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Growing up on Cape Cod has left me a penchant for this sublime snack. I say snack, because I usually finish eating a normal roll in 4 or 5 bites as my wife stares agog calculating the ludicrous price-per-bite figure of the endeavour smile.gif .

There are two schools of thought regarding the lobster roll:

1) The "unspoilt" school. I would say as you travel up the coast of New England, this preperation kicks into full gear at Red's Eats (a shack in Wiscasset that's become a media darling). Here, a generous portion of lobster is served on the traditional "New England Style" hot-dog roll (the sides of the roll are not crust - for easy grilling*) with a side of butter. There is no dressing for the lobster, this is a purist's dream.

2) The "salad" school. Essentially, most establishments prepare lobster rolls in this fashion. A mayo-based dressing is applied to the lobster and it is often mixed with various fillers (celery etc). I've never seen a roll south of New England that doesn't fall into this category.

My preference falls somewhere between the two. Filler is sin, but a roll can be dressed in a manner that compliments - not overwhelms - the taste of the lobster.

I've sampled three rolls at three restaurants in this town: Legal Seafood, Kinkead's, and Hank's Oyster Bar. My favorite thus far is Legal's. I feel like the other two had dressing that overwhelmed the lobster: Kinkead's by seasoning, and Hank's by consistency (too thick). Legal also serves their roll with a generous portion of fries, however I've found the rolls can be inconsistent. My roll at Tyson's II was much better prepared than it's cousin in Crystal City.

So,
Where can a down-easter get his fix around here? smile.gif

* Can anybody tell me where I can purchase these buns around here???
 
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08/06/05 - Buck's Fishing and Camping (JLK)

08/06/05 - "New England Style" Rolls for Lobster Rolls (zoramargolis)

08/07/05 - Corduroy (oliveDC)

08/08/05 - Hank's Oyster Bar (Pool Boy)

08/12/05 - Zola (CitrineDC)

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I fall into the lightly dressed-no filler camp. The best that I've had were in Maine, the Lobster Shack in Cape Elizabeth and another pound in Camden, I've never tried Red's.

I had a couple up in Cape Cod earlier this month at Seafood Sam's in Sandwich, I don't know if its me but there is a fine balance of mayo and other spices before a lobster roll can go awry.

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I just got back from Cape Cod last night and had my fill of lobster rolls.

The best one I had was at a place that surprised me: it was called "Luscious Louie's" in Harwichport. It did have some mayo to bind, but no other fillers or seasonings...divine.

I know folks sing the praises of Kinkead's lobster roll, but the one time I had it, the roll had a huge lettuce leaf between the meat and the roll and I just couldn't get beyond that.

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Given the weather prediction for the upcoming week it's time to revive this thread.
 

In addition to the Sietsema sandwich write-up in the Magazine section, the Sunday Source explores Philadelphia cheese steaks, New Orleans po' boys, and New England lobster rolls.

   
Other than those mentioned (Hank's, Legal Seafood, Kinkead's), where else can one go for a good lobster roll? Is it still on Zola's menu?
 
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07/15/06 - Tallula (Dave Pressley)

07/15/06 - Zola (TinDC)

08/07/06 - Coastal Flats (goldenticket)

08/07/06 - Jettie's (ftranfa)

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As far as the lobster rolls go, I've had a few lately and I would rate them Hank's, Tacklebox, Coastal Flats.

Coastal Flats adds a good bit of Mayo and Celery, the other two were straight up Lobster with some seasoning on a buttered roll. To each his own !

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05/17/10 - Red Hook Lobster Pound Truck (Miami Danny)

05/17/10 - Tackle Box (ktmoomau)

05/17/10 - Bobby's Crab Cakes (bobbyz)

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Spent the holiday weekend in Rhode Island and Boston. Had the following over the last two days:

Lobster Roll @ The Shack, Jamestown. Easily the best I've had since touring Maine in 2007. Grilled potato bun, very lightly dressed fresh lobster. Excellent. $15 with chips/drink.

