the spot: Bob’s Clam Hut 315 US route 1 Kittery ME 03904
the eats: Jumbo Lobster Roll
the bucks: $24.95
the full nelson: a sandwich splurge worth every bite
In the world of Lobster Rolls, Bob’s Clam Hut isn’t the cheapest deal around; that title is held by Sullivan’s which we featured in Cheap Eats Boston. But it sure does make a case for one heck of a sandwich splurge. No, the $25 sandwich won’t have you rolling on the floor from the pangs of overeating, but it is unadulterated seafood indulgence at its finest. And it all starts with showcasing the whole point of a $20+ sandwich . . . the lobster.
Before we dive into the pure joy of eating fresh lobster in New England, I should share with you the beauty of driving into Maine at the beginning of summer. Last year Cheap Eats visited Portsmouth New Hampshire, which put me perilously close to Maine and I knew I had to drive in to find
a the lobster roll. At that time of year folks are sitting outside and Bob’s Clam Hut was popping with tourists and lobster roll heads in the know. I certainly didn’t mind the wait, which was substantial, as I was basking in a warm Southern California climate, minus the smog and traffic. I don’t often list ambiance as part of the ideal dining experience, but a summer day in New England is a worthy exception.
Thar she blows. Yeah, really the whole point of eating in New England right there. Now, I have said before that lobster is overrated. I think Dungeness crab is as tasty if not more so. But removing that meat from the shell takes even more work that taking the cracker to this fella over here, so I guess lobster does have some advantages. Now take a close peak at the whole specimen above and you realize the claw has a lot of meat, almost as much as the tail. And that is the key to what makes Bob’s Clam Hut lobster roll so special.
That is a vintage New England style top loading hot dog bun, buttered, griddled and stuffed with nothing but claw and knuckle meat from the lobster. Pro tip here Cheap Eaters: the claw meat is the tastiest part of the lobster(but I do like the roe as well). It’s so tender and has so much flavor compared to the tail that I almost think it is a crime to dunk it butter. But toss it in a light mayo dressing and I am good to go. The fries are nothing to write home about and the pickle is most likely from a jar, but they aren’t why you are here, you are here for a jumbo sized serving of succulent in season Maine lobster, dressed minimally with mayonnaise, lemon juice and kosher salt.
But how can a sandwich cost $25 you ask? Well, that’s the going rate for lobster rolls these days. As tasty as it is, there is no doubt that a lobster roll, any lobster roll, is a sandwich splurge. So make sure you save up your clams for your next New England road trip. Bottom line: if you are craving a classic, in New England Lobster roll experience, the shack and all, Bob’s Clam Hut will deliver some Bang for your Lobster Roll Buck.