Beantown Battle

Who's Got the Best Lobstah Roll? Let's Comp-aih

Maybe you don't want to mark a Red Sox World Series victory. We get it. But there's always room for lobster.

By Joanna O'Leary October 29, 2018

In this cornah: the mayo-mad lobster roll from East Hampton Sandwich Co.

Image: Julie Soefer

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.

My Beantown buffet begins with lobster rolls and a taste-test of two versions: East Hampton Sandwich Co. and Maine-ly Sandwiches, respectively.  

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.

Over heah: The lobster roll from Maine-ly Sandwiches.

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?

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