If you don’t grow up with them, the concept is understandably cause for some puzzling. Lobster meat in a hot dog bun? It’s like nestling a pair of cashmere-socked feet into a pair of old Keds. Which is to say it’s both brilliant and perplexing. If you did grow up with lobster rolls, you know there’s almost nothing better. Close seconds are the plates running over with thinly sliced onion rings. And coming right up after those are the oval-shaped paper plates called platters and filled up with fried clam strips or filet of something and tiny dishes of creamy cole slaw flecked with celery seed. This weekend, I met some of my very best girls for lobster rolls.* In high school a crew of us worked at at a clam shack called a castle. Summers for us smelled of tartar sauce and kitchen grease and the cheap perfume that we wore to mask it. We squeezed into too-small tee shirts and too-small shorts and poured red birch beer out of soda fountains for sunburned customers.
These days, we are practically old ladies. The teenagers behind the counter of our beloved castle wouldn’t recognize us, and the brothers who owned the place then have sold it to someone new. It breaks our collective heart to go there and so this weekend we cheated and went to the rival spot across the street. Talk has turned to babies and vacations and plans for a one-day wedding in India. About a million years seem like they’ve passed since the afternoons in the heat of August when we’d sit under the air conditioner and try to catch glimpses of the cute boys leaving driver’s ed class across the street. From our spot behind the counter we’d share baskets of fries and hatch complicated plans for midnight skinny dipping. At closing, we’d pull straw wrappers to see who had to stay late to mop and then we’d show up to beachy gatherings reeking of fryolator and milkshake.
After all these years, it’s nice to know that it only takes a few minutes and a few plates full of fried seafood to pick up more or less where we left off. Happily that no longer includes mooning over boys at the driver’s ed.
*You might have noticed that things are more or less vegetarian around these tea leaves, but the truth is that I sometimes make fishy exceptions.
Your writing gave me such a certain feeling in this post! Nostalgia and sweet summer bliss. Summers as a teenager were like total freedom…so hard to explain, but you captured it perfectly! xo
My favorite post ever. Love you. Weekend was wonderful!!
Absolutely agree. Beautifully captured 🙂
I never thought fried food could look so beautiful.
PS I totally forgot about the straws! remember very well the skinny dipping haha!
Yum! I loved the pictures, all the food looks so good.
The Smell of Summer – A Boutique Lifestyle Blog
They look amazing. We don't get lobster rolls anywhere in England, I'm jealous!
And Katie / Beauty & Lifestyle x
I used to be a pescatarian so while forsaking all meat, I would never turn down a delicious plate of sushi. This totally does sound perplexing – but it sounds all the more genius! I would totally get one of these!
Such a great post and story!
Oh, and those lobster rolls look delicious!
<3 <3 <3
I had my first lobster roll this past summer in Maine. It was HEAVENLY. Couldn't believe I'd never tried one before. And it sounds like a perfect gathering. Those really are the best moments.
Where did you go for it?? Alot of people like it with a side of butter or mayo. I like mine plain as plain can be!!!! Maybe with alittle lemon squirted on top! Was your roll toasted or plain??
I so badly want to try lobster, but am scared I'm allergic. I had a couple of really bad allergic reactions to shellfish years ago, and hadn't tried lobster before I reacted so now am scared to try it in case I am allergic! It looks too good not to try though. I'll just have to bite the bullet and do it!
Loved this post so much, your writing is so lovely.
Oh, no! I have a few friends with the same allergy!
Typically if you are allergic to one shellfish you are allergic to all shellfish. I personally, would speak to my Dr first before eating any shellfish.
Better to be safe than sorry I always say! I am not sure what I would do if I couldnt lobstah' or fish!!
mmmmm those lobster rolls look amazing!! xo
i'm a longtime vegetarian who is new to fishy exceptions and dang, lobster rolls look divine. s o o n.
fishy exceptions are proper exceptions.
i think so!
this looks so so sooooo delicious. i've still never had a meal at a proper new england clam shack (a virginia clam shack: check, the lobster joint in green point: check, a lobster roll in boston: check but nothing like this) and i intend to remedy that this summer.
You must! They usually aren't hallmarks of sustainable, organic cooking, but they're still somehow irresistible!
You need to hit up the Lobster Shack in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. Not only is the food delish but the views are breathtaking.
Although, the only downfall is parking so if you are in anything bigger than a mini van..be prepared for a tight squeeze!!!
Also, check out Fort Williams just a few miles down the road!!! 🙂
That sounds quite delicious!
Love it so. Nothing is better than lobsters+ladies.
OH how I miss my Lobstah' rolls, fried clams and my besties! 🙂 I think my first meal when I had teeth was a Lobstha' roll!!! 🙂 So miss living back in Maine..where the air was clean, the summers lovely and the best Lobstah' Rolls in the world!!!
BTW….would ya be a sweetie and send me one?! 🙂
a 'lobsta' roll with melted butter on a toasted bun is my favorite!
I can imagine this must taste good. Can't wait to try it, one of these days. Loved you trip down memory lane, too.
Ha! I thought I recognized this place. I worked there aeons ago in high school.
Erin, came back to this by way of this year's 4th of july post. I love it (and young summer stories)
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