There it is, that eternal, age-old, most asked question we get here at the 1802 House Bed and Breakfast from our guests.
And the answer is: It depends!
Seriously, a lot of factors go into the answer. Some basic facts for newbie lobster roll eaters – they are always cold and they will traditionally be served on a hot dog style bun. There are two schools of thought on whether the lobster meat should be dressed with mayonnaise or butter. Some folks who can’t decide just go with both.
Ultimately, we don’t think it’s possible to get a bad lobster roll in Kennebunkport. Because there’s so much really good choice, we are going to cover it in two posts to ensure we do justice to all of those lovely lobster rolls out there.
Here we go:
The Clam Shack is usually the place that folks have heard of before they come to town thanks to being featured on The Travel channel’s Food Wars program as the “best lobster roll” a couple of years ago. Located on the bridge coming into Kennebunkport, the Clam Shack site is one of Maine’s oldest operating fish markets. They use buns made special for them, toasted with butter and you get the lobster tail as well as claw in the meat that they pile onto the roll. Customers can choose butter or mayo (or both). Price is a little high and the line can be up to 45 minutes long in the peak of the season. They are only open from May through October. This really is eating lobster rolls in the rough, but they are seriously good!
Alisson’s is the biggest Clam Shack rival in Dock Square. This family owned restaurant is open year around. Using only the knuckle and claw of hard shell lobsters, Alisson’s say that’s the best of the lobster meat for their rolls. Dressed lightly with mayonnaise, the lobster is served on a toasted buttered New England style hot dog bun. This is a great place to go for a “traditional” Maine lobster roll. With a casual, sports bar like atmosphere, you can go for dinner or lunch and choose from a menu that features seafood, hamburgers and other pub grub style choices.
A staple of Kennebunkport, and favorite of the Bush family, is Mabel’s Lobster Claw on Ocean Avenue. This casual seafood diner has been serving Maine lobster for more than 60 years. Their lobster roll is loaded with succulent lobster meat, tossed lightly in mayonnaise and served on a toasted hot dog bun. They are also seasonal, so not open year around. In addition to the lobster roll, they have lots of lobster dishes, other seafood, salads and sandwiches. Their clam chowder is a particular favorite with locals and travelers alike. Oh, and save room for the Wild Maine Blueberry pie.
Watch this space for the next post where we’ll have even more lobster rolls to tell you about.