oz.

Visited September 2012

Seafood Shanty Incorporated on Urbanspoon

The Lobster Pot – Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts

Lobster Pot lobster roll

Had heard about The Lobster Pot as a place to try.  Greeted by the giant sign proclaiming that they were voted best lobster roll in New England by NECN (New England Cable News).  That’s a pretty big statement.  There is no view here, just a spot right near the Cape Cod bridge.  The inside looks a bit like diner meets clam shack, tall booths so you don’t have to bump heads with your neighbor . The ordering is a bit confusing, you don’t order the lobster roll in the lobster area, but in the clam area.  They also have a pretty comprehensive bar with separate ordering, always a plus.  I think I have figured out a way to ask my fresh/frozen question.  I now ask if the meat on the lobster roll has ever been frozen.  If no, do they cook and pick the meat there.  Lobster Pot said never frozen and they cook there, but buy fresh picked from other places sometimes.

This was a good lobster roll, generous portion of chunks of claw and knuckle meat.  I didn’t detect any tail meat and minimal spongies, but too much mayo for me.  The bun was standard wondertype, could have been more buttery.  Overall, not exactly best of New England but a very good lobster roll, particularly on the Cape where they are more challenging to come by.

Weighed in at 6.2 oz.

Visited September 2012

Lobster Pot on Urbanspoon

Bookstore Restaurant – Wellfleet, Massachusetts

Got a stunning view from the second floor deck of Wellfleet Harbor where the famous oysters come from.  The Bookstore has been collecting their own oysters and clams for years.  If there is a house specialty, particularly one as famous as the mollusks here, that’s what you should always order.  For a place famous not for their lobster, this was a pretty good lobster roll.  Our waitress said it was fresh picked elsewhere and shipped to them.  I don’t know where it is picked or if it is local to Cape Cod.  The lobster meat tasted good, not great, too much mayo, chunks and shreds of claw and knuckle, no tail meat I could find.  I could always do without the diced celery.  The bun was particularly good.  It seemed to be the standard split top white bun, but it was soaked in butter for buttery grilled goodness.  Super buttery, but crispy, not soggy.  They also offer a hot buttered lobster roll, which I did not get, might be a better choice.  But, the best choice remains oysters or clams, any way they serve them.  Don’t make the mistake we did of doing the wine tasting at Truro Vineyards down the road and buy a cold bottle hoping to enjoy it with lunch.  They don’t do corkage fee, no outside wine, boo.  They also don’t serve Truro wines, which are delish and I would think a locally focused restaurant would be happy to serve.

Weighed in at 6.6 oz.

Visited September 2012

Bookstore & Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Abbott’s Lobster in the Rough – Noank, Connecticut

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

Abbott's Lobster In The Rough on Urbanspoon