Profile: “HARRASEEKET LUNCH AND LOBSTER” in South Freeport, ME

Harraseeket Lunch & LobsterHarraseeket Lunch & Lobster was the first stop on a multi-roll day, and we arrived about 15-minutes before they opened so we had an opportunity to see the staff getting ready for a busy day. The parking lot attendant getting ready to manage traffic flow was in stark contrast to quiet harbor setting that greeted us at 10:45 a.m. At 11:00 a.m. the order window opened and we were greeted by very friendly staff who truly looked as if they were enjoying their job. We grabbed some seats by the water to watched islanders board a small ferry while waiting for our roles.

Harraseeket runs in a peleton of Maine’s best lobster roll joints. We knew we were getting into the “best of the best” of traditional lobster rolls, and we had to be very cognizant of the fact these place could start to wash together if we weren’t careful. Yet, there no escaping that at this level the competition gets very tight. With this said, Harraseeket definitely belongs on the leader board.

These rolls came through with a beautifully toasted split-top roll, and lots of delicious knuckle, claw and tail meat. The lobster is dressed with a bit of mayo, but not too much. And the role is lined with a lettuce leaf – not your shredded iceberg lettuce, but a nice whole green leaf. Leaving the “Does lettuce belong in a lobster roll?” debate aside, this was a nice touch.

We really liked the Harraseeket lobster roll, and had we not made a stop at Red’s Eats an hour later, we may have rated Harraseeket a bit higher. But in the end, we give Harraseeket a RECOMMENDED rating. Here’s how they stacked up (0-100):

  • T’s Rating: 86
  • P’s Rating: 85
  • AVERAGE: 85.5

Harraseeket Lunch & Lobster is located at 36 Main Street in South Freeport, ME. WEBSITE: http://www.harraseeketlunchandlobster.com/index.html. PHONE (LUNCH): 207.865.4888. PHONE (LOBSTER): 207.865.3535. Check their schedule, as Harrasseket Lobster & Lunch is a seasonal business.

Harraseeket Lobster Roll

A very good lobster roll, as fresh as they come!

Profile: “THREE COD TAVERN” in Marblehead, MA

Three Cod TavernWe stopped into Three Cod Tavern earlier this past summer, while taking a leisurely drive on a rainy Sunday. We hadn’t intended to make this stop, but an online search for a nice lunch brought us to Three Cod Tavern. It was only when we arrived that we realized we’d been before.

As was the case during our first visit, the place was hopping with locals. Everybody seemed to know everyone else – from the injured high school athlete who seemed a center of attention, to the older woman who happily informed all with whom she spoke that she “had a bit of a buzz going” (it was about 1:00 p.m.). But the sense was it was a warm place, cherished by the townspeople, and that’s always a good sign.

We had to wait quite awhile for our lobster rolls to arrive, and we assumed this was a combination of a busy kitchen and lobster rolls made to order. Luckily their very clam chowder kept us satisfied during the wait. When the rolls finally arrived, they were packed full with fresh knuckles, claws and tail meat, with a reasonable coating of mayo. The bun was a standard hotdog roll (not a split-top role), and the lobster was placed on a bed of shredded iceberg lettuce.

And so enter one of the few controversies of our quest. One of us really loved this role, and considered it one of the best “cold with mayo” rolls we tried. The other of us was just not all that impressed. There was nothing wrong with the role – it simply didn’t stand out. Since we nearly always agree (within a few points of one another) when rating rolls, this disparity left us puzzled. One of us considered Thee Cod’s lobster roll HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, whilst the other rated it as ACCEPTABLE. But that’s the way the oyster cracker crumbles.

Three Cod Tavern ended up with an ACCEPTABLE rating, although it was the highest scoring contender in this category. We’ll definitely have to make another trip to try and settle the score! Here’s how things stacked up (0-100):

  • T’s Rating: 88
  • P’s Rating: 79
  • AVERAGE: 83.5

Three Cod Tavern is located at 141 Pleasant Street in Marblehead, MA. WEBSITE: http://www.threecodtavern.com/index.php. FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/threecodtavern?fref=ts. PHONE: 781.639.3263.

Three Cod Tavern Lobster Roll

The source of the controversy! (The exterior shot above was borrowed from Boston Restaurant Blog. We’ll be happy to remove the image upon request.)

Profile: “THE LOBSTER SHACK AT TWO LIGHTS” in Cape Elizabeth, ME

Lobster Shack at Two LightsJust a few days before setting out on a road/bike trip to sample some of Maine’s most famed lobster roll joints, we happened to see a short segment on the Travel Channel’s “Man vs. Food” featuring The Lobster Shack at Two Lights (you can view the segment here). Our home base for this trip was The Danforth Inn in Portland, so a quick stop in Cape Elizabeth was right on our way.

The Lobster Shack is certainly situated on a beautiful ocean-front property overlooking Casco Bay. The view alone was worth the trip, and we were very eager to sample the first lobster roll of our trip. The Lobster Shack makes their rolls to order – a definite good sign – and, after a short wait, our name was called and we proceeded to the pick-up window to collect two very interesting looking lobster rolls.

Lobster Chack at Two Lights Dining AreaThis lobster was fresh, and filled with not only claws and knuckles, but also tail meat. Interestingly, though, The Lobster Shack does not use either mayo or butter in their roll, instead placing a dollop of mayo one end of the finished roll. This meant that, unless you took the time to spread the mayo yourself, each bites had either contains no mayo, or way too much. On the other end of the roll was a pickle slice, which is fine if you like pickles (one of us doesn’t), but the inevitable consequence is that you end up with at least some pickle-flavored lobster. Finally, these rolls are finished off with a dusting of paprika which, although a bit off the reservation, didn’t do any damage.

In the end, despite the cool, artsy look of these rolls, The Lobster Shack’s lobster roll is more-or-less unmemorable. Was this a bad lobster roll? Absolutely not. But at something like $18 per roll (again, with lobster meat selling for about $3.95 per lb.), we got the sense we were paying more for the view than for the roll.

We give The Lobster Shack at Two Lights an ACCEPTABLE rating. Here’s how they stacked up (0-100):

  • T’s Rating: 82
  • P’s Rating: 80
  • AVERAGE: 81

The Lobster Shack at Two Lights can be found at 225 Two Lights Road in Cape Elizabeth, ME. WEBSITE: http://lobstershacktwolights.com.  FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/lobstershack. PHONE: 207.799.1677. Check their schedule, as this is a seasonal business.

Lobster Shack at Two Lights Lobster Rolls

Very pretty rolls, but otherwise unmemorable.