Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Quest for Lobster Rolls

Since Memorial Day (the unofficial start of summer), I’ve been reading about lobster rolls. I never had one before, but after I kept seeing it get mentioned. I was intrigued, than nearly obsessed with finding a good lobster roll. Especially after fishing almost every weekend with 
The Fisherman, being on the beach, you start to get into the groove of the sand, the water, and naturally, sea food.

Driving up North wouldn’t be quite as fun as a day trip, we did decide to take a day trip to Montauk. I found one place that had lobster, The Lobster Roll, and The Fisherman knew of another place, TheClam Bar, not too far off from The Lobster Roll. I never visited Montauk, but he did for fishing, so I was extra excited. 

I would get my lobster roll, and he’d get some fishing in, sounds like a plan.
So after driving, and driving, and driving through Long Island, seeing the sights, we find The Lobster Roll.

I think the place just opened, because it wasn’t super crowded just yet, but as we were leaving, we saw it beginning to pick up speed. 

We got to eat outside, which was pretty cool. Then we decided our lunch: we’d check out the hot and cold lobster rolls, do a taste comparison.

First up, the hot one, luxuriating in a clam shell plate of butter. I can see why this wasn’t pre-assembled. As we were eating it, the toasted bun was starting to soften into gooshy buttery lobstery bread deliciousness. I can see this as something to have for dinner, it’s a little much for lunch, but still good.


Next, the cold one, chopped lobster, some mayo, some celery, keep it simple. This was more of a lunch item, lighter (despite the mayo), and less fussy. I hate to say it, but thank goodness for the fries and cole slaw, because a filling lunch these rolls did not make. But then again, you shouldn’t go overkill on the good stuff. I’m just not used to prices for something like lobster, and then being hungry still. The Fisherman enjoyed the fries, I thought they were okay. They were good dipped in the butter.

Even better was the pie, made by the owner. This is strawberry rhubarb, so now I also get to check off having rhubarb on list of “Summer Foods to Eat Before Summer’s Over,” all those great things that make summer summer (although technically rhubarb’s more of a spring vegetable). The crust was wonderful, as was the filling. I think so many people are anti-pie crust, so pie makers slack on the crust, since no one likes the crust. I was also of the anti-crust camp, but The Fisherman made a valid point about a good crust. It is true, a good crust elevates a good pie.

After we were filled with lobstery goodness, off we went to Montauk State Park for some fishing. But after seeing the water was full of sea weed, and the rocks were really slippery, we decided to head back to The Clam Bar, where they also had lobster rolls.

Now this was more of a lunch place, it was more laid back, and I liked the lobster roll here more. We also got some New England clam chowder, the first time I ever tasted it. I will have to try it when the weather gets cooler. 

We got a fried clam as well, and that first bite was one of nostalgia. It reminded me of my grandparents schlepping us to Long Island so my grandmother could go shopping, and then we’d go eat at Nathan’s. For some reason my grandparents felt the need to tell me fried clams were shrimp, which made things interesting when I’d request shrimp and get, shrimp. Regardless of the odd memories, it was delicious.

Then to top it off we tried a slice of key lime pie. For what we paid, I wasn’t thrilled, I think mine was better. 

All in all, it was a fun trip to Montauk, and I liked both The Lobster Roll and the Clam Bar, but I don’t know if I would get lobster rolls again. Both were good, and it was a great experience, but these rolls are not exactly kind on the wallet. I’d probably be just as happy with chicken or tuna salad, to be honest. I also wouldn’t mind trying other things at both restaurants.

Now that we conquered lobster rolls, it was time to head home, and enjoy some of the beautiful scenery and buildings of Long Island.

...and a random Mister Softee sighting

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