I’ve never been a big lobster eater.  I would never go to a restaurant and order a whole lobster, or even a lobster tail.  You order this crustacean that you have to pull apart with your hands like a savage, but then you have to wear a bib like a pre-schooler while doing so.  Not a good look and not worth the time and effort.

But lobster rolls are a different story.  Lobsters are already shelled, seasoned and are easy to eat in a cute little bun.  I remember the first lobster roll I ever had.  MrsJ2011 convinced that I had to try one back in 2005 when we went to Mary’s Fish Camp, known for their awesome lobster roll.  I was not too keen on the idea of lobster and mayo but I went along and it was very delicious.  Not something I would crave but very good.  I am not a big fan of mayo, and seafood and mayo just seems weird to me.

Over the last few years, it seems that lobster rolls have become quite popular.  Each year in the local magazines there are articles dissecting NYC’s lobster rolls to see which one is tops.  Like I said, I’d never really go out of my way to get one.

That is, until they starting serving them by my office!

Last summer, there was a giant lobster man handing out menus for a little place called the Urban Lobster Shack.  If you remember, I posted a photo of him here.  Intrigued to give any new place a whirl, we headed on over to the little window in the basement of a nearby office building to give it a try.  That’s right – it’s not a restaurant.  Literally a window.  They serve the traditional lobster roll, which was very good but they also have something called the Chef Special roll which is basically a lobster roll, scampi style.  And it’s only $11.  Definitely not traditional, but definitely a winner.  The lobster was good quality, there’s tons of delicious butter and garlic, and the bread is nice and toasty.  Absolute heaven, although a little small for the price.  I’ve probably had it ten times in the past year and every time it is wonderful.

Ubban Lobster Shack - so beautiful!

I was more than satisfied with Urban Lobster Shack and was definitely not looking to cheat on it.  But then the food trucks came to town, and considering my obsession with all things served on a truck, I just had to try.

First I took a short walk over to Luke’s Lobster Truck to give their lobster roll a try, hoping the whole time that it would be worth the $16 I was about to pay.  I walked there, stood on line, ordered, and was back at my desk in a half hour.  The roll itself was actually 5 inches long – so small!  However, I think that’s the standard size for lobster rolls.  There was a lot of chunky lobster.  Not too much mayo.  But for some reason, I did not taste any seasoning whatsoever.  The butter they schmear on the roll was not fully melted, so I had little chunks of butter between my lobster, which skeeved me out a little.  But I have to admit all in all it was a good lobster roll.  I’d have it again.

Luke's Lobster - by this time I decided to start measuring!

The following week, I spied the truck from the Red Hook Lobster Pound, which coincidently is right near one of my clients in Brooklyn.  I obviously had to try it for comparison’s sake!  The line was not as long as Luke’s truck and there were options – their traditional roll with mayo and celery, and something called the Connecticut Roll with just lobster and butter.  Also a whopping $16 and 5 inches long.  But I have to admit I was so disappointed.  The bread was very soggy and everything just fell apart as I tried to eat it, so in fact my lobster roll turned into an open faced lobster sandwich.  BOO!  The flavor was definitely not as good either.  I’m not going back there again.  Sorry.

Red Hook Lobster Pound - what a mess!

So in the end, Urban Lobster Shack wins the Spice title for Best Lobster Roll Accessible during Lunchtime in Midtown Manhattan.  For the size and the taste, it’s a much better bang for my buck.  I know I know . . . I did not talk much about the quality of the lobster itself, but like I said I’m not much of a lobster eater except for these rolls.  I may not be a lobster roll purist, but I know what I like.  Damn it, now I’m hungry for a lobster roll!

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