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Eventide Oyster Co. – Portland, Maine

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Eventide’s lobster rolls are in my book, Lobster Rolls of New England!!

lobster coveredited

The Lobster Shack at Two Lights – Cape Elizabeth, Maine

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two lights lobster roll

This is one of the more famous lobster rolls in the state of Maine.  In fact, when people find out I eat a lot of lobster rolls and write about it, I would say I get asked if I’ve tried Two Lights most often, more so than even Red’s.  When I arrived at this location, it was immediately clear why this place is famous and I suspected it wasn’t for the actual lobster roll.  This is truly THE most stunning view in the state of Maine that is accompanied by a lobster roll.  Sure there are other gorgeous views, Five Islands, Stewman’s and Dolphin immediately come to mind.  Those examples may not be the best, because Five Islands is a rare convergence of a stunning Maine view and the best of the best lobster roll.  Dolphin has a very good lobster roll and Stewman’s is decent.  But, I guess a red flag always goes up for me when a place I’ve heard has a great lobster roll has an amazing view.  People tend to color their opinions with the entire experience, which, I suppose is normal.  I mean when you’re in Maine wanting a lobster roll, ideally it should be the whole ocean/lobster experience.  I get the opposite phenomenon when I pull up to a lobster roll place and it’s a total dump with a view of a highway and I’ve heard it has a great lobster roll.  In those cases, I get super excited because I know this lobster roll is likely to be a real life changing eating experience because the lobster roll is biased in no way by the ambiance.  Fisherman’s Grill, I’m looking at you.

Two Lights lobster roll did indeed live up to my expectations or I should say, lived down to.  I had seen photos of this roll and couldn’t for the life of me imagine how what was in the picture could possibly be good, let alone great.  Every picture I had seen involved what looked like a hot dog bun, half of which was covered with a giant blob of mayo and the other half with a pickle slice.  Yuck, I couldn’t imagine how that could be right, there must be some amazing stuff under that, but it looked like only enough lobster to barely show through.  I can say one thing for them, they are consistent.  What I received looked exactly like every picture I had seen.  I found the mayo blob much more confusing once I actually had it in hand.  The pickle can easily be removed without leaving much pickle residue.  But, what are you really supposed to do with that blob?  If you really like mayo, do you just smear it across the top?  You certainly can’t toss it so every piece is equally coated, as is ideal.  It seems like trying to spread it around would just make for a huge mess and cause the lobster to fall out.  I chose to scrape it off, but this had its challenges too.  These are pieces of lobster, so even scraping it off leaves a rather significant amount still caught in the pieces.  The only way I could think to remedy this would be to remove and wipe off every piece with a napkin of knife, but that seemed unsanitary.  So, I proceeded to eat a half completely dry lobster roll and a half mayo chunky lobster roll, just weird.  Actually, to be truthful, after trying the disappointing combo of dry and mayo, I went to the counter and got a cup of butter to dip the whole thing into.  Everything is much better that way.  The lobster amount in this roll is rather skimpy and on the low-end of average lobster roll weight after I removed the mayo blob and pickle for weighing.  The meat is fresh picked every day here and they include both tail and claw, which is always good, and it is tasty but they sure don’t give you much of it.  I have a system of moving all of the lobster meat down the bread so that I always get an ideal meat:bread ratio in each bite, regardless of the overall ratio.  Using this system, I had a full half of the empty bun left over.  The bread is your standard split top bun, the grilling technique leaves some butter and crunch to be desired.

