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Oct 14, 2012 06:22 PM

New England Lobster Rolls

Someone put a post up earlier with a link to a blog of their lobster roll adventures this summer. I had commented on it and came back just now to reference it but cant find the post!? There was a lot of great photos and info in it. Does anyone have that url? I dont know why it would have disappeared!?

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    1. re: CapeCodGuy

      thankyou! Has anyone else been to the Gallery Rest & pub, his #1 pick? I had not even heard of it before.Looks like the #1 for the boston area was Alive & Kicking. I will have to try some of these.
      Interesting that they had such a bad experience at Neptune which is usually rated pretty high here on Chowhound. Although, I notice Kellys rated highly on Chowhound too and i find their rolls disgusting.

      1. re: hargau

        My parents have a place in Naples and go once a week and LOVE it.

        1. re: hargau

          I'd have to agree on Neptunes. After reading such great reviews here, we went, along with another couple. Such a teeny tiny amount of claw meat on a New England bun...we expected it to be enough to share. What a joke. It was totally laughable to the point of complaining to management, but right then and there we decided never to return. To put 1-2 tablespoons of filling on a roll is just inexcusable.

          1. re: shopgirl

            What!? Something went wrong. I can barely finish the Neptune lobster roll, and I don't even eat all the bread. I don't blame you for not going back, given your experience, but what you describe is not remotely typical.

            1. re: Alcachofa

              doesn't come anywhere near to my experience,either. I ate about one third of the meat and one quarter of the bread. the fries were delicious and ate about one third of those. granted, I am a light eater, but I was there with a huge eater friend who ate his own chowder, entree, and much of my lobster roll and we still left some behind. It was a staggering amount of lobster.

              1. re: Alcachofa

                Here's a snap from our visit. Our issue wasn't as much quantity as it was quality, which was really pretty bad.

                1. re: LobsterRollChronicle

                  wow. doesn't look at all like the two I've had in the past. And the quality of mine was superb and I got, I'd estimate, almost twice as much of both lobster and fries.

                  That looks like something from the 99.....although the bread looks better! Like others, I can understand why you wouldn't want to go back. I hope to go back in the next month and while I won't order the lobster roll, look around and see what gets delivered to others. Personally I love the fried oysters on the Berkshire pork and I really want to try the cuttlefish. If I manage to get there, I'll report back on what I see.

                  1. re: Madrid

                    and served witha side of snotty attitude! what could be better?

                    a sharp atick in the eye.

                    1. re: hyde

                      I've had the Neptune roll twice. The first time it was overflowing with tender chunks of buttery goodness. The second time had less lobster, although still a healthy portion, but it was very chewy and the roll was soaking in a pool of butter/pinkish water, which even after just a few bites hit my stomach like a ton of bricks and stayed there for much of the afternoon. I wouldn't return, although I received friendly service at the bar with none of the attitude you mention.

          2. re: CapeCodGuy

            Happy to see Hook's rated so highly. I am a longtime fan and had 1 yesterday,.great value for Boston and wouldn't expect them to measure uo to Maine's best.

            In the high end category, some friends had the butter version at Mare and raved about it.

            1. re: CapeCodGuy

              Capecodguy: thanks for the link. The article gets a lot of credibility with it's awful remark to Neptune oyster.

              1. re: CapeCodGuy

                Has anyone tried the roll at Kuckleheads in New Bedford? I saw it on some Food Network show featuring their 1 lb roll which i think was only $15 or so.. Looked good on tv..

              2. I saw it yesterday. It was a very nice and colorful writeup but it is tough to put much stock in something that is one person's assessment. Everyone has different tastes when it comes to lobster rolls. For example, the reviewer rated The Galley's lobster roll as the best based on the addition of the lemon pepper seasoning at the top. For me, this would ruin the entire sandwich.

                1 Reply
                1. re: LockerNumber28

                  True! But isnt everything written here 1 persons assessment? Theirs is just more colorful/nicer. For me its the photos that can help me determine (i hope).. I can tell just by looking that some of those , i would enjoy more than others. Of course you cant always go by that either as the taste is of course the deciding factor!

                2. hargau, you might also enjoy this particular blog, whose singular focus is this subject:


                  I often use it as a resource when driving around New England, as I particularly like her analytical style, and attention to detail - she discloses the standards by which she evaluates:


                  There's at least one burgerblog out there that could take a tip or two from this approach.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Nab

                    Cool. I like how she includes a tape measure and weight too, that is hardcore! Interesting that her "Gold Standard" is also the same as the #2 on the above blog.

                  2. I think Belle Isle has a great lobster roll for short money. Ever been?

                    14 Replies
                    1. re: treb

                      Hard to believe Belle Isle was skipped, when it seems to rank as most folks' #1 or #2.

                      My next Lobster Roll Road Trip has sure been moved up thanks to this report, though!

