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Aug 5, 2007 05:50 AM

Neptune Oyster lobster roll -- a report

Judging from what I've read on another thread, I must have had unusually good luck in getting a lobster roll at Neptune Oyster recently. Here's a report -- it's for the hot version:

Roll: a high quality brioche hot dog style roll, top split, toasted, slightly shorter than a standard hot dog roll.

Filling: all lobster with a buttery coating, tail and claw meat, pretty much all chunks. Has a nice rich flavor, hint of briny ocean from meat, very subtle sweetness from the butter, likely fresh picked meat. Portion is generous.

Price: mid-range heading to expensive, but well worth it at $22 plus tax.

Bonus: comes with a large portion of skin-on hand-cut fries, excellently cooked, crisp outside and not greasy, with definite potato flavor.

Service was friendly, prompt, and efficient.

For many, this is probably their ideal version of this sandwich. I'm inclined to agree, as it's the best I've had yet.

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  1. I haven't seen the other thread, but I also went to Neptune recently, and on the recommendation of someone in our group who said they had great lobster rolls, our entire party got one. No one was at all disappointed. Agreed on all of your points (and I had the cold version): Great brioche roll, generous serving of lobster, and the fries were outstanding. I'd go back in a second, although I don't know if I'd want a lobster roll again because there are so many other great-looking things on the menu to try...

    1. I bet Neptune uses fresh lobster, rather than canned, maybe that's why they run out regularly.

      5 Replies
      1. re: steinpilz

        I'm sure they use fresh...and I don't think they have live tanks.

        I'd rather have a restaurant that runs out of lobster than 1 that sells "past prime" lobster. It's a bit of a balancing act to buy the "exact" amount that you're going to sell.

        1. re: 9lives

          they absolutely use fresh lobster, meaning delivered that day. The dont have live tanks. It would be fairly easy to judge the amount of lobster they need to buy on a daily basis, based on the fact that their business is incredible consistent (busy). i am surprised they run out regularly.

          1. re: jpeso

            Apparently easier for you to judge than them...

            1. re: 9lives

              Does anyone else think they might be under-estimating on purpose? I mean, look how many people are dying to get over there to be treated to the elusive hard to get lobster roll?

              I thought the hot-buttered version was too rich for my tastes, and you know I like my buttery goodness. I think it was the brioche that sent it over the edge for me. I wouldn't kick it out of bed, but it's not my favorite version in town.

              1. re: yumyum

                Maybe they are doing it on purpose..good point

                Interesting thread. Some of the hounds think it's overpriced and others are complaining that they run out of them too soon. Gotta be some kind of economics lesson there..:)

      2. if you are able, get to rachel's kitchen for their friday lunch hot lobster roll special. i love neptune's version but i think rk's might be a little better.

        1. My only complaint about the Nepute lobster roll -- and I think we've discussed this before -- is that the brioche roll is too flavorful for my taste. That is, the nice thing about the standard pepperidge farm roll is that it's essentially flavor neutral, and as a result, you taste the lobster salad and the butter, but not the roll. With the Neptune roll, on the other hand, I find that the roll has a distinct flavor. It's not a bad flavor, but I'd prefer a plain roll.

          What does Rachel's serve their lobster roll on?

          1 Reply
          1. re: Blumie

            you're spot on. rachel's roll is perfectly between the standard pepperidge farm and the neptune brioche. that is, it's a little bigger and more substantial than the pepp. farm roll i know (which i always find a little wimpy), but it's still almost completely flavor neutral.

          2. Midrange heading to expensive? If $22 for a lobster roll isn't expensive, how much do expensive lobster rolls cost and who sells them? $22 seems pretty close to the upward limit, no?

            10 Replies
              1. re: CambridgeFoodie

                $22 at LTK yesterday. Neptune Oyster had Lobster rolls all night last night, at least til 10pm! Tempted, but went with the snapper with sweetbreads, excellent dish. The oysters were varied and great.

                1. re: katzzz

                  I might be willing to pay up to $40 if the roll included all of the meat from a 3-lb lobster <g>

                  1. re: katzzz

                    At one point late spring the lobster roll at B&G was rumored to ring in at around $31 due to the lobster shortage at the time. I think it's usually $24, but could be wrong.

                    1. re: heathermb

                      I am generally a fan of Neptune over B&G, however I will say this for B&G: I have never seen them run out of lobster, and I have never had one that was past prime. It does not seem like too difficult of an equation.

                      1. re: Gabatta

                        Please see my post upthread about my artificial scarcity theory. In fact,the more I think about it, perhaps the lobster roll is a loss-leader for the business (ie: an item they don't make a lot of money on but brings people in the door) and they make more profit on the other items on the menu? Once you are there you typically stay and order something else.

                        1. re: yumyum

                          They may also see it more of a lunch item, so don't even try to have enough for dinner.

                          1. re: yumyum

                            My guess is that restaurants have a higher profit margin on beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) than food in general.

                          2. re: Gabatta

                            I agree. Never once in my regular visits to B&G have they run out of lobster roll which is why I'm always so baffled that Neptune runs out often. Perhaps yumyum is right and they do it on purpose. Regardless of whether they have the lobster or not, I can't ever get out of a place like that without at least half a dozen oysters for myself and they must surely make money on those.