Reds Lobster - Just not that great
While driving back to NY from Acadia this past weekend my girlfriend and I decided to stop at Reds for what was promised as the best lobster roll around. The wait was excrutiating, almost an hour for a lobster roll that was good but not great. My gf and I both prfer Biels in Acadia and Abotts in Noank. The lobster at Reds was not as fresh as those 2 places and although you get a ton of lobster it just didn't do it for me.
On another note, our favorite lobster in Acadia was at Abels - absolutley amazing and incrediblly fresh.
We used to like the crabmeat rolls at Red's, but we got a couple early this Summer and they tasted sweet! We think they substituted Mirical Whip for the mayonase. Whatever it was it was too sugary - not good. Sprague's on the dock across the road is better and the line is shorter. Red's onion rings are the worst o-rings we've ever had. Completely soaked in grease. Some grease can be good: The Big Al sandwich used to be my annual grease loading. I looked forward to it every year. I skipped it this Summer due to the bad o-ring experience. The line is insane and the smell of diesel exhaust while you're eating is something you can do without.
Conjuring up an otherworldly experience from lobster, mayonaise, and a piece of bread is a challange as well met by Red's as countless other places from Long Island to Eastport. After committing to fresh cooked lobster, quality mayo like Hellman's, and a toasted roll there's not a heck of alot of room for creativity.
Red's is well worth the wait if you are hell-bent on saying you had a lobster roll there - for better and for worse, Red's is largely a creation of internet lore. Yes, Red's was there long before the world wide web and travel blogs and Chowhound but in that context it NEVER rated anything special beyond it's highly visible location.
Nothing says "I went to Maine on my Summer Vacation!" like a lobster roll at Red's. But in the end, its just a lobster roll.
We've learned from travelling to Maine in the Fall these past 30 yeaars that Red's is worth skipping.
There are far better places to eat Lobster Rolls without all the hassle of crowds and lines.
Red's is,as Keefer said above me in his post ,a creation of internet lore.
Look around for better Lobster Rolls to eat and better places to eat them.
We stopped at Reds for lunch on Friday, Sept.29 on our way back to PA from Acadia. It was our first time at Reds. It was a rainy day, so line was short. Lobster roll was very fresh tasting, lots of meat, and price was good ($14?). I hate miracleWhip, we were definately given mayo. We took them to the nearby municipal park on the water and ate in the car. We were really happy with everything except the onion rings. It seems onion rings up that way tend to be batter rather the breadcrumb, and are boring (but they were decidedly NOT greasy). We'd stop again.
I think that - in fairness to fry shacks everywhere - its difficult to critique the quality of fried product and be true to the genre. Face it - many of these places like Red's Eats, Haraseeket Lobster, and any of a three dozen similar establishments - live and die by the consistency of their boiing oil. A cooking medium often times tended by high school students. Add to that an unpredictable, high turnout environment and its no shock that there could be...inconsistencies. So I don't doubt that someone occasionally has a bad batch of fries or onion rings, and that someone else would defend the same establishment's honor. It is, after all, just a fry shack.