We’re very pleased to welcome guest author Sally Lerman to the site! Sally is the writer and photographer of Lobster Gal, a website that obsessively documents lobster roll tastings from Connecticut to Maine, using an established set of “standards” which she has defined to rate each roll. Her experience tasting and evaluating (not to mention weighing) lobster rolls all up and down the East Coast has made her an authority on the subject, and we are excited to welcome her contributions to From Away. -Malcolm
At long last… it’s summertime! Time to bask on a sunny deck, overlooking the great, wide Atlantic, eating nature’s finest food, the lobster roll. But alas, summer in New England, particularly the part where you can sit outside and be comfortable, is fleeting.
Prime lobster-eating season will be over before we know it, so it takes some careful planning to budget your valuable lobster roll hunting time wisely. The truly great lobster rolls on the Maine coast are seasonal. VERY seasonal. Some of the best lobster rolls in the state are served by restaurants with seasons so short, that some don’t even open until July 4, and many others close the day after Labor Day.
Always call ahead as well, since many lobster places have changeable schedules depending on weather and crowd level. Wondering about the places you absolutely have to hit during this short Maine summer? Here are the spots that have short seasons, that should absolutely be part of your summer lobster roll dining plan:
Boothbay Lobster Wharf
97 Atlantic Ave Boothbay Harbor, ME 04538; (207) 633-4900; boothbaylobsterwharf.com
If you only try one new lobster roll this summer, make it this one. You won’t regret it. You may have heard others claim otherwise, but I’ve done the actual weighing, and this is the largest regular-sized lobster roll that I have encountered, consistently around 11 ounces. It is just brimming with fresh off the boat, uncut tail halves and full claws and knuckles, lightly tossed in mayo. The size isn’t even what makes this monster great, it’s the summer fresh flavor of the lobster meat, and it can’t be beat. All of this can be enjoyed with live music, a full bar and comfortable indoor and outdoor seating overlooking the quintessentially Maine, working harbor of Boothbay. (Regular size is pictured, but they also have a jumbo if you’re feeling dangerous.)
Five Islands Lobster Co.
1447 5 Islands Road, Georgetown, ME 04548; (207) 371-2990; fiveislandslobster.com
Well, technically, I can never make up my mind. So you should also make this a must-try on your summer to-do list, and decide for yourself. If there are more gorgeous views in Maine, they are most certainly not accompanied by a lobster roll that’s even better. Watch the crew haul lobsters right out of the ocean and into the shack to be flawlessly cooked and picked fresh throughout the day, to create one of the greatest lobster rolls in Maine. One bite and you’ll know, this is a life changing experience. I once even converted a friend who claimed to hate lobster with this roll. Spring for the Big Boy (pictured). You’ll always wish you had just a little more of this lobster meat.
- 97 Atlantic Ave Boothbay Harbor, ME 04538; (207) 633-4900; boothbaylobsterwharf.com
- 6 Malcolm Drive, Harpswell, ME 04079; (207) 833-7354; ericasseafood.com
- 120 Main Street Freeport, ME 04032; (207)865-6290; freeportpizza.com/Derosiers/Home
- 28 Town Landing Road, Round Pond, ME 04564; (207) 529-2251; mainefreshlobster.com
- 14 Sea Street Northeast Harbor, ME 04662; (207) 276-3965