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Jun 24, 2012 06:45 PM

Lobster Rolls in the Berkshires?

Where can I find a lobster roll in the Berkshires? Last summer I was pleased with those 99 Restaurants in West Springfield and Pittsfield and super disappointed in the one at Salmon Run in Lee. I loved those served at Friendly's a couple of years ago but they weren't available last year. What's out there this summer in Western Mass?

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  1. Not the Berkshires, but Western Mass, you can enjoy fabulous and cheap lobster rolls at the Williamsburg Snack Bar on Route 9 in Williamsburg, MA. It would require getting off the Pike and taking Route 9 west, but it is a lovely drive, if a bit slower.

    1. Last summer I had a good one at the tavern at The Red Lion Inn in West Stockbridge. (I think they serve the same lunch in the tavern and the dining room and the patio).

      I noticed they had one on the menu at Zinc in Lenox yesterday. I didn't have one, but the other food we ate was good, so I'm betting the lobster roll is, as well.

      Of course, neither of these options is going to be as cheap as the 99 or Friendly's.

      12 Replies
      1. re: ChinaCat

        Sorry to be so negative, because I don't have a recommendation for lobster rolls, but the food at the Red Lion Inn (in Stockbridge, not West Stockbridge) is not very good and Zinc is far worse, in my opinion, with lousy overpriced food and service of the same caliber. Perhaps others can pipe in with recommendations.

        1. re: City Kid

          Have to agree with CK, but if your standard of excellence is a Friendly or 99 lobster roll, what can one say? We're obviously not talking Maine coast.
          The Berkshires may be New England, but we're landlocked!

          1. re: mjoyous

            Meow! I live in Colorado where lobster rolls are never on the menu. Since I'm on a family vacation in the Berkshires and a day trip to Maine may not be on the schedule this year, I'll have to "settle". Frankly, I have had lobster rolls in Maine and found those at 99 great. They were stuffed more meat than I've had in 1 1/2 lb. lobsters elsewhere. Have you tried them?

              1. re: Mimi

                I don't think everyone is trying to be difficult. Just that in Western Mass although it is New England we don't think of the area as one to get great fresh seafood compared to the coast and are reluctant to recommend a mediocre lobster roll. Of course a mediocre lobster roll is better than no lobster roll at all, but there's just nothing to inspire a specific recommedation.

                1. re: nfnebwiri

                  We are only 2 1/2 hours from the Boston Fish Market. Fresh seafood is possible for any restaurant or market that seeks it out.

                  1. re: hepsi

                    Oh, I agree. I'm not saying it couldn't be done, just that it isn't done.

                    1. re: nfnebwiri

                      There is wonderful seafood in markets in Western MA, just not take out.

                      1. re: magiesmom

                        Any recommendations in Berkshire county?

              2. re: mjoyous

                Yes, mjoyous -- if it were lousy and cheap I wouldn't complain too much but lousy AND expensive with haughty service to boot (i.e., Zinc), well that would be hard to take!

                1. re: City Kid

                  well, I only went to Zinc once, and clearly didn't encounter the service issues you did. Perhaps I got lucky. I thought the food was fine, though it was a bit expensive.

                  I'm going to stand by the Red Lion though. Sure, its not up to anything particularly fancy, and its a little staid and also probably too expensive. But they make a perfectly good lobster roll, and if you can get a table on the patio, it makes for nice alfresco dining.

                  Maybe someone else has a helpful suggestion? there ought to be good lobster rolls available in the Berkshires even if it is in-land.

                  1. re: ChinaCat

                    I believe you, ChinaCat...I had one awful dinner at the Red Lion several years ago and one virtually inedible Lion's Den lunch more recently -- a grilled chicken cutlet sandwich that looked like shoe leather and was completely tasteless.

          2. Here's another way to go. Stop and Shop makes lobster rolls--true story, not an urban legend. You can also buy lobster salad by the pound there--you could either buy the ready made rolls or buy the lobster salad and rolls and make your own and get a bottle of wine and go to one of the myriad picnic venues available and just enjoy them outside without depending on a restaurant.

            6 Replies
            1. re: AikiLou

              Such a good thought! I've also seen them at Price Chopper, have you tried those?

              1. re: City Kid

                Yes, I have...and...they are just fine for what they are...yeah, it is not like getting one on the coast, but, we have already established it is NOT going to be that way. Also, I buy their lobster salad here and there, and it is just fine. Where is it written that you cannot beef it up to your own specific taste? And, especially if I were going to Tanglewood or Shakespeare, etc, I refuse to force fee myself dinner at 6:00...I would take lobster rolls as part of a picnic..sides, wine, etc.

                1. re: City Kid

                  I have not had them from Price Chopper. You can buy plain lobster meat at Stop and Shop, also. Then, you could really get creative with lobster salad recipes.

                2. re: AikiLou

                  I had no idea. Thanks for the heads' up!

                  1. re: Mimi

                    never had a 99 lobster roll but have had expensive maine lobster rolls from canada

                  2. re: AikiLou

                    Had the S&S one last year. It was *ok*....prefilled hotdog bun (not toasted), so a big soggy. But the lobster was fresh and not too much celery. For the price (< $5 IIRC?) is was a quick fix.

                  3. Do agree with everyone here, just wanted to point out that the Great Barrington Bagle Co. raves about their homemade lobster rolls. Never had one there so I have no idea if it is even decent. Just a suggestion for you! If you try it let me know!

                    1. As a coastal Massachusetts native who loves to vacation in the Berkshires, I would say that the scarcity of high quality seafood is the thing I like the least about the Berkshires. I tend to go with salmon and shrimp, since they seem to most often be served from frozen stock at an acceptable level of quality. I will also mention that I too used to sneer at the 99, unitil I had te $11.00 panko-crusted cod on fettuccine with artichoke hearts, asparagus, sun-dried tomatoes and lemon zest. And then I had it again, and again. This is the best food value I can think of for $11.00.
                      I patronize Stop & Shop on a fairly regular basis, but I think their lobster rolls are pretty awful. Has Market Basket hit the Berkshires yet? They;ve been featuring whole lobsters for $3.99/lb this summer, so that's been just the ticket for us to get our lobster fix at home, affordably.