Bob Lobster was established in 2001 when local fisherman Bob Hartigan outgrew his basement and needed to setup a seafood market to sell his daily catch. Bob & his wife ran this local mainstay on Plum Island for 16 years before selling it to a group of locals who continue the tradition & menu to this day. Since I have ramped up my sampling of lobster rolls up and down the coast of New England, there have been many conversations with others about where their personal favorite is from. Having admittedly never heard of this spot before this Summer, it came up in several of these discussions as personal favorites so I had it high on my list to try this season. While in the area on a Sunday to check out and photograph the stunning Cold Farm sunflower fields I made it a point to stop over here for one of their hot lobster rolls.
Bob Lobster is setup like a typical New England seafood shack when you wait in line to place your order, give them your name and then find a table, where an employee will call out your name and come deliver your food. They offer indoor seating with a capacity of 24 people and then several different outside locations to sit while enjoying your meal. We found a nice table outside with views of the neighboring marsh and definitely made the overall experience a pleasant one. At first glance upon arrival I wasn't immediately impressed with my lobster roll as it appeared to just have barely the standard 4 ounces of meat that smaller rolls typically contain and served on a basic hot dog style bun with a bit of shredded lettuce as bedding. But upon taking my first bite I couldn't have been more wrong with my first visual impression! The lobster meat was incredibly fresh and cooked perfectly so that it basically just melted in my mouth. The meat tasted like it had been soaked in the melted better for a bit of time while cooking, instead of just poured on top as is done with alot of seafood spots with their lobster rolls. The toasted buttered bun although looking very basic was the perfect compliment to the tasty meat, reminding me of the outside portion of a delicious grilled cheese that had been cooked on a griddle. By far the best lobster roll I've had so far in the state of Massachusetts and a contender to crack the overall Top 5 list by stealing a spot one of the Maine spots. I upgraded from chips or coleslaw to a healthy sized portion of crispy french fries and it was for sure worth it.
Standard size roll - $19.99
w/ chips or coleslaw
=$1,00 up charge for fries instead
Overall score = 9.0
iI had been trying to get out to Martha's Vineyard for a few years and was finally able to make it happen for an off season long weekend in mid September. It was an amazing time to adventure around the island, with way less people, warmer days & chilly nights. We had this amazing secluded cottage right on the water in Chilmark, a small town in the southwest portion of Martha's Vineyard. Just a half mile down the shore from the cottage lies the fishing village of Menemsha and it's historic working harbor that was the backdrop for scenes in the classic film Jaws. The beach next to the harbor is know for killer sunsets so we decided to grab dinner before in the harbor. Larsen's Fish Market has been in business since 1969, supporting the local fishing community by offering fair prices to both the fishermen and the customers. It was a no brainer to grab dinner here and enjoy it on the water.
Larsen's offers fresh locally caught seafood and also prepared items from their kitchen. They have cold lobster salad rolls ready to go in their cooler along with other seafood spreads. But if you walk up to a window in the back you can order a variety of items cooked to order, including a hot lobster roll. Simple but incredibly tasty, this roll has super fresh lobster meat with hot butter and served on a hot dog style bun. One of the specials for the day was lobster mac n' cheese, so of course I had to add that to my order as well. Definitely a unique take on it in the most homemade way possible, with large ziti pasta smothered in melted cheese and fresh chunks of lobster meat added in. Unfortunately the sunset was a dud that night but this casual dinner from Larsen's was an amazing experience on our first night on the island.
Standard size roll - MP
*Bonus* Lobster Mac N' Cheese
Overall score = 8.6
Although I am by nature more of a fan of the hot butter lobster roll, this cold lobster salad roll caught my attention while researching seafood spots on the Cape. The Chatham Pier Fish Market is located just over a mile down Shore Rd. from the Chatham Lighthouse, and aptly named for being next to the pier. Looking out on Aunt Lydia's Cove you can watch local fisherman bringing in their daily catch, with one boat I saw had 6 seagulls catching a ride while pulling in. The fish market is a popular spot for locals to pick up freshly caught seafood, as well as many different seafood rolls to go. There are several tables out front, but we chose sit on a cement ledge by the water to eat and enjoy the amazing views. There were 3 seals floating around on the backs and playing in the water right in front of us and I think they were loving the attention from a group of visitors who had stopped to grab a bite to eat.
The roll itself was stuffed with a good amount of tender meat, that was mixed with a light amount of mayo and tiny bit of celery. When I first picked it up to grab a bite the first thing I noticed was how serious of a bun it was, buttered and toasted to serve as a substantial base to the lobster meat. A traditional lettuce garnish was put down first to protect the bun from getting soggy and greatly appreciated. Being right on the pier I wasn't too surprised at how fresh the lobster meat tasted and they really cooked it to perfection. In my earlier research about this roll I saw pics and notes about how it was top with a heavy dusting of paprika, but I noticed barely any on there and maybe none at all. Overall I enjoyed the roll and have to say at the time it's been my favorite cold lobster salad roll that I've ever had. A bit pricey but it contained a good amount of fresh lobster meat and came with crispy fries & coleslaw.
