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Jul 12, 2007 03:48 PM

Lobster roll at Charlie's Kitchen in Cambridge -- a report

There's been a decent share of griping on this board about the ultra-cheap lobster rolls at Charlie's Kitchen in Cambridge. Thought I'd give them a fresh try and provide a report.

Cole slaw (this normally comes with fries, but they're the usual generic frozen variety, so I substituted): very good, with a bit of body to the sauce, moderate crunch to the cabbage, and a solid pepper bite.

Lobster roll -- bread and other stuff: top split hot dog rolls are used, slightly smaller than standard size. They default to not grilling the rolls, but will gladly do so if asked. A small amount of lettuce lines the bottom of the roll before the filling is added. Generic, but perfectly OK, assuming lettuce is acceptable on a lobster roll -- I'm fine with lettuce as long as it isn't a lot, which is the case here.

Lobster roll -- filling: if your ideal is all large lobster chunks with little else added, you'd need to try elsewhere. The filling might be best described as "lobster salad," with some larger chunks, but a predominance of small meat shreds, in a moderate amount of mayonnaise with small pieces of chopped celery here and there. They're actually very generous with the amount of filling provided. And as far as I can tell, it really is lobster, not a fake substitute.

Given the price of $9.95, it's a very good deal.

Service: hash house style friendly and prompt. No complaints here.

The biggest drawback to this place is its cleanliness, which is not for the squeamish. Not to mention that everything is pretty worn. It is what it is, a dive with lots of local color, decent food, and bargain basement prices.

Personally, I like the place. And my definition of lobster roll is sufficiently broad to consider it a specimen worth getting, especially for the price -- though I'm aware not everyone may agree.

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  1. I'll weigh-in as an affirmative, Hidden Boston and I probably had our conversation on Charlie's Kitchen. It is what it is and god bless it for that. If it's not your style don't go. If it is, I'll see you there.

    1. OMG, you typed as much as I did for 5 different lobster rolls reviews. And yet you only had one.

      1. You forgot to mention that Charlie's has the best jukebox in town!!!

        6 Replies
        1. re: ponyboy

          Alas, the Hoegaarden tap is no more.... I miss those huge bathtubs of goodness...

          1. re: okra

            I might be wrong on this but I think it might be because those huge glasses kept breaking.

            1. re: po_boy

              It has been replaced with Blanche de Bruges.... $4.25/20 oz....

              1. re: okra

                Hoegaarden is back...

                there are many other better beers on draft there imo.

              2. re: po_boy

                I have it straight from the waitress that it wasn't the glasses breaking, but rather disappearing.

            2. re: ponyboy

              Agree on the jukebox. It comes very close to The Green Parrot's in Key West but that's a whole nother post!

            3. A quick note -- still cheap -- but as of about a week ago they're up to $11.00 for the double lobster roll option with fries.