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Lobster Rolls--Get 'Em While They're Hot (or Cold)

Lobster Rolls--Get 'Em While They're Hot (or Cold)
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  • Lobster Rolls--Get 'Em While They're Hot (or Cold)

    Post #1 - August 27th, 2013, 5:18 am
    Post #1 - August 27th, 2013, 5:18 am Post #1 - August 27th, 2013, 5:18 am
    Had to travel 'up Maine' over the weekend for a cousin's wedding. Flew into Manchester, NH, and instead of taking the I-95 cutoff going north at Portsmouth, we stayed east on 101 until we hit Hampton Beach. Why? Because we had a hankering for an honest-to-goodness New England lobster roll. And not far from Hampton, we came upon Ray's in Rye, NH.

    What a specimen! Lightly toasted light split bun, a bed of a single lettuce leaf, then lobster claw, knuckle and tail with a little mayo. That's it--no salt, lemon, pepper, NOTHING. Just that tactile, rich crustaceany goodness. Ray's offered our lobster rolls cold or hot, but we took ours cold to get it faster. It was $15.99 but there had to be all the meat from a 1 lb. lobster in it. With piping-hot crinklecut fries as an accompaniment, it really didn't get any better than that. And it didn't--being with family, we were hijacked much too often to substandardly-prepared & inspired fare. Amazing how one can muck up a fresh piece of haddock, but I witnessed it on more than one occasion.

    Speaking of...whole lobsters are the cheapest I've seen up there in many years. $3.99/lb for one pounders, as cheap as $4.99/lb for 1 1/2#, $6.99/lb for two-pounders. Think of it--fourteen bucks for a 2-pound beast with a tail the size of your fist.

    Ray's Seafood Restaurant
    1677 Ocean Blvd.
    Rye, NH
    (603) 436-2280


    http://www.raysseafoodrestaurant.com

    lobster roll.jpg The Standard IMO
  • Post #2 - August 27th, 2013, 7:42 am
    Post #2 - August 27th, 2013, 7:42 am Post #2 - August 27th, 2013, 7:42 am
    Lovely picture and the lobster itself looks terrific, but I guess I could register mild complaints. I'm from the warm/butter region (and a drizzle of lemon). And if I'm going to have one with mayo, I prefer the mayo on the bun, not the lobster, but that really is some beautiful lobster (and I love lobster so much I hardly care). I don't know that I could complain about the price though given the amount of meat, even with lobster prices as low as they are these days.
  • Post #3 - August 27th, 2013, 9:58 am
    Post #3 - August 27th, 2013, 9:58 am Post #3 - August 27th, 2013, 9:58 am
    Yeah, BR, after having this chunk-filled one I will never make a lobster roll again after chopping the lobster into small pieces!

    However---when our family all gets together in Maine--and I'm talking 40-50 people for a regular DownEast lobster bake/steam with the hole in the ground, the seaweed, the hotdogs, the hard-boiled eggs, the whole nine yards--my 80-year-old aunt announces '...save your lobster bodies for ME!'. And they do. She chills the bodies, then the next day I sit with her & we painstakingly go through each one, separating the tiny bits of lobster from the bodies. It's a lot of work, but you'd be surprised how much meat can be gleaned from fifty lobster bodies. She makes bisque with most of it, maybe a lobster salad with the rest, and throws the shells into a red sauce/gravy, maybe with a little of the 'tomalley', to be served with penne.

