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Maine lobster roll - New England My Happy Place Photo of the Day

What Should A Maine Lobster Roll Look and Taste Like?

What should a Maine lobster roll look and taste like?
Maine lobster roll.

Article, photo by Eric Hurwitz -- created for on 3/9/2022 @newenglandinfo

Maine lobster rolls comes in all sizes and tastes. The question is, how can you identify a true Maine lobster roll through taste and sight?

There's no one easy answer but here are some of the essential tenets that give us a clue to the real thing versus an impostor or underachiever...

1. A Maine lobster roll must display chunks of real lobster -- not a mix diluted by too much mayonnaise and other fillers. Avoid shredded lobster meat, that's a red flag! A balanced mix of claw and knuckle meat chunks is ideal. Some celery (but not too much) adds a nice, traditional touch.

2. A Maine lobster roll should obviously have its lobster sourced locally, preferably as close to the restaurant or other food place as possible.

3. A Maine lobster roll must have its lobster meat flowing out of the bun. Unfortunately, many places -- often located in tourist destinations -- try to get away with favoring fancy menu adjectives that translate into high prices instead of focusing on the bottom line of serving lots of lobster meat for the hungry customer.

4. The bun must have a good taste -- not some stale store-bought brand. I personally liked a split-top grilled hot dog roll with a little butter to bring out the best taste in a Maine lobster roll. Also, some food experts say not to include lettuce in a lobster roll as it has a non compatible taste. I disagree -- a little won't hurt the lobster roll, in my opinion.

5. The lobster roll meat must have a tender taste. It's possible for a restaurant or seafood shack to serve a huge lobster roll that is also flavorless and/or containing tough, chewy lobster. Quantity is not everything.

Many Maine restaurants and seafood shacks meet the critical criteria for a tasty Maine lobster roll. If I had to pick one place, however, it would be Warren's Lobster House in Kittery, Maine. The picture at the beginning of this post illustrates that Warren's version of a Maine lobster roll is ultimately yummy and meets all requirements, as mentioned. They also have an adjacent lobster pound that holds up to 28 tons of lobster -- talk about fresh and local!

I also like Warren's for its ideal location by the southern New Hampshire coastal border and just minutes from the Massachusetts line (and less than an hour from Boston). Additionally, its waterfront location and a 60+ item salad bar makes things that much better.

If it just came down to the lobster roll, however, Warren's version could definitely stand on its own.

Happy lobster roll dining in Maine!
Also check out...
Where to find the best lobster rolls in New England
Diners to love in New England

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