The 2018 American League Championship Series: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
As the daughter of a third-generation Bostonian and part of an extended Irish clan of more than 70 members spread across Massachusetts, I was born and bred a Red Sox fan. I grew up watching them struggle to reverse the curse and then, while living in Cambridge in the early 2000s, rejoiced in their eventual World Series victories.
But I have called Houston home for nearly a decade and thus cannot not root for the Astros, so during the ALCS I thought only good thoughts for Altuve, Verlander, and the rest of the crew.
Once (sadly) the ’Stros were out of the running, I thought of my dear family and switched my allegiance to the Sox (again, sorry). To mark this shift and to also celebrate (OK, begrudgingly acknowledge) their World Series win, I am eating all the foods that remind me of Boston.
Relative newcomer on the Houston restaurant scene East Hampton Sandwich Co. keeps it simple for those of us (me) who get stupidly indecisive when ordering food. Its $19 lobster roll is 4 ounces of knuckle meat dressed with lemon, herbs, and mayonnaise infused with Old Bay seasoning stuffed into an eggy, butter- toasted roll. The crustacean flesh is supple and slightly sweet, though there’s a tad too much mayo for my liking; I would have been happier with more naked meat, dipping my sandwich into the side of drawn butter.
Maine-ly Sandwiches's lobster roll offerings are diverse, albeit a bit confusing. The online menu lists the following options:
- ½ Lobster Roll..................................$14
- ½ Lobster Roll (3 oz)......................$19
- Whole Lobster Roll......................$28
- Whole Lobster Roll (6 oz)...........$38
- "Maine"iac ½ Lobster Roll..............$34
- "Maine"iac Whole Lobster Roll....$68
From the aforementioned lineup and its respective prices, I assumed the plain “½ Lobster Roll” contains less than 3 ounces of meat. For the sake of comparison and saving some shekels, I opted for the for the $19 “3 oz” version, which upon sight seemed smaller than East Hampton's roll. But I didn’t bring a scale to lunch, so it’s unclear whether my perception is actually based on fact.
Like East Hampton, Maine-ly utilizes prime lobster perfectly boiled as to present a tender mouthfeel and natural piscine sweetness. The bun was less browned, a flaw perhaps in the eyes of some consumers, but this gal doesn’t require her sandwich carbohydrates to boast excessive crunch.
As for overall flavor, Maine-ly’s lobstah roll is superior by a hair for its more aggressive botanical seasoning and better balance of meat and mayonnaise. But try both for yourself and declare your own winner. Then you can also declare a loser, because shouldn't something Boston lose once in a while?