    Overload!!
  • Post #4 - August 27th, 2013, 10:15 am
    Post #4 - August 27th, 2013, 10:15 am Post #4 - August 27th, 2013, 10:15 am
    Hi,

    Last week at H-Mart, lobsters were $5.88 a pound. For flatlanders, that is a bargain. Tempted to make my own lobster rolls, especially after all these wonderful pictures.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #5 - August 27th, 2013, 10:34 am
    Post #5 - August 27th, 2013, 10:34 am Post #5 - August 27th, 2013, 10:34 am
    jnm123 wrote: 80-year-old aunt announces '...save your lobster bodies for ME!'. And they do. She chills the bodies, then the next day I sit with her & we painstakingly go through each one, separating the tiny bits of lobster from the bodies. It's a lot of work, but you'd be surprised how much meat can be gleaned from fifty lobster bodies. She makes bisque with most of it, maybe a lobster salad with the rest, and throws the shells into a red sauce/gravy, maybe with a little of the 'tomalley', to be served with penne.


    I work for food--tell Granny that I would love to help her and learn her secrets--that sauce sounds wonderful!!!
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #6 - August 27th, 2013, 11:31 am
    Post #6 - August 27th, 2013, 11:31 am Post #6 - August 27th, 2013, 11:31 am
    Hi,

    I am the slowest lobster eater, because I do eat the heads. I also use them for bisque as your Aunt does, though I stir in the liver and roe into the bisque toward the end.

    I went to a lobster shack outside of Boston some years ago, all people ate were the claws and tail leaving so much behind.

    At Asian stores, there are crab picks that work very well for cleaning crabs and lobsters. They have a tiny two-tine fork at one end and a tapered scoop at the other. It may be the perfect gift for her next lobster pickathon.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #7 - August 27th, 2013, 12:36 pm
    Post #7 - August 27th, 2013, 12:36 pm Post #7 - August 27th, 2013, 12:36 pm
    Nice ! Ray's is actually one of the better places around. They catch their own lobsters too which is not commonplace. I have a lobster pie from Ray's in my freezer that I do need to bake off one of these days before the weather turns.
  • Post #8 - August 27th, 2013, 1:18 pm
    Post #8 - August 27th, 2013, 1:18 pm Post #8 - August 27th, 2013, 1:18 pm
    I had a mediocre lobster roll at The Gage today. The roll itself seemed a little odd in that it wasn't attached at the bottom, yet it wasn't exactly a hot dog bun, either. The lobster was a small portion in relation to the bread and there was a bit more mayo than I would have preferred.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #9 - August 27th, 2013, 1:20 pm
    Post #9 - August 27th, 2013, 1:20 pm Post #9 - August 27th, 2013, 1:20 pm
    Tatter--we were actually trying to find a place called Petey's when we found Ray's--just happened to come upon it and we were HUNGRY! How fortuitous. But my cousin, who plays golf in Rye, says Petey's (which we found right up the road towards Maine after lunch) is even 'bettah'!

    http://www.peteys.com/

    FYI, Sunset Foods is doing their annual Labor Day 'Lobster-palooza' coming up this weekend. Average 1.25 lb lobster--cooked or raw--for $10.99, which was the price last year. I may grab some, but suddenly I don't like their markup so much anymore! :roll:

    A guy at Midway last night was nervously standing at baggage claim, waiting for his bag with 25 cooked-then-frozen 1-pounders inside. And it was 90-some degrees. I got my bag before his and left but would've loved to see the outcome!
  • Post #10 - August 28th, 2013, 9:56 am
    Post #10 - August 28th, 2013, 9:56 am Post #10 - August 28th, 2013, 9:56 am
    Interesting column from the New Yorker (James Surowiecki's "The Financial Page") addressing why the decline in lobster prices is generally not reflected on lobster menu pricing at many restaurants. May not apply quite so much to east coast clam/lobster roll shacks (in terms of the price point, lobster preps at issue, and the role that lobster plays on the menu), but interesting as relates to other restaurants that have lobster as a high-priced/"luxury" item.
  • Post #11 - September 11th, 2015, 9:22 am
    Post #11 - September 11th, 2015, 9:22 am Post #11 - September 11th, 2015, 9:22 am
    One of the great regional eats. I was in Maine for a little Labor Day vaca and you can bet there was more than one roll a day being ate. I'm going to post all about them in a thread with everything else from the trip but I felt like I should put this here as a reference point as well. Red's Eats is regarded by many, I'm guessing mostly out of towners, to serve the best lobster roll in Maine. I tried to go but despite getting there right around opening time there was already a line around the corner and after waiting in it for 20 minutes we barely moved up. I just couldn't wait there all day when I had other spots on my list that wouldn't take time away from enjoying a daytrip up the coast. Enter Shannon's Unshelled.

