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New England Style Lobster Rolls Available here??

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  • MarkG Jun 26, 2010 08:16 PM
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lots of lobster out of the shell on a bun with some seasoning and/or sauce. Easy to find on the coast of Maine. How about on the Mississippi Coast in Minneapolis-StPaul??

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  1. Stella's Fish Cafe has them, and that might be in their wheelhouse. The price point suggests lots of lobster, and the menu promises it is from Maine.

    Stella's Fish Cafe
    1402 W Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55408

    1 Reply
    1. re: kevin47

      I've had the lobster roll at Stella's. You do get a lot of lobster. The quality ranges from great to mediocre, depending on ... well, I don't know what, exactly, but it is inconsistent.

    2. Meritage has a lobster roll on their brunch menu now, but I've not had it so I couldn't say if it's "authentic" or what you're necessarily looking for. I do love Meritage though, so I'd imagine it's good.

      410 Saint Peter St, Saint Paul, MN 55102

      12 Replies
      1. re: Seige

        That sounds like leftovers from a weekend lobster special. Then again, that's probably how the thing was invented in the first place.

        1. re: Seige

          Dara Moskowitz confirms the Meritage lobster roll and approves of the proper and salutary "white bread" bun: http://www.minnesotamonthly.com/media...

          410 Saint Peter St, Saint Paul, MN 55102

          1. re: steve_in_stpaul

            A note for people who have personal images to go with the word "authentic": Dara said "soft white hot dog bun." She did not say "toasted split-top roll, a la Pepperidge Farm."

            So if you're able to recite chapter and verse on the differences between Maine and Massachusetts rolls, or if your uncles won't eat with your in-laws because one side makes them with lobster & mayonnaise while the other countenances only lobster & butter, this is your caveat: Meritage's version might not be the object of your idealization. Maybe, but probably not.

            My personal resolution: $5 in a jar at every temptation to whine about finding an unadulterated Maine-style lobster roll in the Twin Cities. I'll either give up griping or save enough for a flight back.

            410 Saint Peter St, Saint Paul, MN 55102

            1. re: KTFoley

              Mmmm, a toasted New England Style hot dog bun. The toasted bun adds a lot to the lobster roll. I have resorted to making my own split-top rolls and buying fresh lobster at Coastal, plus I get the tomalley from cooking the lobster.

              1. re: KTFoley

                I'm not sure I've *ever* seen a New England-style hot dog bun here. It's been long enough I forgot they existed....

                And I have no idea what the difference is between Maine and Mass lobster rolls. OK -- which one uses butter?

                1. re: steve_in_stpaul

                  I would guess that the Maine ones use butter because the Mass. ones are mayonnaisey.

                  1. re: Seige

                    are the lobster rolls here worth the money??

                    1. re: MarkG

                      Like New York-style pizza, Philly cheese steaks and so many other location-specific foodstuffs, it depends on who's doing the craving.

                      The version here is does not require a plane ticket. That's a serious plus.

                      The version here does not supply the smell of the sea or the bustle on a NY sidewalk or **insert your own idealized gestalt image of dining on food from where you lived before.** It never will. It never can.

                      So if folks can come to the dish with their tastebuds, and leave behind their nostalgic ties, the dish will be tasty or not, well-prepared or not, a good value or not.

                      But when folks want a dish just as they remember, it's all too easy to overlook how that remembered experience is permeated by things that are wholly separate from the dish itself. And then we get into those debates about whether the NY water is the key to pizza (don't go there) or whether it's ever acceptable to put mayonnaise on a lobster roll.

                      (Of course it's okay, depending on what you like. Both are served in Maine, as long as they're served on a toasted split-top bun. What's an abomination is the lobster salad that looks like cole slaw with seafood, glopped into a bun. That is not a lobster roll. That's leftovers without the dignity of a fork.)

                      So it's a a value if you can get nice chunks of lobster and if you'd rather not crack the shells to get at them yourself. And it's a lost cause if you can't let go of the dampened gong of bell buoys across the fogged-in harbor.

                      And now I have to put money in the jar again. Dammit.

                      1. re: KTFoley

                        there are lobster web sites that ship by overnight and they will ship the lobster meat and authentic buns. but not the salt air.

                        1. re: MarkG

                          For me, I would say that those are far too expensive given that we have Coastal Seafoods near by.

                          Coastal Seafoods
                          74 Snelling Ave S, St Paul, MN 55105

                        2. re: KTFoley

                          Great post KTFoley! This pretty much tells it the way it is, whether you pine away for fresh Walleye in Boston, or for fresh Scrod in Minnepolis. Being a Midwesterner, but having recently lived in NE for 14 years, I do get a kick out of the mayonnaise vs.butter battle on Lobster Rolls. Most of us would not know the difference between the two. Prepared the right way, and with chunks of Lobster instead of the salad mentoned in one of these posts, they both are very good!

                      2. re: Seige

                        great mouthwatering pics of lobster rolls in the just out summer issue of NEW YORK magazine-- for those not familiar

              2. I've had the lobster roll on Seven's HH menu. I liked it, nothing special, but I have never had an original to compare it to. And yes, I'm talking about a sandwich and not a sushi item.

                1. We have split a side-discussion on what is an authentic lobster roll to General Chowhounding Topics http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7176...

                  Please limit your discussion in this thread to sources in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.

                  Thank you.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: The Chowhound Team

                    Dara said the former partner of LBV, La Grassa, etc.. was doing lobster roll street food in Downtown Minneapolis.

                  2. www.mollycools.com

                    1. just had the lobster roll at stella's fish cafe on lake street in uptown. pretty good. decent. probably not up to New Eng standards

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: MarkG

                        Lobster rolls and po boys at the smack shack just opened on 1st and 4th in Downtown. 11am to 10pm....midnight on weekends.

                        1. re: kriminalrat

                          Yay! I just noticed this on one of Dara's twitters. I think I may have to call in sick to work tomorrow (I work in St. Paul) so I can get to downtown Mpls for lunch.

                          1. re: AnneInMpls

                            Hello, do you think that the Smack Shack will still be out in early November? We will be in MPLS for the Vikings game on the 7th. Arriving late on the 5th and staying at the downtown Westin. We were planning a trip to Maine to have the lobster rolls, but are postponing that til next year. Maybe if they have them in MPLS at that time, we can feel like we killed two birds with one stone. ;-) Thanks!

                            1. re: WildSwede

                              Wild Swede, this is the first year of operation and we have no idea what is going to happen when the weather turns foul -- or when the Snow Emergency Rules take their toll on available street parking.

                              1. re: KTFoley

                                Thanks, KT - that is what I was thinking.

                            2. re: AnneInMpls

                              Interestingly, Dara's 6 August blog post on Minnesota Monthly reported "...was told by the cooks that it contained nearly a whole pound of lobster meat, and could see with my very own eyes that they were right..." Really? Nearly a pound of lobster meat? I think Dara needs an eye appointment. How could she seriously expect that a a pound of lobster meat (nearly or not) could retail for $13.50, or fit onto a roll? The City Pages reported that the roll had 1/4 pound of lobster, which is much more realistic (and still a darned good amount!).

                              1. re: foreverhungry

                                The regular is 1/4...the king is 1/2