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Sep 13, 2011 06:09 PM

Best Maine Lobster Roll?

I'm not a fanatic of lobster rolls. I honestly don't get all the hype. I like my lobster steamed and I crack it, take it out of the shell and eat the damned thing. Be that as it may, I was hungry and saw this food truck on top of a grassy hill at Fort Williams Park (Portland Head Lighthouse) in Cape Elizabeth. The truck, called "Bite Into Maine," specializes in lobster rolls. Not bad at $13. Served on a grilled, buttered hot dog roll, they have 6 flavors: Maine (w/mayo) Connecticut (with butter), curry, chipotle, wasabi and picnic which involves coleslaw. A nice couple run the place.

Is it the best? Who knows? But I can say it was tasty, fresh and I would definitely recommend it.

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  1. Interesting perspective that I pretty much have to agree with for the most part. Really, how hard is it to make a good lobster roll? Cook a lobster - don't over or under cook it. Toast a bun of some sort, traditionally a hot dog style. A little mayo (not too much/little) or butter and you have a lobster roll. Make sure it's a good amount of fresh lobster, mix of tail and claw meat and you really can't go wrong. That's why I tend to send people where you have something else, like a view, to go along with the lobster roll. I'm probably like most Mainer's in that I actually pay for a lobster roll maybe once every 4-5 years. Lobster rolls for me are usually made with lobsters that are left over after a lobster bake (always cook more than you're going to eat). The cost probably averages about $5 per. It's hard for me to drop $15 on even the "best" lobster roll.

    1. I think the appeal of a lobster roll is mostly sheer laziness - I get to eat a lot of lobster all at once, without having to deal with the whole cracking/bib/getting lobster juice everywhere business. It's also a way to eat lobster on the go or in a takeout setting, without having to make a big sit-down dinner out of it. I don't think you can really compare eating a whole lobster with a roll.

      As far as locals not eating lobster rolls, I think it's because they're expensive and therefore not an everyday food. Visitors from away are usually on vacation, and therefore willing to splurge a bit on things like lobster rolls that they can't eat every day. My parents live in Maine (I moved away years ago) and we always get lobster rolls when I'm there - they love them, it's just that they only splurge on them for special occasions like when out-of-town visitors come in.

      3 Replies
      1. re: monopod

        I agree with you 100%.
        I am a "lazy" lobster eater and the rolls are easy and lobster without all the mess and work(LOL).
        We live in Upstate N.Y(I mean up near the Canadian border).and we bring our local bologna(which the locals here avoid) up to Maine each year.
        I exchange the bologna(which Maine locals I know just love)for their lobster meat(which most of them don't eat).
        Go Figure!!!
        There is an old saying;"Familiarity breeds contempt" and I guess that applies to food also.
        Tourists here cannot get enough of our local bologna;I can't stand it.
        My Maine friends think the bologna is outstanding and they are willing to trade lobster for this bologna.
        Again,go figure!!!(LOL).

        1. re: catnip

          A friend who grew up in Blue Hill told me that instead of hot dogs, her parents would serve the kids lobster with potato chips as a quick meal.

          1. re: whs

            And at the turn of the last century they made rules that it was cruel and unusual punishment to feed prison inmates lobster more than 3 times a week.

      2. Bewley-
        Thanks for checking us out- and liking our lobster rol enough to write about it on chowhound. Hope you visit us again sometime.

        Bite into Maine

        1. The original comment has been removed
          1. Had the sheer pleasure to bite into a Bite Into Maine classic lobster roll today. Hands down the freshest, tastiest lobster roll around. Overflowing with lobster in a perfectly toasted buttered roll. And the view is pretty nice, too.

            12 Replies
            1. re: watertowngourmet

              Hands down the best? Really? Can you tell us about a few of the others that you've had recently that paled in comparison to this one? Good fresh lobster in a buttered New England hot dog roll is pretty hard to beat, but pretty hard to mess up, too. Just curious as to why this one is so much better than most?

              1. re: jackattack

                I've had them at Fisherman's Catch, Cape Porpoise Chowder, Lobster Shack in Perkins Cove and a bunch of places in Boston/Cambridge area. Good, fresh lobster cooked well is what makes this stand out, as does the light hand with the dressing. I find too often that the lobster is slightly overcooked, or overdressed, or there's extra stuff put in. Or there's hardly any of it. The freshness and lightness and abundance were outstanding, IMHO. I could have eaten another one easily.

                1. re: jackattack

                  A couple of weeks ago, my wife and I went on a lobster roll bike ride, splitting 3 rolls from different places - the Bite Into Maine food truck, the Lobster Shack at Two Lights and Bailey's Lobster Pound at Pine Point in Scarborough. Bite into Maine at Fort Williams (Portland Head Light) was a slam dunk winner in price, amount of lobster and taste - we had the curry lobster roll vs the plain at the other two. The other two were still good but not as much lobster at higher prices.
                  Maybe it was the curry that made the difference as we could easily make the other two at home which is how we usually roll with our lobster rolls.

                  1. re: bobbert

                    What's the going rate in Portland? We just paid $17 at Red's which seems very expensive compared to the Rockland area which runs $8-12.

                      1. re: watertowngourmet

                        And IIRC Two Lights was in the $16 range but it does come with a 30 minute wait although the view makes the wait bearable.

                        1. re: bobbert

                          Five Island Lobster has a lobster roll whopper for $26.95.
                          Huge, no fillers, and truly excellent on a extended hot dog roll.

                          1. re: irwin

                            """"""Five Island Lobster has a lobster roll whopper for $26.95.
                            Huge, no fillers, and truly excellent on a extended hot dog roll.""""

                            had the standard size roll from 5 islands because I thought the $27 was a tourist scam. I thought the roll at Plant's in Bath was light years better, and at ony $9.99 to boot. Their cole slaw is incredible too....a feature I consider a mark of a great seafood joint.
                            However, anyone who has not seen the view at 5 islands, go for that reason alone

                      2. re: crawfish

                        The "classic" rolls at Fishermen's Grill are around $15 and contain a huge amount of lobster meat. They also offer a "colossal" roll for around $23 but I still have not found anyone who will admit to ordering one.

                        If FG were on the coast instead of in a funky part of Forest Ave, it would be as famous as Red's.

                        1. re: crawfish

                          Red's rolls are about twice as big as a lot of other rolls you'll get, so to me they can justify their higher price. Lobster Shack is, in my opinion, a ripoff; a mediocre medium/small roll for $16 (but their view does make up for some of it, as long as it's a nice day and you sit outside).

                          1. re: monopod

                            I very much agree. That's why the truck at Portland Head Light makes so much sense. As good a view (though not right at the truck. Short if any wait. Better roll. Lower price.You're going to visit that light house anyway.