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Sep 5, 2011 07:52 AM

Far from Perfect

Linda Bean is doing nothing to advance the 'Maine Lobster' brand! I know I live in Maine. If I thought it would work, I'd start an online petition to get her OUT of the restaurant business.

You'd think nothing but complaints and bad reviews from people who actually know what a lobster roll is supposed to taste like would be a major wake up call. And she wants to sell franchises?

Whatever you don't take her bait. You will surely regret it.

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  1. After reading an interview where she "brags" about her lobster roll recipe that replaces mayo with Miracle Whip, I know I'd never try one of her lobster rolls. Sad, but she's doing the Dinsney Food & Wine Festival so unfortunately, a LOT of people will unfortunately think that's what a N.E. lobster roll is supposed to taste like!

    9 Replies
    1. re: southie_chick

      Thanks for the Reply and the Disney info. I am 'on it' with this company, for sure!

      What she is doing to Maine's precious 'bug' reputation is a culinary crime!

      1. re: southie_chick

        According to the Food & Wine Fest info, she's serving her "Perfect Maine Lobster Roll"... which according to her website, is just lightly buttered and herbed lobster in a buttered toasted roll... no Miracle Whip in sight.

        1. re: Boston_Otter

          Never heard of her, but this site has a lot of dead links. As discussed in a thread about restaurants & horrible websites... not a good sign at all.

          1. re: threedogs

            Linda Bean, of 'Linda Bean's Perfect Maine' is the granddaughter of the the Maine based 'LL Bean' clothier retail store. She is not a fisherman, nor a chef as evidence by what she has chosen to call the 'Perfect' lobster roll in an attempt to make her interpretation a Maine brand. It's neither 'hers 'nor Maine's'...

            Anyone who has had a freshly caught Maine lobster will know the difference between what she is peddling, processed, and the 'genuine article'.

            As I prefaced,' Far from Perfect' is the best description!

          2. re: Boston_Otter

            I dunno. Check it out. I don't go there. In the earlier days she used Miracle Whip which is not what Mainers prefer, by and large, and caused a stir. Almost no self-respecting 'clam shack' , also serving lobster and/or clam rolls would use Miracle Whip in anything they serve.

            In Maine, our universal mayo is 'Cain's, or, in a pinch, Hellman's. Period.

            And nobody who understands the simplicity of Maine shellfish, adds herbs to their fresh seafood salad sandwiches. It's not done because it doesn't enhance the basic natural, sweet, fresh, seafood flavor, Hot 'cuisine' ie soups, stews, and baked dinners are a different matter, altogether.

            She's a moron when it comes to what will naturally sell. She's in it for the cash and has no problem destroying what has always been a Maine summer icon - our self-regulating, robust ,and soulful seafood industry.

            Screw her...

            1. re: salmonlover

              Maine law might be too weak - but I wish the people she's bulldozed would get together & bring a nice, big, class-action suit against her for an illegal monopoly.

              That article (linked by peedee360 below) is QUITE an eye opener. Wow.

              Don't you wonder how people like this actually sleep at night? (and I *love* when they hide behind phony religious labels... grumble, grumble...)

            2. re: Boston_Otter

              Otter, according to the Florida board, she's serving 2 types of "rolls":

              1. Linda Bean’s Lobster Claw Cuddler with drawn Butter

              2. Linda Bean’s Perfect Maine Lobster Roll

              At the Hops and Barely Booth.

              I think the first one is the "traditional" with mayo/whip or whatever she's using these days, while the second one is the "naked" one with butter. I would just LOVE to be there for the festival - it looks like a lot of fun!

              1. re: southie_chick

                The first one isn't a roll at all -- it's basically a "lobster cocktail" of pre-cracked claws with butter to dip them in. And from her website, it sounds like the second one is 'herbed' (?) lobster with drawn butter on it, no mayo/whip.

                I've been to the festival several times -- it's a lot of excellent food and tons of fun. It was even better after I realized I could use my Disney dining plan "snacks" to get stuff like lobster, caviar, and escargot.

                1. re: Boston_Otter

                  Thanks Otter - I checked that site now too - maybe she "smartened up" after that article was written & took the Whip out! Has anyone actually tried her lobster roll? I was too "afraid" to after reading that article but maybe now I'll have to give it a try. Too bad the one in Hull is closed for the season. Maybe I'll just have to fly to Florida to try one! : )
                  Trying to get to Jaffrey to Kimball's before the season is over to get one but I have a feeling I'm not gonna make it.

          3. A very interesting read about Linda Bean can be found here from the Bollard, a paper in Portland:


            12 Replies
            1. re: peedee360

              Wow. What a piece of work. I agree w/salmonlover - "Far from Perfect" is better description. After the article, I'd also add a few more descriptive words (and with what's been told here)!!

              1. re: peedee360

                Ha! Love the article ie anyone who agrees with moi about this charlatan.

                I knew well the Port Clyde General Store, the former Dip Net Restaurant, and the Fisherman's Co-op as all are in my, now, CA brother's, non-resident, seasonal rental investment backyard.

                I am Maine born and a year round resident, an hour away and just up the coast - north of Penobscot Bay.

                I'd like to see Linda Bean take a proverbial 'bath' in Maine's Atlantic Ocean. She is the worst thing to come along around these parts in a long, long, long-long time...

