best lobster rolls in maine and NH
my dream vacation is a drive up the coast eating the best
We just got back from our Great Seafood Hunt of 2012. Assuming you mean coast of NH, I'll vouch for Petey's in Rye but here's my review of recent rolls in the mid-coast area. First, it's hard to make a choice because lobster rolls were about $13.95 or so and it was possible to get a steamed lobster dinner (ok, you know, it's really just drawn butter, chips and a roll at most places). for about $14.95 (Cundy's Harbor but I might have the price wrong) or opt for the 1 1/4 lb lobster at Waterman's for $17.95.
Since we were staying in Bath, we had plenty of choices. Gurnet Trading Co. is a small shack by the roadside about 4 miles east of Cook's Corner/Brunswick. We have a good local place for lobster rolls in NH but the lobster is vacuum packed, lacking the fresh, salty taste you get in the first bite. Most rolls were about 4 oz meat, lightly mayo'd, piled on a hot dog roll that had been grilled in butter. There should be enough meat that you have to eat a few chunks because they are about to fall off and we don't want that to happen.
Thanks to our location at lunch time on Sunday, my husband suggested we have our last vacation lunch at Cameron's Lobster House just past the Bowdoin Pines in Brunswick. He wanted to eat there because it's a former A+W drive in restaurant and still has car hops. We opted to eat inside. I couldn't make up my mind but ended up with a regular roll that came with chips (Utz!). My husband chose to make his a basket which came with a small container of very good cole slaw and onion rings. It seemed to us to be a bad season for onion rings but these were pretty good. There was enough for him to share with me.
We decided to try some crab rolls and other yummy Maine treats which you might consider because you can only eat so much lobster. I really liked the crab rolls at Schutty's a road-side truck in the parking lot in West Bath next to Sea Spray kayaks. The special on Sat was with avocado and tomato. Husband opted for clams. They have a great menu and source local ingredients.
I have a theory that bad lobster rolls just don't exist in Maine or the places go out of business fast. We also tried crab cakes, fried Maine shrimp rolls, fried clams, and the Bath rotary chicken barbecue not to mention some simple sandwiches at supper time because we were still too full from a late lunch.
Great food truck in Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth: Bite Into Maine. All they serve is lobster rolls, and maybe one or two other sandwiches. Also Maine Root sodas. Great view, as well. They serve Maine style, CT style (just butter), and picnic style (with cole slaw and something else I think). Anyway, it's a good lobster roll, though a bit small. It was about $12 or $13. But what a great spot! In view of the famous lighthouse of Maine. Strangely enough, two of the best lobster rolls I've had lately have been in the Augusta area. One at the Hi-Hat diner, which has car hops in summer. Well, had it last year, so no guarantees. More recently, I had an excellent on at Damon's on Western Ave. in Augusta. Very large and only $10.95. Nicely done. Could also try J's Oyster Bar on Commercial St. in Portland, though I am a big fan of the Cundy's Harbor place (though under new ownership, and haven't been since it changed).
Fisherman's Grill on Forest Ave. in Portland has got to be among the best lob rolls anywhere. It's outside the touristy areas, but the seafood is outstanding.