King of Clubs. [Photo: Tripadvisor]
It's the club sandwich that beat Bobby Flay. Back in 2009, Flay showed up in Rockland to challenge Lynn Archer to a Lobster Club Throwdown. Archer's "King of Clubs" was already well-known locally, a mammoth sandwich made with three slices of thick, homemade white bread and packed with fresh lobster, a wee bit of mayo, plenty of bacon, and the traditional lettuce and tomato, served at Archer's Brass Compass Cafe.
Flay hardly stood a chance. He subbed Serrano ham for the bacon, then added saffron, among other ingredients, to the dressing. His big mistake — "The kiss of death," according to Archer and Mainers everywhere — was adding celery to the lobster. The judges found Archer's traditional version superior. The win made The King of Clubs the most famous club sandwich in the state.
"Beating Bobby Flay wasn't bad for business," Archer said, taking a short break from lunch prep at Archer's on the Pier, which she opened in 2011, post Throwdown victory. The King of Clubs is a fixture on the menu there, too.
Here are the numbers from the two restaurants combined:
Number of King of Clubs sold per week: More than 100
Lobster meat per sandwich: Half a pound, at least
Strips of bacon per sandwich: 6
Current market price: $20
Loaves of white bread baked per week: 140
Largest single order of King of Clubs: 30 (for a bus tour)
Percent chance Bobby Flay has in winning a Throwdown rematch: "I give him 2%," says Archer.
Here's a clip from the Throwdown:
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