Standard size roll - $26.95
w/ side of fries & coleslaw
Overall score = 8.4
Located right on Commercial Street in the heart of downtown Provincetown, The Lobster Pot has been serving guests for over 70 years! As you walk up to the restaurant itself the first thing you notice is the incredibly vintage appearance of the building's front entrance. Although some changes have been made the overall appearance has remained the same, including the amazing neon signage. Immediately I knew this was a place that I had to check out and sample some of their famous lobster. They begin serving their entire menu at 11:30am and have two waterfront dining rooms inside to sit while enjoying fresh seafood, Portuguese specialties, steaks & more. They also have a takeout window at the entrance where you can order anything off the menu to go, as well fresh live lobsters right out of the tank.
I had heard that you could get a hot butter lobster roll from here but only saw the cold lobster salad roll on the menu. Walking in I came across a friendly gentleman opening oysters in front of the lobster tanks and I asked if they in fact did offer both options. To my delight he said that although it's not on the menu they do prepare the option, so I gladly placed my order for one to go. After only waiting a few short minutes I was told my order was ready and handed a to go container. At $26 the toll is at the much higher end of cost compared to most, but upon first glance it was a good sized roll and included a healthy portion of potato salad on the side. With Commercial Street being madness in the middle of the afternoon I decided to walk over to the nearby MacMillan Pier to enjoy my roll by the water. The lobster meat was served plain on a fresh hot dog style bun, with hot melted butter on the side. The meat tasted fresh and was cooked well, another simple but yet tasty lobster roll overall. The potato salad was really good as well and was a nice compliment to enjoy on this beautiful late Summer day.
Hot lobster roll (secret menu) - $26
w/ potato salad & pickle
Cold lobster salad roll - $22
w/ potato salad & pickle
Overall rating = 8.1
In 2011 Provincetown residents & roommates Chef Rob Anderson and Loic Rossignon opened up The Canteen, a casual New England eatery that uses high-quality ingredients to create Cape Cod favorites from scratch. From their website, "Our hot and cold lobster rolls start with whole, local lobsters shucked by hand every day. We make our french fries from scratch using potatoes from Maine. And our raw bar features local shellfish, often including oysters from Provincetown. Cape Cod beer flows alongside other New England brews, and our wine list features vintages grown here in the United States and 3,000 miles away in France. Housed in a 200 year-old building, our communal dining room opens onto the bustle of downtown Provincetown while our backyard seating area opens out onto Cape Cod Bay."
While researching food spots in the Outer Cape before my trip, this spot keep continuously coming up and I had to make sure to stop by here for dinner one night. We arrived around 6pm on Sunday night before Labor Day to a moderate sized line that moved quickly. You walk up and place your order with a cashier, then are given a number to go sit down at a table. With both options available for hot or cold lobster roll I always go with the hot butter option and did so here. We chose to sit out back and found a small table under a yellow canopy looking out at the water. When our food was brought out to us the first thing I noticed about my lobster roll was the serious buttered and toasted brioche bun. The meat tasted fresh and coated in a moderate amount of butter, with some chives sprinkled on top. Definitely a solid hot butter lobster roll all around and one that I would order again, especially with this view and vibe at The Canteen. Had to also order their specialty side dish of "Crispy Brussel Sprouts" that are tossed in a spicy fish sauce and cilantro. They had an amazing taste & texture to them, and for sure lived up to the hype. They're also known for their "Frosè", frozen Rosè drink, so I decided to try one to wash it all down and a little buzz never hurt anyone. Check out my full review on The Canteen by clicking here.
Standard size roll (hot or cold) - $22
w/ coleslaw & pickle
Over score = 8.0
Conveniently located on the Rail Trail bike path and the National Seashore Park in Eastham, Arnold's Lobster & Clam Bar has been serving up large portions of seafood at affordable prices to customers since 1976. Owner Nathan “Nick” Nickerson started the drive in style clam shack and was inspired by the malt shop Arnold's on the classic show "Happy Days", with the menu & vibe matching the 50's style theme. I had read good things about this spot and decided to stop here for lunch on our way up to the Outer Cape for Labor Day Weekend. The line was moderate in size when we got there, but with ample indoor and outdoor seating had no problem finding a table. You order and pay with a cashier, then wait for your name to be called when your food is ready.
First thing I noticed about my hot lobster roll was the hot dog bun looked all dry and flaky. Obviously the meat and how it is prepared is always super important to the roll, but if the bun isn't good then the overall taste is going to suffer. The lobster meat was plain, on a bed of lettuce and served with melted hot butter on the side. The meat didn't have a ton of flavor and combined with the sad bun it wasn't a great overall lobster roll experience. I had read good things about both the lobster rolls from here, so maybe I just caught them on a bad day but I most likely wouldn't order one from them again. The vibe of the place was great overall and the workers were super friendly, just wished my meal matched up to that.
Hot lobster roll - $22.99
Cold lobster roll - $21.99
Both w/ fries & coleslaw
Overall score = 6.9