Monday, August 6, 2012

Lobster Roll Roundup: Maine Edition

Portland Head Light

The Mr. and I are back from a glorious week in Maine, and I say with pride that I accomplished my goal of eating my weight in lobster rolls. I ate so many of these heavenly little crustaceans that I could barely stomach the idea of more by the end of the trip. But readers, I couldn't do that to you, so I made sure I found room for one more even though I was filled to bursting with lobstery goodness.

Thurston's Lobster Pound, Bernard, ME

Our first stop was Thurston's Lobster Pound outside of Bar Harbor. It was a gloomy day, so we didn't get the full benefit of its lovely seaside location. Fortunately, there is plenty of indoor seating, and the weather kept the summer crowds at bay. Thurston's is a no frills lobster roll. It's fairly small, and the soft hot dog style bun didn't seem toasted. The lobster is fairly unadorned with very little mayo, so the sweet flavor of the lobster is the main event. It comes with a side of chips, and we opted for some summer corn as well.

The Thirsty Whale, Bar Harbor, ME
Next up was a divey bar called The Thirsty Whale. Their lobster rolls are a bargain at $12.50 and were served with surprisingly good fries. As you can see from the photo, they came with notably more mayo than Thurston's version. The more mayo and butter, the better, so I was surprised to enjoy this one more than Thurston's. Washed down with a Maine brewed root beer, it was perfect summer dining.

Red's Eats, Wiscasset, ME

Red's Eats in Wiscasset is so beloved that it is known for causing traffic jams along the 1 in summer time. We were fortunate to hit Red's Eats at an off-time, so there was neither traffic nor a long line. This lobster roll wasn't cheap (~$18), but it was huge compared to the other versions we tried, heaped with what appeared to be an entire lobster's worth of meat, butter served on the side. For dessert we enjoyed another Maine specialty, the whoopie pie. Turns out this whoopie pie is even better an hour later when it's gotten a little warm. I'd probably call this the best value, for although it's a bit pricier than the Thirsty Whale's, it's just an epic amount of lobster meat.

Barnacle Billy's, Ogunquit, ME
Just when I thought I couldn't take another bite of lobster, we visited Barnacle Billy's in Ogunquit, and their lobster roll looked too good to resist. Barnacle Billy's roll came with plenty of mayo, a nicely toasted buttery bun and a sprinkling of paprika. On the side were chips and sweet pickles. I found this one to be the perfect combination of sweet meat, creamy dressing and buttery bread. Good thing, I found room for it turned out to be my favorite roll of the trip. So delicious that I gobbled it up before my honey could even think to ask for a bite. It ain't cheap (~$17) or huge, but it's darn tasty. We went after dark, but the setting on the water in Perkin's Cove is quite pretty with sail boats gliding by, so it wins for atmosphere as well.



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