So my wife, who is the more organized thinker of the two of us, wanted to continue last summer’s research project in a more structured way. Rather than just randomly looking for lobster rolls to try, she researched which local restaurants had received accolades for them, with the idea that we’d work our way through the award winners.
As I have learned to do over the years, I bowed to her superior wisdom, with the result that we tried the lobster rolls at the Clam Shack, a small place right by the bridge in the center of Kennebunkport, Maine.
This is the classic Maine summer town. Boats behind the shack, T-shirt stores along the road, seagulls perched on the bridge towers—the setting has it all. The Clam Shack is far from the only lobster roll place in town; I counted ten within a block.
And yet, it’s the one with several banners touting its many awards. It’s the one with the longest lines. And it’s the one that also has hot dogs for five-year-old boys—which is nice, if not directly relevant.
Cutting to the chase, the lobster rolls were excellent, but different from what you’d find at most other places. They use hamburger rolls, untoasted, rather than hot dog rolls. They use more and better pieces of lobster than most places do, fresh out of the pot. You can ask for butter or mayo, which is then put on the roll itself. You really do get lobster on a roll, rather than lobster salad on a roll.
Final judgment: really good, but not what I usually think of as a lobster roll. I would add that Jackson, once he had a couple of pieces from his mom’s, wanted his own, so we have one very enthusiastic vote for the roll with lobster.
We will be pursuing additional research over the next couple of weeks. Further bulletins as events warrant.