                Dip Net Restaurant
                1 Cold Storage Rd, Tenants Harbor, ME 04860

                1. re: salmonlover

                  It would have been nice if the mods let the Boston Chowhounds know that this thread was moved! (although, I was expecting it..)

                  Want to thank you, salmonlover, for posting this. While I can't do much about it, I like being informed about slime like this... it's a horrible, horrible thing this woman is doing - and the only reason she's getting away with it, is simply because of her money.

                  1. re: threedogs

                    'Moved' - how so?

                    I posted similar criticism to the Florida Chow Hound blog to alert Festival folks down there.

                    Is that what you're referring to, perhaps?

                    1. re: salmonlover

                      No. This thread started on the Boston Chowhound - if you are clicking on from your email links, you may not have noticed (look up at the heading above) - it's now in the Northern New England section. I was wondering where the thread went - so I decided to take a look here (and found it). Usually the mods post a message that something is being moved due to (what they consider) the off-topic conversations - but I couldn't find anything like that (and I'm sure others think the thread was just deleted, as has been done before).

                      In order to make sure this doesn't happen, you need to post something relevant to the area where you're posting - in this case, it would be the Boston & surrounding areas, and the conversations need to be focused on (or at least mentioned about) that also.

                2. re: peedee360

                  Great article and only reinforces my heartfelt dislike for anything Linda Bean. Good news - after being totally rejected by the people of Portland, her shop on Exchange St. is gone. Bad news: there will be a Linda Bean's not-so-perfect lobster joint in the new terminal that will open shortly at the Portland Jetport. Apparently she can't sell her food to the locals so she will try with the tourists as they leave town. I can't, in my wildest imagination, see any actual Mainer eating her... food. It's a shame that one of her perfect lobster rolls might be the last thing someone who was visiting Maine gets to eat before heading home. This could potentially ruin our whole tourist industry.

                  1. re: bobbert

                    No, it won't. Not to put too fine a point on it, but adding a sprinkle of herbs to a Maine lobster roll isn't going to "ruin your whole tourist industry". Might not be your idea of a great lobster roll, but let's cut the hyperbole.

                    1. re: Boston_Otter

                      Trust me. I do not think a bad lobster roll is going to ruin our tourist industry. Maybe I should have thrown a :) or two at the end of my post so that it wouldn't be taken so literally. Oh yeah, :) :)

                      1. re: bobbert

                        After the wailing and rending of sheets in some of the other posts over her use of herbs or supposed use of Miracle Whip (which is indeed gross, except that she's not actually doing it in this case), your post didn't seem too out of place :)

                        1. re: Boston_Otter

                          Don't know if she switched her recipe, but when she opened her place in Hull, MA, she did an interview (I think it was in the Wednesday food section of the Herald) with a picture of her with her lobster roll. I looked great ........ until I read the article where she was proudly saying she used Miracle Whip (even had to show the hubby that so he could have a laugh). HOPE she changed the recipe to use REAL mayo!

                          1. re: southie_chick

                            too many tasty lobster rolls available, too little time for Linda's lobster roll,

                            1. re: dwdunn

                              I don't like the idea of giving my money to someone who is trying to (and has done, to a certain extent) squeeze the little guy out of business. After what's been reported about her practices - I wouldn't buy her products under any circumstances, even if she sold the best lobster rolls on earth.

                              Those in the fishing industry in the U.S. have had the shaft given to them enough, as it is...

                3. I haven't been a fan of Linda Bean's since she ran for Congress, back in the mid 80s. (Think Sarah Palin prototype) and I doubt I'd like her lobster roll.
                  However, if she succeeds in reviving the lobster processing industry in the state, I think that would be beneficial.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: mollydingle

                    To be honest, my opinion of Linda Bean's food is probably muddied by politics at least as much as what's been written about her food. So, based strictly on food, I shouldn't really comment as my politics won't allow me to actually purchase anything she may be selling. Any critique I've made is based on second hand reports (which, by the way, have not been positive) so to be fair, as I don't usually speak good or bad of places I haven't been to, I hereby withdraw my comments on the quality of her product. I suspect that the negative comments by others are at least equally prejudiced. Thanks mollydingle for making me be honest with myself. Maybe a new thread on whether or not politics plays a role in your eating habits?

                    1. re: bobbert

                      Since we're being honest bobbert, my great dislike of her lobster roll was because of the article I read about her use of Miracle Whip (I think she might have even done a local Boston tv interview saying she used it too). This was back in 2009, & I'm HOPING she's realized that Whip doesn't belong in a lobster roll ......... or anything else (my hubby would disagree but I love him anyway). : ) That's why I was willing to give it a shot IF the Whip was no longer involved. I'd be wiling to "take one for the team" & give a review but the only one I'd be near at any time is closed for the season (Hull). I usually go the Hingham Lobster Pound if I'm in the area but I've never tried their lobster "roll" since they serve it on a hamburger roll instead of the grilled hotdog roll I prefer (they have awesome fried clams & onion rings by the way).

                      1. re: southie_chick

                        Here are some more 'Linda Bean's Lousy ' reviews dating back as recent as Fall 2010
                        ie the expensive, strange tasting, meager-portioned, previously frozen lobster with
                        Miracle Whip slathered on the cold toasted bun issues...

                        Like I said 'Far from Perfect'...
                        ...but still would be interested to see what you learn nestt season, southie