 
Lobster Roll @ O'Rourke's, Warick/Cranston. Way better than expected for a random pub. A bit more dressed than the Shack, but still pretty well done. $17 with fries.

 
Lobster Club @ Cisco "Brewpub", Boston Logan Airport. And another surprisingly good showing of lobster, balanced with tasty bacon and slightly too much lettuce. Still. $16 with fries.

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07/08/10 - Maine Avenue Wharf (RWBooneJr.)

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Can anyone comment on where they feel Hank's lobster roll fits among the pantheon of lobster roll spots now serving our area? Personally, I like Freddy's best thinking it's at least as good as any other (Kinkeads), slightly better than still others (DC Lobster Truck, Lukes) and the best value to be had anywhere by a good margin. But then I had a spirited discussion with someone recently who swore that Hank's was top of the stack. I haven't been to Hank's in years so couldn't hold my end of the argument--hence my appeal here. And, I can't understand why a place that serves clam rolls, lobster rolls and other seafood shack fare...in Dupont Circle no less...doesn't have lunch hours. But, is it a better quality lobster roll than the others? Is it a better value?

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Has anyone tried the seasonal lobster roll at BGR?

Can anyone comment on where they feel Hank's lobster roll fits among the pantheon of lobster roll spots now serving our area? Personally, I like Freddy's best thinking it's at least as good as any other (Kinkeads), slightly better than still others (DC Lobster Truck, Lukes) and the best value to be had anywhere by a good margin. But then I had a spirited discussion with someone recently who swore that Hank's was top of the stack. I haven't been to Hank's in years so couldn't hold my end of the argument--hence my appeal here. And, I can't understand why a place that serves clam rolls, lobster rolls and other seafood shack fare...in Dupont Circle no less...doesn't have lunch hours. But, is it a better quality lobster roll than the others? Is it a better value?

The lobster at Hank's was always very good. But when the lobster roll went to $23, the price for a medium amount of lobster outweighed the trip downtown or to Old Town.

Red Hook is a great value, if you can get to the truck.

Mussel Bar is pretty decent too, but our favorite right now is BGR. For $15 you get a very generous amount of very fresh lobster, very lightly dressed. We think it's The best taste to value ratio in DC area. As DR pointed out, the lobster roll from BGR may taste fresh to me, but it may not have been alive that day and it may even have been frozen. At any rate I still think it tastes better and is a better value than the lobster roll at Freddies.

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Mussel Bar is pretty decent too, but our favorite right now is BGR. For $15 you get a very generous amount of very fresh lobster, very lightly dressed. We think it's The best taste to value ratio in DC area. As DR pointed out, the lobster roll from BGR may taste fresh to me, but it may not have been alive that day and it may even have been frozen. At any rate I still think it tastes better and is a better value than the lobster roll at Freddies. 

Interesting. Of course, it's the different views that add so much energy and richness to this board. I wouldn't have even thought to try a lobster roll at BGR because it isn't fresh lobster and because the main focus of the restaurant is burgers. Usually--but not always--whatever the focus of a place is what's best and the more focused it is, the better relative to others. For that reason, I usually run fast in the opposite direction from places that do sushi and Italian or whatever. Lobster rolls seem like everyone's add-on moneymaker these days. In Bethesda alone, even Asaggi is promoting lobster rolls. Huh? I'm still very much a Freddy's fan but this is the kind of perspective I was asking for so thanks, cuddly. I will give the BGR roll a try sometime soon so I can assess it credibly. At least (and like my fave Freddy's) they're open for lunch; more than can be said for Hank's, the spot that prompted my original question.

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With Freddy's gone from Bethesda, anyplace to get a decent lobster roll in Bethesda (I see the BGR option above, may take a look to see if still offered). TIA!

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With Freddy's gone from Bethesda, anyplace to get a decent lobster roll in Bethesda (I see the BGR option above, may take a look to see if still offered). TIA!

