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Aug 27, 2002 02:55 PM

Lobster Shack on Cape Elizabeth - disappointed

  • h

Folks at Lobster Shack definitely know their lobster; they just don't know how to cook. How Lobster Shack won the "best lobster roll in Portland" award remains a puzzle to me. There are plenty hole-in-the-walls all the way along the coast that serve better rolls. In the Lobster Shack the rolls were served with a dollop of mayo on top (not mixed into the lobster meat). We tried to spread it as evenly as possible, but could not avoid bites with too much or too little mayo. The chopped up lettuce was also irritating - a fresh curly leaf of lettuce would have been much better. The lobster meat was wonderfully fresh, but we expected no less on the Maine coast. The rolls were $10 each. The fries were so-so - like the ones you get frozen in the supermarket. The worst part of the meal was the lobster stew for $8.50/bowl. We expected something along the lines of the lobster bisque, but the "stew" consisted of pieces of lobster swimming in thin cream with a layer of grease on top. The liquid was not thickened or seasoned at all. What a waste of lobster! On the brighter side, the scenery was beautiful. We sat at the picnic table right on the beach and enjoyed the breeze.

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  1. Lobster "stew" is traditionally made here with lobster meat and cream - no thickening. It doesn't resemble lobster bisque. Too bad you found it's a dish you don't like.

    4 Replies
    1. re: ironmom

      One upped again, but that's OK. Right, Maine lobster stew, and that's the only kind I've eaten, consists of lobster meat, half and half or whole milk with an extra splash of cream, and a pat of butter. Grind a little pepper over it, round up the Crown Pilots, and go to it! A glorious, uncomplicated delight.

      1. re: M-L.

        Didn't mention the melted butter layer on top - the best part!

        1. re: ironmom

          Maybe not THE last word but A last word on lobster stew. Someone noted paprika. The red coloring in the lobster stew we had regularly made years ago by Dot Winslow at Rock Gardens Inn in Sebasco got its color not from paprika, but from lobster shells which were discarded before least that's what she told those of us who wanted to duplicate it.

      2. re: ironmom

        For an appreciative description of lobster stew, plus a simple recipe deconstructed in great detail, check out the "Crab Rolls and Lobster Stew" chapter of John Thorne's book, _Serious Pig_, which explains the nearly alchemical process of making a good lobster stew from nothing but lobster, hot milk, butter, paprika, salt and pepper.