I want to love Old Port Lobster Shack but...
- RWCFoodie Jun 30, 2006 05:44 AM
I've been to OPLS a few times now and I really want to love it as much as the others who have posted... But, my experiences there have consistently not been that terrific. I really don't like posting a negative but here goes:
First visit about 6 wks after they opened: Went for lunch and had to try the Lobster Roll. Granted, I'm not from the East Coast and have not had the opportunity to try it back there. I ordered the Naked version as I'm trying to avoid mayo and dressings in general and as the melted butter is served on the side, I could exclude it at my discretion. It looked lovely - big chunks of tail and claw meat. What I didn't like: the lobster meat had a texture that screamed "frozen" to me - it was water-logged and really didn't have much flavor. I thought, "maybe this is the way it's supposed to be" but I've eaten enough lobster over the years to feel that it wasn't "all that".
Second visit with DH for dinner: Ordered the fried clam bellies and fish and chips. Clam bellies just seemed kind of bleh to me - not much flavor and not crispy enough. Fish and chips was not bad but nothing that great either. Interestingly enough, the couple at the table next to us had ordered the "chowdah" and fish and chips. They asked us what we thought of the F & C - we said they were ok - they told us that one of the pieces in their order tasted "off" - I told them to take it back up to Russell but they didn't want to bother. A few minutes later one of them got a cell phone call during which they mentioned where they were - the other end of the conversation obviously asked what were they having and how did they like it - she responded that the chowdah was gritty... (I couldn't help but hear this conversation as the table was only 2' or so from ours - almost as though we were at the same table).
Third visit: Lunch yesterday with 2 friends. I had the Lobster Ceaser salad and they each ordered the fish and chips. We ordered together - my salad came out almost 10 minutes before their F & C. Salad was a large bowl full of romaine lettuce with about a cup of chopped lobster meat. While not water-logged, the lobster meat really didn't have much flavor. Not terrible but for $17.95 I was underwhelmed. My friends F & C looked very good but wasn't fried long enough to produce a really crispy batter. They picked their way thru and I saw that both of them were sort of scraping the half-cooked batter to the side and eating the fish - which they said was cooked nicely.
All things considered, I know that I will go back again but I'm not in a rush...
We've been there at least half-a-dozen times this year, and the food has generally been quite good, though far from consistent. My first lobster roll (with mayo) was composed entirely of meat from tiny,tiny claws. (I remember wondering how big the lobsters were, and where the tail meat had gone.) The fried clam bellies are sometimes heavenly, fat and juicy with a light, crisp coating, and sometimes rather soggy, with the coating falling off. Both times that we had the beer-battered fish, it was delicious, but the regular breaded fish was uninteresting. We did notice that the prices have crept up, while the portions seem to be shrinking.
Like you, I'll go again--they still have the best lobster roll, and I may get lucky with the fried clams--but probably not nearly as often as I did a few months ago.
P.S., I couldn't sign on as Pia, so I'm now Pilinut