Their wild popularity is nothing new, of course, but lobster rolls great and not-so-much continue to grab the spotlight. In this week's episode of Adam Richman's Best Sandwich in America, the Zesty Lemon Lobster Roll from The Galley in Naples beat a Crab Grilled Cheese from Portsmouth and a reuben-ish turkey number from New Haven, winning the title of Best Sandwich in New England and landing it in the finals. To see if chef Matt Sullivan's lobster roll comes out on top, watch the finale, featuring 10 regional winners and two "wild cards" on Wed. Aug. 15 at 9 p.m. on Travel Channel.
Good lobster rolls are not hard to find - at this time of year, they're at nearly every outpost serving food. In a post for Serious Eats, Malcolm Bedell of the From Away blog goes downmarket to sample fast food lobster rolls. The best? From the 13-outlet Maine chain Pat's Pizza:
... jaw-droppingly delicious. Made fresh to order, the bun was soft, fluffy, and perfectly fresh. The outside was toasty and warm, while the inside stayed cool and soft ... the star here was the lobster salad; a generous portion of sweet Maine lobster meat, freshly picked, slightly chilled, and tossed with just the right amount of mayonnaise ... It's the only sandwich in the entire tasting that I took more than a bite of, greedily polishing it off while standing in the sun in the middle of the asphalt parking lot.And the worst? Rolls from D'Angelo, "far too cold and with a distinctly swampy taste;" Shaw's Supermarket, "too wet, too marshy and the bun too stale and chewy;" Au Bon Pain, "mayonnaise lovers will find a lot to love here;" and Linda Bean's Perfect Maine share the "Would Not Eat Again" title.
Can a lobster roll that costs $17 really be included in a "bottom shelf" roundup? It can when it is made as flat-out badly as this one, and particularly when the sandwich has the audacity to refer to itself as "perfect" ... Linda Bean piles on a quarter pound of lobster, but mucks it up with Miracle Whip and a very, very generous pour of dried dill. It's an insulting treatment of Maine lobster that is antithetical to the very nature of the bug.Not really a surprise that someone would dedicate an entire blog to Maine's unofficial-official sandwich - On A Roll actually covers both lobster and crab rolls around the state and elsewhere. It's author is an unnamed Mainer, now an architect in Cambridge, Mass., and unafraid, in his anonymity, to speak his mind about more than the food. His post this week covers The Clam Shack in Kennebunkport (too expensive), Chauncey Creek Lobster Pier in Kittery (good!). Spinney's in Phippsburg (bad) and York Lobster & Seafood in York (he walked out twice)
The Kennebunkport tourist set is a special breed that I cannot begin to describe, but the word entitled comes to mind, and maybe douche, also madras, or loafer, or the thought "Why is she with him?"