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B&G Lobster Rolls

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An outstanding meal at B&G last night. The oysters were truly out of this world.

Given he shortage of lobsters, B&G now lists the price of their lobster rolls as "market price." Last night, market price was $31 (previously was $24 or $25).

Still, imho, deliciously decadent and worth the $31.

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  1. $31 for a lobster roll....mamma mia....it's going to be a tough year for lobster lovers.

    Anyone know how much Belle Isle Seafood in Eastie is charging? I'd like to find a good lobster roll for $20 or so, but given the price of lobster this year, that may be a pipe dream.

    7 Replies
    1. re: hiddenboston

      McCormick and Schmick's has them for $19...they're pretty good, too.

      1. re: hiddenboston

        I believe that the lobster sandwich can still be had at Alive & Kicking for less than $15.

        1. re: Gabatta

          Do they have any seating at Alive & Kicking, or is it strictly a takeout place/market?

          1. re: hiddenboston

            No place to sit at A&K. Just went by Belle Isle for the first time last week and am surprised there are no outdoor benches or anything there.

            1. re: Joanie

              I recall a picnic table or two (and, I believe, colored lights strung about) at Alive and Kicking - are those not there anymore? I probably was there in the summer, maybe they don't set up any seating until then?

              1. re: MichaelB

                You're right -- a couple of tables and a few lights are the "patio" in summer. I'll usually take mine around the corner to the park or just eat in my car. mmmmm..... lobster rolls

        2. re: hiddenboston

          Belle Isle's lobster roll: half-pound of lobster, $16.

        3. Yowzer, that's just insane. I know it's a tough lobster time, but that's crossing a threshold (I have a few that I impose on myself).

          1. Thank goodness the meal was great last night....$31 for a lobster roll? OUCH? I order that roll almost every time I go there but that would make me think twice.

            1. minga! i don't really think i'd enjoy that too much at that price. plus, i prefer Neptune's offering.

              14 Replies
              1. re: ScubaSteve

                Has the price changed at Neptune?

                1. re: heathermb

                  $31 for a lobster roll is still crazy. They're selling lobster in Boston for $15/lb retail. We know B & G gets their lobster for much less than that, but let's just use that figure for a benchmark. There's probably 1/2 lb of lobster in one of those rolls --if that. So all things being equal, at the very least they're marking up their costs by double (and let's face it, it's probably a triple-mark up or more.) I realize you're paying for all the benefits that go along with dining at B & G, but still...the prep involved in creating those rolls is fairly minimal. I think they're really pushing it with that price. You could go anywhere in Maine and even with the price increase in lobster probably end up paying somewhere in the high teens for a roll.

                  My guess is that if Neptune has raised their prices, it hasn't been by that crazy amount.

                  1. re: twentyoystahs

                    They told me there would be no math on chowhound, and I refuse to open my drawer for the calculator.
                    I've been told that lobsters have a 20% meat yeild. This means it takes 5 pounds of live lobster to yeild 1 pound of cooked meat.

                    1. re: Infomaniac

                      i thought the ratio was more along the lines of 3 to 1...i.e 3 1 lb lobsters might yield a pound of meat. Even so, I still think the price is out of wack.

                      1. re: twentyoystahs

                        I'll have to ask my friend again who has lobster boats out of Seabrook, NH. I though he told me 20% but I could be wrong or he could have been talking about something else.
                        Thats the rule I've been going by when I'm buying at the market.

                      2. re: Infomaniac

                        It depends on the size of the lobster, since aonount of shell increase by area, and amount of meat increases by volume. Living on the coast of NH, I continue to laugh at the cost of lobster rolls and certain other menu dishes at B+G.

                        I guess the Lynch imprimator, and her wealthy backers, intrinsically increase the value of boiled lobster meat, a commercially available roll, some mayo and chuzpah seasoning.

                        1. re: aadesmd

                          I don't know if you remember last summer when soft shell's were available at the market for $5.99 and sometimes $4.99 a pound. We were eating so much lobster (breakfast lunch and dinner) we got sick of it.
                          Come to think of it, I think thats what my friend was talking about...soft shells yeilding 20%.

                      3. re: twentyoystahs

                        Having cooked and eaten thousands of lobsters, I don't believe it takes 5 lobsters to make a pound of meat. My guess is much less. RE Maine- we had lobster rolls at Barnicle Billy's in Ogunquit on Saturday and they were $17.95. Very tasty and fresh.They had a sign up that said lobstermeat is currently between $40-50 per pound and that they will not use frozen but only fresh lobster so it seems like they are eating some of the cost.

                        1. re: emilief

                          well, that's $40-50 a pound RETAIL. And that's also the meat out of the shell. They're buying whole lobsters and pulling the meat out themselves..i realize there's a slight labor cost associated with that but still...they're maybe paying $8/lb wholesale, and that's pushing it. It's probably less. So i'm sure they're still making money on their rolls. Maybe not as much as they made last summer, but I'm sure there's a profit margin in there somewhere.

