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High Tide Gourmet – Madison, Connecticut

lobster roll high tide

This food truck was not on my “to visit” list.  I had never even heard of it, and I definitely try to hear anything there is to hear about lobster rolls, particularly in CT.  While doing an impromptu lobster roll trail with my pal Jill on the CT shore, we were driving down the main drag through Madison and saw a large sign saying “lobster rolls” in front of a cute truck with a happy lobster painted on the side, curiously among palm trees.  So, of course, I had to check it out.  Sure am glad I did, this may be one of the best lobster rolls I have had in CT.

I think this is the first year in operation for this truck.  A little research told me that it was opened by a chef and that sure shows on the menu.  They really aren’t kidding about the gourmet part.  I mean, rum guava pulled pork sandwich, tai peanut sea scallops with asian slaw, wow.  But, the prices are far from gourmet, a real deal.  So, I ordered up the lobster roll and waited.  It seemed like I was waiting a while, but when the chef came out to deliver my lobster roll, I realized why.  He is actually cooking the lobster to order back there.  This not only isn’t pre packaged, that lobster is alive before you order.  This method takes longer, but well worth it.  I have only seen this method done one other time at Fisherman’s Grill in Portland, ME.  It is impressive.  The meat is fresh and tender and served warm.  It is actually more key than I had previously thought that a hot lobster roll really should be served fresh because cooking it, chilling it, reheating it to serve a hot lobster roll really ruins the texture on so many lobster rolls that really are fresh and should taste better.  I’m beginning to think this is the only way to do a hot lobster roll, cooked fresh.  Once you’ve had one, you can tell the slightly rubbery texture and slightly off flavor that lobster meat gets from being reheated.

The lobster roll here is filled with lobster meat and the holy grail of lobster rolls for me, whole, uncut tail meat!  And they cooked it perfectly, no coming out of the bun on first bite.  The bun is a  dry grilled (not buttery) standard split hot dog bun and the meat is served with just enough slightly lemony butter to make it fantastically tasty without sogging up the bread.  I really think this may be a gold standard of the CT hot lobster roll version, actually served in CT.  The flavors just all came together in you mouth for a perfect bite, with spot on meat:bread ratio.  It really confirmed for me how good this lobster roll was when I visited Lobster Landing in Clinton next, which had previously been one of my favorites.  They use fresh picked tail and claw meat, with butter.  But compared to High Tide, it just tasted flat, reheated and tasteless.  Don’t get me wrong, Lobster Landing is still quite good by most standards, but very few lobster rolls, particularly in CT can stand up against the High Tide Lobster roll.  This lobster roll could be compared most in Maine and still come out standing proud.  Even more luckily, he doesn’t close up shop after the summer, he just moves the truck to New Haven.  I sure wish he would consider a day here and there in Hartford, a gal can dream!

Scale was being wonky on picnic table surface, so no accurate weight, sorry.

High Tide Gourmet Facebook Page

Visited July 2012