I had a BGR lobster roll in 2013 and it was perfectly awful.  Didn't taste at all like lobster and it came in the slider rolls.  Never again!  I did like the lobster roll at Coastal Flats I had a year ago.  Also came with fries and roasted corn on the cob.  Not cheap ($21) but I thought it was worth it.

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With Freddy's gone from Bethesda, anyplace to get a decent lobster roll in Bethesda (I see the BGR option above, may take a look to see if still offered). TIA!

In Bethesda, I have had good luck with Luke's in the Bethesda Row alley.

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I had a BGR lobster roll in 2013 and it was perfectly awful.  Didn't taste at all like lobster and it came in the slider rolls.  Never again!  I did like the lobster roll at Coastal Flats I had a year ago.  Also came with fries and roasted corn on the cob.  Not cheap ($21) but I thought it was worth it.

BGR serves their lobster roll in three Martin's mini potato rolls, side-by-side.

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In Bethesda, I have had good luck with Luke's in the Bethesda Row alley.

I had no idea this place existed, thanks!

BGR serves their lobster roll in three Martin's mini potato rolls, side-by-side. 

I really do not understand potato rolls.

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I really do not understand potato rolls.

Do some research on "King's Hawaiian Bread."

Now you understand potato rolls. :)

BTW: click.

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In Bethesda, I have had good luck with Luke's in the Bethesda Row alley.

It's really the only place to get a "decent" one in Bethesda now but the difference between Freddy's rolls (in the first year or so) to Luke's was vast.  The Luke's meat is frozen and shipped down from Maine via NY, where Luke's retail business is more established. Freddy's had the only fresh rolls but, as the business wound down, they downsized them.  I miss Freddy's greatly and hope another serious purveyors pops up in the market again. Guessing if and when that happens, it may not be in Bethesda.

BTW, Fiola Mare has a pretty kickass roll but that's just a totally different experience from a great lobster roll joint.

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I'm surprised no one's mentioned Ford's Fish Shack yet...even though it's a bit of a jaunt for pretty much everyone in the entire Metro DC area (except those who live out near Dulles).

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How do Jettie's lobster rolls compare? New location opened in Penn Quarter, and if their lobster rolls are good, I'll go check them out.  There's a Luke's not too far also, though I haven't been.

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On 5/4/2015 at 11:27 AM, Genevieve said:

How do Jettie's lobster rolls compare? New location opened in Penn Quarter, and if their lobster rolls are good, I'll go check them out.  There's a Luke's not too far also, though I haven't been.

😴

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6 minutes ago, MarkS said:

No way I'm going for a Lobster roll in a Crab cake town.  Kind of like visiting Napa and ordering Virginia wine. I believe mason's is up by Church Circle.

I don't bother with lob rolls outside the 207 and have learned not to bother with crab cakes outside the 301/410.

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12 minutes ago, Bob Wells said:

I don't bother with lob rolls outside the 207 and have learned not to bother with crab cakes outside the 301/410.

I have neighbors who crab in our backyard creek.  Keeping them in a live cage until they have caught a few dozen.  I'll try that route next year,

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16 minutes ago, Bob Wells said:

I don't bother with lob rolls outside the 207 and have learned not to bother with crab cakes outside the 301/410.

that is great!!!!!   

BTW:   Sam's Chowder House in Half Moon Bay in California, South of San Fran has terrific lobster rolls.  On top of that you can sit outside, gaze at Half Moon Bay and the Pacific beyond it, drink a lot, get other good East Coast Seafood and I suppose good West Coast Seafood also.  If you don't believe that have a few more drinks.  You will think you are in Maine.

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31 minutes ago, MarkS said:

No way I'm going for a Lobster roll in a Crab cake town.  Kind of like visiting Napa and ordering Virginia wine. I believe mason's is up by Church Circle.

I had one (not at Tony Luke's, but at Luke's, Market East) a couple weeks ago in Philly. Frozen, but tasty - all of these things taste the same: frozen, but tasty. :)

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