RSS Feed

Tag Archives: boston

Rabia’s – Boston, Massachusetts

Posted on

lobster roll rabias

This was the first lobster roll after completing my book on the subject.  I felt totally lobstered out and figured I needed a good solid break from lobster writing, but a trip to Rabia’s in Boston refreshed and inspired me to get back on the wagon.  After a rather disappointing trip to the Boston Flower Show (I was at the Philly Flower Show the weekend before, so my standards were high) we decided it was time for some linner (lunch-dinner).  I dragged Ken and my pals Mark and Lu to my new favorite spot in the North End, Neptune Oyster, only to find that they were working on a 3 hour wait.  It was the Saturday before St Patricks Day in Boston, so understandable, but not doable if you’re hungry.  So, we headed two doors up to Rabia’s, it looked to be a crowd pleaser, no wait, large seafood and Italian menu and a roomy dining room, not easy to find roomy spaces in the North End.  I really hesitated on ordering this lobster roll.  I hadn’t brought any of my gear, scale and such, and I had Neptune on my mind and felt that anything else was bound to be disappointing.  But, our waiter told me that they cook and pick the lobsters in house.  Impressive, Neptune doesn’t even do that, there isn’t much space in the North End as I mentioned.  So, I had to give it a try.  They had four options, butter, mayo, bisque with mozzarella and one other I can’t remember.  I decided against butter since that is Neptune’s standout and went with the unique lobster bisque and mozzarella option.  The waiter described it as the most “soggy” option, not enticing but I went with it anyway,  In retrospect, I think he must have meant “has the most topping” and used the wrong descriptor.
When it arrived, I was thoroughly impressed by the looks of it.  It was quite large, I didn’t have my scale, so I couldn’t say exactly.  The bun was the texture and flavor of an Italian bread and the shape was more like a sub roll.  The bun had been warmed, but I couldn’t tell if it was grilled, there was no evidence of crispness and I frankly don’t think grilling would have worked here.  The meat was tossed in a thick bisque and sprinkled with what I would call more of a mozzarella garnish than anything, very minimal.  The bisque was thick enough and the bun hearty enough to prove the waiter wrong.  Throughout the eating experience, I experienced no sogginess.  That is quite a feat for any hot lobster roll, they all usually break down on the bottom, spilling the meat out.  The first bite really blew me away.  This lobster meat was incredibly tender and delicious, huge chunks of tail and claw.  I will admit, they need work on their lobster picking skills, I got several inner claw shards.  I felt like I should have been upset about it, but I actually found it strangely impressive because it was direct evidence that they do indeed pick in house.  You don’t find shell shards in frozen meat.  I have always been a believer that a lobster bisque roll should be done far more frequently.  I often order it with my roll to create it on my own, but I have only ever encountered one other and it wasn’t quite my vision.  This was exactly my vision, everything a lobster bisque lobster roll was meant to be.  Tender meat, hearty but light bun and a super flavorful bisque that had the texture to stick to the meat, not soak the bun.
I really had trouble containing my excitement and trying to share my joy with the table without sharing bites.  I wanted this whole thing for myself.  I still can hardly believe that the perfect hot buttered lobster roll (Neptune) is only two doors down from the perfect and most elusive, bisque lobster roll.  I’m certain I will be back to Rabia’s many times for this work of lobster perfection.  I have found in my travels that I am always very skeptical of lobster rolls in very close proximity to wildly popular lobster rolls with long waits.  But, every time, they have thoroughly impressed me.  There is a reason they can stay in business next to such a hot spot.  So, next time you’re too hungry to wait for Neptune (though I do highly recommend you wait at some point) head to Rabia’s and prepare to be wowed that there is no wait for this amazing roll.

Visited March 2014

Rabia's Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Bambara Restaurant – Cambridge, Massachusetts

Posted on

Lobster Sliders at Bambara Restaurant Cambridge, Massachusetts

Bambara Restaurant is at Hotel Marlowe in Cambridge.  This chic, pet friendly hotel is our favorite place to stay in the Boston area.  Not pet-tollerant, mind you, but really pet friendly, they are even allowed at happy hour and can hang out at the front desk when you got to dinner.  I don’t actually count lobster roll sliders at a restaurant part of the official “lobster roll trail”, but these were so good, they were definitely worth mentioning.  Ken actually thought they were the best of Boston.  I still go with Alive and Kicking and don’t consider these “real” lobster rolls, but they were fantastic.  We were feeling too lazy to find an outside restaurant, so we ended up here.  These lobster roll sliders were and appetizer and had three hot little nuggets of buttery goodness sliders.  I would say that you should order more.  They are fresh brioche rolls with chopped up lobster meat, soaked in butter and some herbs or something.  They aren’t over soaked so as to make the bread soggy and they meat isn’t overcooked, which often happens with the “butter poached” approach.  Just loved them, in fact, I’m craving them right now, even six months later.

Visited November 2011

Bambara on Urbanspoon

Kelly’s Roast Beef – Revere Beach, Massachusetts

Posted on

Lobster Roll at Kelly's Roast Beef Revere Beach, Massachusetts

Now, I know what you’re thinking, this is a roast beef place, not lobster, which usually violates my rule to stick to places that specialize in the lobster roll or at least seafood.  But, the reviews on this place’s lobster roll were pretty amazing with some even voting it best of Boston, so I needed to try it.  I will say, the view is easily best of Boston and certainly a top contender on lobster rolls with a view.  The location is right on the beach, which I didn’t even know Boston had.  Ken thought it was going to be a sketchy urban beach, but it is really quite beautiful.  We took the roll right across the street and ate overlooking the ocean.  A+ for ambiance.  The lobster roll, not so much.  Don’t get me wrong, it was fine and great for a roast beef place, but it really was only fine.  Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE salt, a lot.  But somehow this managed to be almost too salty for me to eat.  I think it had something to do with their roll grilling, must grill it in salt.  It was very nicely grilled, just like a grilled cheese.  The meat was all large chunks of claw, lots of spongies that Ginger got.  The meat was really watery, definitely frozen, and not well.  Watery and lacking in flavor.  Ok, but go for the view, not the roll.

Visited November 2011

Kelly's Roast Beef on Urbanspoon

Belle Isle Seafood – East Boston, Massachusetts

Posted on

Lobster Roll at Belle Isle Seafood East Boston, Massachusetts

When I say this place had no view or character, I mean that it was a real dump.  If jail could be a description of a lobster roll place, that would be close.  Near the airport with planes flying overhead, you enter from the back, driving through a huge dust pit that you later park in.  Keep your windows shut so as not to spoil your dining experience, which almost happened to me.  Now, I’m not put off by dumps in the lobster roll trail, but this place had a more urban sketchy look.  Undeterred by the exterior, I went in and ordered.  The inside looks like any other fish market, nothing like the exterior, in a good way.  Very crowded place and after fighting off some guy trying to claim my order, I headed out to try it.  Some lobster rolls can manage to be surprising because they miss all my usual checklist, but somehow manage to by very delish.  This one was the opposite phenomenon.  It looked great, huge roll, giant chunks of tail and claw and no spongies, minimal mayo.  But, it still managed to be completely tasteless.  Just really nothing…and the meat was kind of tough.  Roll bread was the usual and could have been a bit more grilled and they should skip the lettuce shreds.  I really wanted to like this one, but I just didn’t.  Oh well, worth a try.

Visited November 2011

Belle Isle Lobster and Seafood on Urbanspoon

James Hook Lobster – Boston, Massachusetts

Posted on

James Hook’s lobster roll is in my book, Lobster Rolls of New England!!

lobster coveredited