    Image
    Boothbay Harbor, Maine

    The town of Boothbay Harbor is only about 15 minutes from Reds Eats which is in Wiscasset (45 Minutes NE of Portland). It's a cute summer driven town with ice cream shops, bars on the water, whale watch tours and all the other stuff that attracts visitors it's way. In the time it takes to wait at Red's you can go here, walk around, have a beer and enjoy one of the best bites in the state then go back to Reds and you'd still be waiting. Shannon's Unshelled is a little walk up hut right on the harbor. You can enjoy the only thing on their menu at one of the tables outside or take it go but there is no indoor seating. I've always been of the mindset that if a place only does one thing than you know they do it right. Less so the case with perfect scores on Yelp but when you've had 70+ reviews and still have five stars you're damn near pleasing everyone. Me included. Shannon's Unshelled buys their lobsters from a local guy each morning and picks them twice a day. The meat with chunks of everything is served at room temp with nothing else except a side of hot clarified butter. They use a standard New England style roll which in the picture looks like a mini version of one but that it is not. It's regular sized, it's toasted just right and the lobster meat was as sweet as a Riley Curry video gone viral. This my friends is perfection.

    Image
    A Lobster Roll for those in the know

    Shannon's Unshelled
    11 Granary Way
    Boothbay Harbor, ME 04538
  • Post #12 - September 12th, 2015, 9:15 am
    Post #12 - September 12th, 2015, 9:15 am Post #12 - September 12th, 2015, 9:15 am
    Nice lobstah-porn pic, DaBeef! 8)

    Not that it matters--'cause I'd pay twenty-five bucks for that roll--but how much did you pay?

    I may try my next ho-made roll commando-style like this one.
  • Post #13 - September 12th, 2015, 2:41 pm
    Post #13 - September 12th, 2015, 2:41 pm Post #13 - September 12th, 2015, 2:41 pm
    Now, that's a sammich!
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #14 - September 13th, 2015, 5:25 pm
    Post #14 - September 13th, 2015, 5:25 pm Post #14 - September 13th, 2015, 5:25 pm
    Most certainly not in the same league as Beef's selection, I should point out that Friendly's, a sit-down not-exactly-fast-food restaurant chain spread all over the upper North East is now featuring lobster rolls at select locations. We've got 'em in Plattsburgh, way upstate NY, and they ain't all that bad.

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #15 - September 13th, 2015, 7:59 pm
    Post #15 - September 13th, 2015, 7:59 pm Post #15 - September 13th, 2015, 7:59 pm
    jnm123 wrote:Nice lobstah-porn pic, DaBeef! 8)

    Not that it matters--'cause I'd pay twenty-five bucks for that roll--but how much did you pay?

    I may try my next ho-made roll commando-style like this one.


    stevez wrote:Now, that's a sammich!


    Thanks guys. It was $18, $20 with a bottle of locally made blueberry soda by its side. I agree though in that I would've been fine paying $25. It was at least a pound of meat and it was probably the most enjoyed thing I ate on a trip with many desirable bites. The lobster was perfect and the setting was tremendous. I'd be interested in your process for recreating a good one at home. I think that'd be a fun thread.

    Geo wrote:Most certainly not in the same league as Beef's selection, I should point out that Friendly's, a sit-down not-exactly-fast-food restaurant chain spread all over the upper North East is now featuring lobster rolls at select locations. We've got 'em in Plattsburgh, way upstate NY, and they ain't all that bad.

