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Cheap Lobster

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  • skess Mar 6, 2007 02:25 PM
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Is cheap lobster an oxymoron? Or am I just a moron for thinking it can be found?
I hope not.
My brother's coming into town, and I think he is convinced that lobster tastes different on the East Coast than in the Midwest. Whatever his reasons, he wants to have some lobster while he's here. I'm in college, so the cheaper the better. (Not to say this isn't a general principle I'll live by when I'm out of college)
I know that you can buy them at Shaws and get them steamed, but I'm just not too keen on that idea. I'm a big fan of trusting the professionals. And I am no lobster professional.
So, no car to get outside of the metro area, so accesibility is an issue. I know on my way to the BPL in Copley I've seen some cheap lobster specials outside of some of those bars on Boylston. Still have them? Any good? Barring any good, is it worth it anyway? What about the touristy places by Faneuil?
On Chowhound suggestions, I went to Morse Fish Co. on Sunday and enjoyed a delicious shrimp cocktail and a decent crabcake with out of this world tartar sauce. Unfortunately, they didn't have lobster on the menu. Would like to strike chowhound gold once again...please help me out!

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  1. I remember seeing a good lobster deal several months ago at the Black Rose ($10?), a classic Irish bar near Quncy Market. Might be nice for a visitor, haven't tried it though.

    1. The Mt. Vernon in Somerville always has very reasonably priced twin lobster specials.

      1. For future reference (since they don't open until April and it's pretty far) I used to frequent Brown's Seabrook Lobster Pound when I lived in North Andover. It's on Route 286 in Seabrook Beach, NH (603) 474-3331. You can get two "chickens" with a side of fries for like $20. I also liked their fried seafood platter (i.e. fried pieces of fish, clams, lobster, etc, served with fries). The seating is no frills (i.e. long tables with benches). Also, you can also bring your own beer or wine. I'm sure that there are closer lobster pounds as well.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Chinon00

          Good news for people that this sounds good to, I am almost postive that Browns is open year round. Maybe not every day during the winter but at least Friday through Sunday. Please call the number listed to confirm before going just to make sure.

          1. re: debidokun

            And as far as “authentic” experiences go Browns is it. I say this because of the people who go there. They’re eating lobster for no other reason than that it’s Friday night along the North Shore and New Hampshire.

            1. re: debidokun

              Browns is closed from Dec 16th through Jan 1. Opened all other times. I love this place!

          2. ditto on the Mt Vernon

            1. A third recommendation on the Mount Vernon in this regard only. The otherwise crummy pub-style restaurant Whiskey's, across from the Pru, sometimes has cheap boiled lobster, with deeper discounts for 2 or 3 of the critters. And if memory serves, you can get lobster rolls at good prices at Charlie's Kitchen in Cambridge and Belle Isle in Winthrop.

              1 Reply
              1. re: bachslunch

                I've had the 2-lobster meal at Whiskey's a few times. It's no-frills, plastic basket service, but you get two steamed lobsters with fries and coleslaw for around $20 or so. Hard to beat, and very accessible.

              2. The Irish pubs near Fanueil Hall generally have lobster specials. They run from $10 to $12 without sides. Add some french fries for $2. It's a good deal. Try Henneseys; Green Dragon; Paddy O's; or Purple Shamrock. Specials are posted on blackboards in front of the pub.

                1. If you are looking for steamed lobster, i am not sure where to go in the metro area. I usualy venture to my roots on the north shore.

                  If you are looking for a gread seafood dinner on the cheap, surprisingly, Out of the Blue in Davis Square is really yummy. they have a lobster Fra Diablo that my boyfriend gets EVERY time we go. I think they may have other lobster dishes there too. I love this place. Its T accessible too, right in davis, near the burren..so you can pop over there after dinner for some entertainment.

                  www.outofthebluerestaurant.com

                  I also Neptune Oyster on Salem street in the north end. they have a great raw bar and sell a fantastic lobster roll (2 ways). one is in drawn butter and the other is traditional. I am a huge seafood snob, and i think neptune oyster does a great job.
                  http://www.neptuneoyster.com/

                  1. Have a second think about the steamed lobster from Shaw's/Stop and Shop, etc. You don't have to be an expert at all -- they steam them and send them home with you. Your job will be to microwave the butter, make a salad just for show, and open the wine. Spread a sheet out on the floor and dig in. It will be the cheapest option, and in my opinion, the most fun.

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: yumyum

                      And keep your eyes peeled for sales ... one weekend last summer they were $4.99/lb! I think we bought something like 20 chicken lobsters for a group of 6 of us.

