07 August 2006

Lobster Roll Hunt

Here's an article from the New York Times Travel section to help you find good lobster rolls in Maine: On a Roll, for Lobster.

Let me confess, I'm not big on lobster rolls. It's not that I dislike lobster—I'm actually quite fond of the ugly mug crustacean. But when given the chance to choose between the meat in a roll and one in its intact glory, I'll always go for the whole bug. Chalk it up to my years of picking meat from Maryland Blue Crab as a youth, but breaking down a lobster is no big deal. I can dismantle its exoskeleton and extract its sweet, white flesh in pretty much no time flat for an amateur. (A professional lobster picker would kick my butt in any contest, so I'm not taking any challenges here.)

My preference for unadorned lobster over dressed meat also comes from an unpleasant experience as a child where I overdosed on butter at a lobster dinner. Being sick afterwards scarred me enough that ‘til this day I eat boiled lobster sans butter, with lemon only, and avoid dipping anything in pure butter, in general.

But I still want to give a shout out to the one, and only, lobster roll I had two years ago at the Colonial Inn in Concord, MA. It was the Sunday meal that capped off a weekend in one of the loveliest towns I’ve ever visited. On that trip, I was reminded of all the scenery I missed living in LA—the rolling green hills and tree-lined roads. I fell in love with the East Coast all over again and for a fleeting moment I wished I had grown up in a small New England town.

Concord is American History central. The place is so packed with history you stumble across the past walking a 1,000 yards in any direction. It's hard to think about all that historical significance crammed in one place without getting dizzy. The North Bridge, a.k.a. “the shot heard the world”; Walden Pond of Thoreau’s On Walden Pond fame; and Louise May Alcott’s house of Little Women fame are just miles from each other.

The Colonial Inn was built in the 1700's and used during the Revolutionary War. Eating a lobster roll there was like participating in something American, akin to eating a hot dog at a baseball game—which, by the way, I haven’t done. It was an essential New England experience in a quintessential New England town. I was in the company of history—I ate where Thoreau lived and FDR dined. That's pretty cool, if you ask me.


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