Lobster roll done right

McLobster Roll
Pearl Oyster’s Lobster Roll

(photo by wEnDaLicious/flickr)

To be fair, I’m not entirely sure how one can actually do a lobster roll wrong.  The concept is quite simple: lobster meat, mayonnaise, some seasoning and a delicious roll.  Lettuce is apparently an option and it is highly recommended that fries be served on the side.  Surely something so simple would be hard to mess up, right?

With the exception of the McLobster (yes, such a thing really exists as evidenced by the photo at the right), I can’t say that I’ve even ever heard of a bad one and that really is no surprise. Still, finding a place where you can sit and enjoy one is always a wonderful experience.  And we found another great one last night at Pearl Oyster Bar.  The recipe is incredibly simple: Lobster, mayo, salt, pepper, lemon juice and some chives chopped in.  I swear there was another seasoning in there but I’m notoriously unreliable on that front so I’m probably just plain wrong.  Still, it was delicious.  The lobster was a mix of finely chopped and rather large chunks, just enough to help me make a mess of myself when trying to get the big chunks into my mouth.  Their rolls are occasionally bemoaned for too much mayo but I did not find that to be the case – and I’m pretty much a mayo hater.  Yes, it was a relatively wet mix, but that is necessary in a lobster roll to facilitate the full conveyance of all the little lobster chunks.  And they put some fancy lettuce on top for reasons I do not understand.  Then there is the bun – buttery goodness that only a cardiologist can love (for future business).  The whole thing was quite divine.

It is a good thing, too, as I actually wasn’t all that impressed with the other things we had at dinner.  Sure, it was a hot summer day, but I wanted to give the Clam Chowder with Smoked Bacon a try.  The best I can give it is a “meh” rating.  There was very little evidence of any clam actually in the soup and the smoked bacon bits were minced so small that there wasn’t much chance of getting a true hit of flavor from them.  It was an OK soup, but nothing spectacular.  Ditto for the blueberry pie we had for dessert.  I have to say that it looked a ton better than I think it actually tasted.  Again, it wasn’t bad, but it didn’t really do much to wow me.  Having heard so much about it I was expecting something more.  It is a very solid example of a blueberry pie, but not amazing.  I should also note that I’m biased on the blueberry front due to great memories from growing up, but I still don’t think this one was anything special.

Overall dining at Pearl Oyster is a great experience.  Be prepared to wait a while for a table (we had a 20 minute wait – though called 45 when we arrived – at 9pm on a Thursday) in a small, cramped waiting area.  Or be prepared to leave your name for the list and find somewhere else in the neighborhood to pass the time while you wait for your table.  But those are preparations worth making as the food makes up for it in a big way.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.