    Geo


    I was a Friendly's fan back in my two years of high school spent away in Eastern Connecticut. My Pequot peoples put me on, mainly the ice cream. I had wanted to try a locally available McDonald's lobster roll just to do so but the thought to try one never crossed my mind when riding by a location. I know I didn't miss much but I was curious. I still am.
  • Post #16 - September 13th, 2015, 9:14 pm
    Post #16 - September 13th, 2015, 9:14 pm Post #16 - September 13th, 2015, 9:14 pm
    Did you happen to make it to The Maine Diner for lobster pie? I still crave that dish, and it was 10 years ago when I had it.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #17 - September 14th, 2015, 6:50 am
    Post #17 - September 14th, 2015, 6:50 am Post #17 - September 14th, 2015, 6:50 am
    Beef--

    I had a McD lobster roll in Nova Scotia a few years ago. For the price, it wasn't bad. I'd do it again. :)

    Stevez, I'm with you: that lobster pie at the Maine Diner is totally memorable. Ummmm.

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #18 - September 14th, 2015, 7:11 am
    Post #18 - September 14th, 2015, 7:11 am Post #18 - September 14th, 2015, 7:11 am
    Cathy2 wrote:At Asian stores, there are crab picks that work very well for cleaning crabs and lobsters. They have a tiny two-tine fork at one end and a tapered scoop at the other. It may be the perfect gift for her next lobster pickathon.

    Ellen adores lobster, and crab for that matter, and a decade + ago I bought her fancy Global crab and lobster forks They were on the expensive side, but she still has all 4 from the set and uses them both at home and in restaurants. Sturdy and work perfectly for all the little nooks and crannies. They are longer than they appear in this picture.

    Image
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #19 - September 16th, 2015, 12:43 am
    Post #19 - September 16th, 2015, 12:43 am Post #19 - September 16th, 2015, 12:43 am
    I'll be in the area this week, though mainly heading south from Boston rather than north (though I might also have time to sneak north).

    Does anyone have suggestions on a place to stop between Logan and Falmouth/Woods Hole for lobster rolls, seafood, or other regional cuisine?

    We'll be driving in no hurry both on Thursday and again on Saturday. Anyplace in between Boston and the Cape would be awesome.

    Thanks for the great report here and in the Maine thread, Beef.
  • Post #20 - September 16th, 2015, 10:36 am
    Post #20 - September 16th, 2015, 10:36 am Post #20 - September 16th, 2015, 10:36 am
    Hi Santander--

    I have no tips about anything between Logan and Woods Hole, but plenty about Woods Hole since I spent a month there this summer and just returned yesterday from another quick trip.

    My top two places in Woods hole are Quicks Hole Taqueria and Pie in the Sky Bakery and cafe. The taqueria does great lobster, shrimp, or fish tacos, with fabulous house-made salsas and some good local beers on tap. Very casual, counter-service kind of place.

    Pie in the Sky is a local institution, fine coffee, amazing pop-overs. My go-to breakfast in Woods Hole is an egg, cheese, and linguica (Portuguese sausage) on a popover. I had one for breakfast yesterday, in fact.

    For higher-end dining, the Quicks Hole Tavern, right across from the ferry, is excellent.

    Finally, the bar at the Captain Kidd is another favorite, with marble foot and bar rails and some solid beers join tap. There is also great water view seating there, indoors and out, right on Eel Pond.

    Quicks Hole Taqueria
    6 Luscombe Avenue
    Woods Hole, MA 02543
    (508) 495-0792

    Pie in the Sky
    10 Water Street
    Woods Hole MA 02543

    Quicks Hole Tavern
    29 Railroad Avenue
    Woods Hole, MA 02543
    (508) 495-0048

    Captain Kidd
    77 Water St
    Woods Hole, MA 02543
  • Post #21 - September 16th, 2015, 11:17 am
    Post #21 - September 16th, 2015, 11:17 am Post #21 - September 16th, 2015, 11:17 am
    Santander wrote:Does anyone have suggestions on a place to stop between Logan and Falmouth/Woods Hole for lobster rolls, seafood, or other regional cuisine?