                          1. re: emilief

                            No, it takes 4.....Anyone who's counted portions can tell you a one pound lobster yeilds 4 oz. of meat...;)

                            1. re: emilief

                              I was curious, so just double-checked my lobster 'bible' - Jasper White's "Lobster at Home":

                              "As a guideline, approximate yields of cooked meat per pound of live lobster":

                              Hard shells:
                              1-lb lobster = 3 to 3-1/4 ounces (claws, knuckle and tail). 3-1/2 to 3-3/4 ounces (including carcass and legs).

                              1-1/2 to 2-1/2 pounds = 3-1/4 to 3-1/2 ounces (claws, knuckle, and tail), 3-3/4 to 4 ounces (including carcass and legs).

                              Soft shells are less, "vary widely and can yield lesser amounts than shown". (1 lb = 2-1/2 to 2-3/4 ounces)

                          2. re: heathermb

                            Neptune's is on the menu for $19 - unless they changed it in the last couple weeks. Interesting to note, I was at Neptune on Good Friday and as of 6:00 PM they were out of lobster rolls. I was really dissapointed. I read about the shortage 2 days later, leading me to think they were not raising the price, but were only serving a limited number. Has anyone been to Neptune over the last couple weeks?

                            1. re: Angel Food

                              That may be. I can think of 2 other times in the past couple of months they've run out.

                              1. re: Angel Food

                                I've been to Neptune on a few occasions where they ran out (and it was early too).

                          3. What's the problem with the lobsters anyway? It seems like there's never a shortage of them.

                            9 Replies
                            1. re: steinpilz

                              There's a big-time lobster shortage on right now, the worst in many years: http://www.boston.com/news/local/arti...

                              1. re: MC Slim JB

                                My local fish monger is now stocking Alaskan King Crab Legs because it's cheaper than lobster right now.

                              2. re: steinpilz

                                Apparently the recent problem stems from the rotten weather we've been having and cold waters. Lobsters reproduce more in temperate waters..which is why we have so many of them around in the summer.

                                1. re: twentyoystahs

                                  So when I come in to Boston next week from L.A......where should I look for a great lobster roll in the city??

                                  1. re: twentyoystahs

                                    Actually...

                                    Lobsters come in closer to shore in the summer and are thus easier to catch.

                                    Also you have to be a little crazy to go lobstering in February, another reason they are more expensive at that time of year.

                                    Finally, the reason they got so expensive recently is that during a storm lobsterman can't get out to tend their pots, and to make matters worse, pots often get knocked around, torn from their ropes and buoys and destroyed. I can only imaging how much $ the local lobsterman lost last week when there was a 20-25' swell.

                                    If there ain't no pots to catch the lobsters, what lobsters are out there will be costly.

                                    Once the locals get new pots in the water, and the lobsters come in closer, things should settle down.

                                    1. re: StriperGuy

                                      as a diver i find a couple of things worthy of correcting in this post. the distance from shore is really not an issue. the boats can travel miles out to sea and they are always making more line so depth is not an issue either. what is the real problem is the activity level of lobsters. with the ocean being colder than normal, mostly due to overcast skies and air temperatures, they do not move much, or at all. second is storms, there is a limit as to what kind of pounding a lobster boat can take and still safely haul and set their traps, if it's too rough, no lobster. so, as soon as things in the water warm up a bit, we'll see the price drop. that is unless the price of diesel goes up, and what's the chance of that?

                                      1. re: ScubaSteve

                                        Thanks for the correction, you seem to have basically just reiterated everything I said in my post. Stormy weather = can't tend the pots.

                                        Also, lobster DO come much closer in to shore in the summer and thus are easier to catch. Hauling pots from 200 feet takes much more time and effort then hauling pots in 50 feet. Particularly when it is 15 degrees out in February with a 10 foot swell.

                                        You can catch lobster in February in MA, it just ain't much fun.

                                        1. re: StriperGuy

                                          i know they come closer in the summer if they didn't i'd never get anything diving from shore. i was just saying that distance from shore and depth don't really affect the commercial fleet.

                                        2. re: ScubaSteve

                                          Yeah, when researching this whole "lobster shortage" online I got linked to a Maine newspaper --the article basically attributed the shortage to colder than normal weather and recent storms. And then of course there are the reasons why storms and colder than normal weather would result in a lobster shortage....

                                  2. This would explain why a couple weeks ago my trip to James Hook &Co was slightly dampered by a $2 increase, making lobster rolls $12 a piece instead of 10. Still a great price, and just as delicious, but for some reason keeping any item under 10 is a huge milestone in my mind.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: skess

                                      Hooks is $16-17/lb today for 1 1/2-2, 2+. Up from about $10/lb a few months ago.

                                      Had a good lobster roll at Legal's on Long Wharf for $22 or $24 this week.

                                      1. re: 9lives

                                        All this talk is making me glad I got my lobster permit and I'll be putting out a few traps of my own pretty soon. Of course, after the permit and the equipment and the cost of gas - my lobster will probably cost about $140/lb!

                                    2. Charlie's in Harvard Square serves up as cheap a lobster roll as I can think of, last I heard 2 rolls for $10. Don't know what the price is right now.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: bachslunch

                                        Yeah, it's 2 for $9.50 at Charlie's. They're not really very good though. The roll's not toasted - just sitting there and filled with lobstermeat, sure, but too much mayo. They made me almost ill the last time I had them, but you're right - it's the cheapest option around. I stick to the double cheeseburgers when I'm there.