                      :)
                      BK

                      1. re: BJK

                        The Super 88s typically have sales in the summer.

                      2. re: yumyum

                        I'm going to have to disagree... Shaw's doesnt actually "steam" the lobsters in the way that you might think. They actually microwave them which, in my opinion, makes them a little chewy. You'd be better off buying it live, and steaming at home.

                        1. re: thunderbug84

                          Microwave???? They have big, commercial steamer trays.....Sometimes, I've even gotten presteamed lobsters there, shrinkwrapped, and they were great..

                          1. re: galleygirl

                            Agreed. My only complaint about our lobster extravaganza was that they were small, but we knew that from the get go. Nothing about them tasted microwaved.

                            BK

                            1. re: galleygirl

                              They definitly use a microwave at the Shaw's in Amherst/Hadley. I spoke to the seafood guy about it at length. They use the microwave now because it saves a ton of time. He wasnt too happy with the change (because of the rubberiness), and said that he would recommend steaming it at home. Unfortunately, he mentioned this after mine was already nuked. After eating it, I totally agree with him- very rubbery. Hopefully Shaw's doesnt do this everywhere, but it would be wise to ask to make sure.

                            2. re: thunderbug84

                              Re microwaving, I know I saw a spot w/Roger Berkowitz a year or so ago touting the microwaving of lobsters(whole clam bake) in a microwave bag, as being one of the best preparations.

                          2. You can also good deals ub Chinatown, typically 2 lobsters, flash fried, then stir fried with ginger and scallion, typically under $20. Ocean wealth's version is decent.

                            1. The Jumbo House (next door to Ocean Wealth) lobster special is 2 for $12 provided you order two other dishes. Quite a steal.

                              1. If you'll consider Chinese preparations...
                                I haven't been yet, but we have Chinese friends who swear by the quality and value of the twin lobster specials at Victoria Seafood by BU on the Green B line. Grand Chau Chow Seafood also generally has a good and affordable twin lobster special (I like it Spicy Dry Fried style).

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: litchick

                                  I swear by them, as well. I usually order ginger and scallion, but I saw an Asian table getting one that loooked steamed and hacked.

                                2. Don't know where to get cheap lobster, but I guarantee your brother is right...lobster will taste better here than in the Midwest because it will be fresher. Seafood in general is pretty awful in the Midwest because god only knows how long its been frozen. I lived there for 4 years, so I know...

                                  1. The Mt. Vernon's twin lobster special is quite good, and certainly inexpensive enough.

                                    Also, you can go to Bay State Lobster Co., off of Commercial St. in the North End, and get your lobster steamed and shell cracked for you, so you can take it home and serve it up like a "pro".

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: mwk

                                      I thought Bay State had closed up shop and left town because Condos are going up on their space. Have you been there recently?

                                      1. re: Fort Point

                                        Closed a while back to make way for $1000 a square foot condos.

                                    2. I never had a problem with Shaw's steaming my lobsters -- they were perfectly fine to eat and cheap. You get what you pay for.

                                      1. Thanks for all the suggestions! Maybe we'll even do a lobster tour all around Boston and kill two sea chickens with one stone. He can get enough East Coast lobster to tide him over the rest of his life (ocean pun intended).

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: skess

                                          Dear Skess, I can't believe no one recommended the best tourist restaurant attraction in Boston--Durgin Park. Those folks have been serving lobster, prime rib, corn bread, baked beans & brown bread, Indian pudding and all the other Boston specialties for a century or more. The prices are great. The service which, in the old days, was pretty brusque due to crowding, is now genial and fun. All tourists love the place--they're on the second floor with a busy, open kitchen kitchen in the middle, an absolutely plain jane atmosphere with red-checked tablecloths on the beat-up old wooden tables. And, when you order lobster, they don't fool around with little plastic bibs--the waitress will just tie a nice cotton red checked tablecloth around your neck! You try it, your brother will think it's a gas....

                                          1. re: amethyst lady

                                            father in law was just asking me about lobster and prime rib places. He usually would go to Green Tea in Lynn or Haywards in Lynn. They have great baked stuffed(i don't eat lobster but he loves i and it looks great). But Haywards says that at 17 bucks a lb for lobster now they are refusing to make it until the price comes down. They are doing lobster pie and Green Tea skyrocketed too. I had thought I saw good reviews for Mt Vernon in Revere here for prime rib , and they serve a small one which is what he wants, so I came here, and lo and behold I see them listed not for the prime rib but for lobster! So is the Revere one the same as the Somerville one? Would you pick the lobster or prime rib there? He's not real chowish but would like a great old school meal, w/c accesible, nice atmosphere.. Will Mt Vernons do it?