Every time I head to Boston, I have one thing on my mind. Lobster. Some may call it the cockroach of the sea, but as someone who hails from landlocked Chicago, I will gladly feast on these crustaceans. For me, a lobster roll is simply mouthful after mouthful of luxury.
As with any regional dish, there are disagreements on the “proper” way to serve it. Think of the perennial clam chowder. Is it red a la Manhattan; white, thick and creamy with roux; or light, ethereal and brothy? In the same manner, the lobster roll has a multitude of variations. First, take the bun. Is it a hot dog roll or a thick slice of Texas toast? Is said bread buttered? In my opinion, and I leave myself defenseless, the bread is merely the vehicle. Butter and toast it, and let’s move on to the featured attraction.
It’s the lobster. A true New England lobster roll should feature beautiful, fist-sized portions of de-shelled claws and tail meat, glistening with just enough mayonnaise to add shine and bind the meat together. There may be tiny crumbs of celery included for crunch, but there is definitely no lettuce interfering with the bite.
It’s all opinion though. You may want more or less creamyness. You may want more or less crunch. More or less butter. There is no all-pleasing lobster roll, only one that satisfies you just so.
For me, the epitome of a lobster roll can be experienced at Yankee Lobster on the Boston waterfront. It’s not fancy, it’s not hip or happening, but it is, quite simply, just luscious.
Yankee Lobster Company
300 Northern Ave.
Boston, MA 02210