    For hyper-regional cuisine (not so much for lobster rolls), Fall River is one of the most interesting and underappreciated food cities in the US, I'd say. It adds 35 miles to your trip, but would be worth it for a chouriço bean dog alone. Some great Portuguese stuff there.
  • Post #22 - September 16th, 2015, 11:28 am
    Post #22 - September 16th, 2015, 11:28 am Post #22 - September 16th, 2015, 11:28 am
    Great intel as ever, Peter! I'll be at MBL tomorrow and those tacos and popovers are in my future.
  • Post #23 - September 18th, 2015, 10:48 am
    Post #23 - September 18th, 2015, 10:48 am Post #23 - September 18th, 2015, 10:48 am
    Maple Leaf wrote:Hi Santander--

    I have no tips about anything between Logan and Woods Hole, but plenty about Woods Hole since I spent a month there this summer and just returned yesterday from another quick trip.

    My top two places in Woods hole are Quicks Hole Taqueria and Pie in the Sky Bakery and cafe. The taqueria does great lobster, shrimp, or fish tacos, with fabulous house-made salsas and some good local beers on tap. Very casual, counter-service kind of place.

    Pie in the Sky is a local institution, fine coffee, amazing pop-overs. My go-to breakfast in Woods Hole is an egg, cheese, and linguica (Portuguese sausage) on a popover. I had one for breakfast yesterday, in fact.

    For higher-end dining, the Quicks Hole Tavern, right across from the ferry, is excellent.

    Finally, the bar at the Captain Kidd is another favorite, with marble foot and bar rails and some solid beers join tap. There is also great water view seating there, indoors and out, right on Eel Pond.

    Quicks Hole Taqueria
    6 Luscombe Avenue
    Woods Hole, MA 02543
    (508) 495-0792

    Pie in the Sky
    10 Water Street
    Woods Hole MA 02543

    Quicks Hole Tavern
    29 Railroad Avenue
    Woods Hole, MA 02543
    (508) 495-0048

    Captain Kidd
    77 Water St
    Woods Hole, MA 02543


    Have hit all three! Great recs; thank you, ML. Portuguese style bass and mussels with linguica was a pleasure at Captain's; croissant and diverse coffees at Pie, and some wicked lobsta tahcos.
  • Post #24 - September 22nd, 2015, 1:20 pm
    Post #24 - September 22nd, 2015, 1:20 pm Post #24 - September 22nd, 2015, 1:20 pm
    Hi Santander--

    Glad to hear I steered you right! Woods Hole is a special place, a delightful mix of day trippers waiting for the ferry to the vineyard, second-home owners, and scientists from WHOI and MBL. It is very common at all the places I mentioned to hear people discussing sailing at one table and cutting edge microscopes at the next.
  • Post #25 - September 25th, 2015, 11:19 am
    Post #25 - September 25th, 2015, 11:19 am Post #25 - September 25th, 2015, 11:19 am
    OK, so I couldn't further resist the temptation of the Friendly's lobster roll. I'm *very* glad that I didn't: it was an excellent effort on their part: two smallish toasted split-top buns, minimalist mayo sauce with good fresh celery and, best of all, just gobs of totally fresh, big chunks of claw meat. Plus a good-sized crisp, crunch cole slaw bowl, and a nice cup of fries. Total cost, taxes included = $16.19 Ya can't beat that with a stick!

    Image Geo, on Flickr

    Geo


    edited twice to fix code
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #26 - June 11th, 2021, 1:42 pm
    Post #26 - June 11th, 2021, 1:42 pm Post #26 - June 11th, 2021, 1:42 pm
    Consider the $34 Lobster Roll
    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/11/styl ... ticleShare
    Never order barbecue in a place that also serves quiche - Lewis Grizzard

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