                      1. re: L2k

                        For what it is worth, Lobstergal reviewed Belle Isle and disliked their roll. I have never been. Her fav in the Boston area was Alive and Kicking in Cambridge. You may or may not agree with her reviews but her blog or website is awesome, great pictures of lobster rolls at about 50 locales around New England and NYC.

                        1. re: bakerboyz

                          Only problem is Alive n Kicking is not a lobster roll. It's a darned fine sangwich but it's a different beast. I do enjoy her scientific method though. And putting items in the pictures for scale is a helpful touch. I like to put a quarter next to a cheese steak myself. Then I feel bad and glutonous.

                          1. re: bakerboyz

                            LobsterGal has a great site. We've heard mixed reviews of Belle Isle. Louie's Alive & Kicking is really a great take, and one of our favorites. As far as we're concerned, the shape of the bread is secondary... kind of like saying you like penne better than ziti.

                            1. re: LobsterRollChronicle

                              I do like her site, but hers is the first negative I've ever seen about Belle Isle's lobster roll. The total lack of ambiance? Certainly heard that again and again. But never heard a discouraging word about the lobster roll.

                              And the Ambiance is stepping up shortly with their move across the bridge. Things can only get better!

                              1. re: L2k

                                L2K, you're making us want to visit Belle Isle ASAP to see what all the fuss is about. Are they seasonal, or open year round?

                                1. re: LobsterRollChronicle

                                  All year long. They are in the process of moving (about 100 yards), don't know if there's any chance that might cause a brief shutdown or not.

                                2. re: L2k

                                  Plenty of negative datapoints on Belle Isle.

                                  Excluding ambiance, I'm always a little surprised how LobsterGal's impressions align almost exactly with my own every time. My experiences with Belle Isle have netted zero flavour, despite the roll's aesthetics.

                                  1. re: Nab

                                    I'm a big Belle Isle fan and hit it every other week in the summer. It's a reasonably priced lobster roll that is stuffed with extra-large chunks. I actually like the ambiance of sitting out back near the water and watching the planes.

                                    Zero-flavor may have to do with my one complaint with Belle-Isle: lack of salt. Seriously, it's like they've never even heard of salt. Eating the onion rings or fried clams without adding your own seasoning can be disappointing. That said, we just bring our own salt and are happy to do it considering the proximity, reasonable price, large portions, freshness, and lack of major lines at Belle Isle.

                                    1. re: Klunco

                                      I also like eating out back in my car, especially when I can have a cold one which enhances the lobster roll greatly. Again, no ambiance but, I've always said that it doesn't add to the product.

                                      1. re: Klunco

                                        For people w/ high blood pressure, the lack of salt is ok. You can always add it. You can't take it out of something that is totally oversalted or "seasoned" as people nowadays call it :-P

                                        And FWIW, I thought the lobster and crab rolls at Belle Isle had plenty of flavor the first time we tried it this year...

                                  2. re: LobsterRollChronicle

                                    Thanks for all the Belle Isle recommendations. We hit them today and have posted a write-up on our blog and Facebook pages. Here's an excerpt.

                                    "The lobster meat itself was truly fresh and delicious – some of the best we’ve had. But we both noticed that, aside from a couple of lettuce leaves, the roll was naked – that is, no salt, no pepper, not nothing. Usually this is no big deal because the butter-grilled roll typically delivers a light dose of salt, as well as a buttery rich bottom. In this case, because the roll was so lightly toasted and seemed to lack any butter, and because the roll was otherwise plain, despite its high-quality lobster meat this role left us wishing for just a bit more taste."

                                    1. re: LobsterRollChronicle

                                      I'd say that's a pretty spot on review.

                                  3. re: bakerboyz

                                    Alive 'n Kicking is my favorite as well - I can sub out the roll for the scali as long as the lobster is lovely, unmessed with, and the scali is tasty and toasted properly.

                              2. Thanks guys! In Boston, I also like James Hook, apparently they toast their bread now. For the Cape, I'm a fan of Chatham Pier Fish Market (pictured, don't be distracted by the paprika, weighed in at 10.7 tasty ounces), Eastwind Lobster in Bourne (not technically the Cape, but still) and Moby Dick's in Wellfleet.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: LobsterGal

                                  What up with that paprika!!?? And that roll isn't grilled or even toasted!! Oh bother. It's the little things that say lobster roll to me. But I appreciate what you do!!

                                  1. re: LobsterGal

                                    Confirmed, LobsterGal. Hook still has pre-made lobster rolls on ice in the display case, but they will also make you a butter-grilled roll on-demand!

                                    1. re: LobsterGal

                                      Good Cape choices LG. When in the area you need to try Sesuit Cafe in Dennis and Friendly Fisherman in Eastham.

                                      And the Cape was the Cape well before there was a canal so unlike many locals, I do consider Bourne to be "technically" on Cape!