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Lobster Rolls

Hi DC board! I recently moved here from Charleston, SC and have been enjoying the diverse array of restaurants. I'm also a HUGE lobster roll fan and it seems to be quite the thing up here. Today, I tried the Tackle Box in Cleveland park, mainly to check out the lobster roll. I have to admit, I was pretty underwhelmed. I tried the Maine-style roll, which was tossed in some mayo. There were some good things: the mayo was added with a light hand, not overly gloopy. They also used the classic split hot dog bun, nicely buttered and toasted on both sides to add a good crunch. However, the lobster itself was pretty bland. I usually like mine with a little onion or celery to add crunch and flavor. This had no filler (which you could argue is a good thing) but also no flavor. I had to add quite a bit of salt and lemon juice to it. It was also very sparse. For $19, I would expect it to be crammed full of big pieces of lobster but the small amount there was fairly shredded. It was all bun and little lobster. The service was also pretty spacey but it seems like a new location, so I don't want to judge them too harshly on that end. Overall, I have to give it a thumbs down and I won't be returning there for lobster rolls.

Definitely would appreciate any feedback to the amount of lobster. Has anyone tried Tackle Box as well as others? Is this a normal amount of meat? Should I make them at home from now on?


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  1. I didn't find Tackle Box's lobster roll to be particularly memorable. I definitely prefer the Red Hook Lobster Truck's lobster roll, especially the hot one with butter. If you like the the mayo version, then Luke's Lobster's lobster roll is the best I've tried so far in DC. For a frame of reference, I don't necessarily need crunch in my lobster rolls, but I insist on flavor and nice big chunks of lobster.

    2 Replies
    1. re: plantainsandkimchi

      I had a very disappointing clam roll at Tackle Box, so I'm not inclined to shell out more money for their lobster roll. I love the hot lobster roll with butter served by the Red Hook Lobster truck, but I don't like the 1 hour wait to get one.

          1. re: dining with doc

            Don't tell anyone because it isn't very good.

              1. re: ClevelandDave

                I haven't had Luke's but I've eaten plenty of lobster rolls in New England and Freddy's are quite good. Friends from Boston don't like the squirt of lemon, but are quite pleased when they leave that off.

                1. re: Teddybear

                  I agree. My preference would be for less lemon, and slice of lettuce, but overall Freddys has a good roll. Haven't tried Luke's though.

                  1. re: Doh

                    I think lobster rolls are like crab cakes just make it at home so you won't be disappointed - 2 - lobster are like $25 and it take about 10 min to mix up the ingredients for a roll

            1. I tried the Tackle Box lobster roll a few years ago. I remember thinking it was only ok. $19 actually is about the price you will pay for a good lobster roll around here---if not more. My main problem at the time was their bun didn't seem all that fresh.

              I'm from Boston and therefore very picky about lobster rolls. The best I've found is at Hank's Oyster Bar. The roll is quite large and delicious, made perfectly. But the price reflects that----I think it's around $23 or so.

              Legal's Seafood also has a very good lobster roll.

              Hank's Oyster Bar
              1026 King St Ste 1, Alexandria, VA 22314

              1. I just tried Luke's Lobster and I thought it was pretty amazing. I am no lobster roll connaisseur, but my friend is, and it's her favorite place. Definitely worth a try.
                Had some incredibly gingery soda there as well - super spicy.

                1. Has anyone tried the lobster roll offered by the 'dougthefooddude' truck parked by the Pentagon City Mall?
                  If so, how do you rate it in terms of taste, freshness, volume of real lobster meat and price? Would you recommend it? I was told it should have 1/4 lb. of lobster on a bun with a bed of lettuce for $14.00.

                  1. Was in McLean's Marvelous Market today and noticed that they, too, have lobster rolls. I was on a mission to buy Polish beer at the nearby Russian Gourmet, so I didn't take time to check it out.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Gonzocook

                      I tried the Marvelous Market McLean lobster roll yesterday. It was $11.99 for a fairly stuffed roll, but based on the water content in the meat it was definately made from frozen meat. Compared to the $20+ fresh rolls around though that was fair. It certainly still better than Tackle Box.

                    2. Jessica, welcome to NOVA from a fellow former Charlestonian.

                      Try http://redhooklobsterdc.com/ they have a twitter on where they are, which changes daily.

                      Pretty good. Get there early, when I hit the place, the line was pretty long. And when they run out, they're out!

                      1. Tackle Box is so flat out gross! Shredded is right! In the food processor! I will not eat at Hooked because they own Tackle Box. Tackle Box has grubby splintered wooden tables that you could not possibly sanitize. Lobster with no flavor equal OLD LOBSTER. My sole experience in this place had me wondering how clean Hook's kitchen is if they are ok with serving slop on a bun on a table like that! I live near Legal and theirs are always quite nice.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: pegmo

                          Hook is the sister-restaurant to Tackle Box...not Hooked (totally different restaurant out in the suburbs I believe).

                          I actually like Hook and it is very different in concept than Tackle Box.

                          1. re: pegmo

                            I liked the old TB but I guess it burnt down. The one in Woodley Park is meh.

                          2. I like the lobster rolls at Coastal Flats (Fairfax)...just enough mayo and the top cut roll is buttered and grilled on the outside. I'm rather picky about lobster rolls having first enjoyed them while living in Boston years ago (don't like any of the lobster rolls I've had in Maine so far as I find them too dry, almost as if there's no mayo in them at all). Hope you find the kind of lobster roll you love!

                            1. Not exactly on topic, but did anyone try the lobster sandwich (not on a roll) at Panera Bread?

                              6700 Richmond Hwy, Alexandria, VA 22306

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: ferventfoodie

                                Ugh! I can only imagine. That is definitely bound to be frozen (if it's even lobster at all).

                              2. Has anyone tried the lobster rolls at the country store across from NIH on Old Georgetown Road? I seem to remember reading good reviews about them, but I haven't stopped in yet.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                  Isn't that Salt River Lobster on Friday's? Great fresh lobsters and other seafood but I don't think they do prepared sandwiches, though I could be wrong...

                                  1. re: ClevelandDave

                                    I did some googling around, and there's no consensus as to whether these lobster rolls are related to Salt River. They're sold through BCS (Bethesda Community Store) BBQ, but it doesn't seem like anyone's tried (or written about) them yet.