I wouldn’t say this is a bad lobster roll, just disappointing because it is so far away from matching the beyond stunning view that accompanies it.  They do home-baked desserts here.  I think I would get that when I return.    And yes, I will absolutely return.  This truly is exactly what you picture when you think of the Maine coast.  The cute, cozy, creatively decorated, very comfortable on a cold day, dining room has wrap around windows overlooking the ocean.  The picnic table area is right on the ocean on a flat area with evenly spaced, very clean, bright red picnic tables interspersed with a very comfortable amount of trash cans to keep it clean.  This is in every way, a top-notch quintessentially Maine, seaside seafood shack.  Clean, efficient, well maintained, bright, cheery outside, cozy inside and all this is on one of the best spots of real estate where lobster is served on the Maine coast.  I really can’t say enough good things about the actual location and the restaurant itself.  Except the lobster roll, it’s the only thing that just doesn’t measure up.

Weighed in at 5 oz.

Two Lights website

Visited April 2012

Lobster Shack on Urbanspoon

 

Bite Into Maine – Cape Elizabeth, Maine

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Bite into Maine’s lobster roll is in my book, Lobster Rolls of New England!!lobster coveredited

Fishermans Grill – Portland, Maine

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Lobster Roll at Fisherman's Grill Portland, Maine

This place is kind of tough to find, but well worth it.  Food place is a little hole in the wall kind of behind the large fish market.  Placed our order with the super friendly (in a good way) gal at the counter and then proceeded to wait for what seemed like a pretty long time before having the lovely lobster roll delivered.  This was my first attempt with my new scale to do clandestine weigh in, this came in at a hearty 6 1/4 oz.  Full of large chunks of tail and claw lightly mayoed on a bed of shredded lettuce, which I could have done without.  Claim on the menu said the “classic” lobster roll had all the meat from a 1 1/4 lb lobster and that looked about right to me.  They even trimmed off the spongies.  This lobster roll was truly delicious.  It had all the briny, sweet flavor, the standard white roll was grilled to buttery perfection.  The clam chowder was also not to be missed.  The chef seemed to take a great deal of pride in turning out a product that people were wowed by, particularly the lobster roll.  He was asking everyone who ordered it how they liked it, and not in the polite, but I don’t really care, kind of way.  He seemed genuinely disappointed when one guy just said good.  I mean, he didn’t say so, just got the vibe.  So, I asked him my new “source of the lobster” question and he actually said that he cooks each individual lobster to order for each roll!  He did say that if he get super busy, he might throw in a few, as kind of an apology.  Wow, I may have, but it is a rare day in lobster roll world when I encounter a lobster roll with meat so fresh that it wasn’t even cooked before I walked in the door.  Well worth the wait, amazingly fresh and one of the tastiest rolls I’ve had.  Highly reccomend, then head to two fat cats for the best pumpkin whoopie pies on earth, and I don’t say that lightly.  If I had to find a negative here, I’d say it was the scent of the thai place that occasionally wafted over to interfere with the fresh seafood smells.  But, I’m really stretching it with that, this place deserves a visit from any lobster lovers.

Visited April 2012

Fishermen's Grill on Urbanspoon

J’s Oyster Bar – Portland, Maine

Lobster Roll at J's Oyster Bar Portland, Maine

Cool little, tiny divey bar with tables on the dock in cute old port section.  Kind of like what a lobster shack might be like in winter…with booze.  Rocking great 80’s hits, fun vibes.  Very crowded even at 2pm on Thursday in winter.  Packed with locals, always a good sign.  Oysters did look delish but bypassed that for lobster stew and lobster roll.  The menu said stew was in clear broth but was divine pink creamyness packed with lobster chunks.  Extremely good stuff, might go back just for that.  Lobster roll was good but nothing memorable.  I liked that meat was served dry with mayo on side.  All claw meat, smallish chunks,cold, minimal spongey.  Hot dog roll seemed a bit tastier than the usual white wonder bread.  Nicely buttery grilled on inside and outside.  I, of course, requested butter and used stew as topping a lot.  Not sure why no one serves a stew lobster roll.  If I were making a lobster roll establishment, I would give three options, butter, mayo and lobster stew topping.  I really think the stew could be a winner.  Overall not bad, but the stew is what I’ll be thinking about.

www.jsoyster.com

Visited March 2011

J's Oyster on Urbanspoon