I’ve been on a search lately for the best lobster roll in DC. Yes, this search is being conducted simultaneously with my search for the best burger in DC. I can multitask. For those New Englanders out there, you may be laughing and thinking just how ridiculous and futile my search must be. I know I’m from Texas and I’ve had a lobster roll in New England . . . once. I like to think I know good food. And I think DC sometimes doesn’t get the recognition it deserves — it’s been making culinary leaps and bounds in recent years. So far, my overall assessment is that there are some really good options out there to offset those that miss the mark. Below I assess four versions of lobster rolls I’ve eaten around town recently in order of increasing preference. Check it out and chime in with your thoughts on the best lobster roll in DC!
I have to say this was my least favorite. Blackbyrd has many strengths, but the lobster roll is not one of them. The lobster and bread were dry, the lobster itself was essentially shredded (I want big chunks!), and I didn’t get that warm, comforting feeling I usually get when I’ve eaten other lobster rolls.
America Eats Tavern
Much better than Blackbyrd’s, American Eats offers an artistic version of the traditional (Maine-style) lobster roll. While it had a good bread-to-filling ratio and the lobster was well-dressed and flavorful, I felt I was over-paying for the amount of lobster I actually received ($16) in comparison to other options described below.
Red Hook Lobster Pound Food Truck
So far this is my favorite “Connecticut” style roll (no mayo, just butter). Can anyone really ever have a problem with butter, lobster and bread? I mean seriously. I like its simplicity. The lobster was tender, plentiful, and the bread-to-filling ratio was very good. If I had to make one suggestion it would be this: I had a little trouble eating it because the roll had become soggy from all the butter. I know, woe is me. If there was a way to keep the bread from melting away right in front of my hungry eyes while not sacrificing the buttery goodness, then I would be most grateful. I will also say that the roll seems to be a bit smaller than Luke’s roll, but for $15, I think there’s great value in Red Hook’s version.
I have also tried Red Hook’s Maine-style lobster roll, which comes with the more traditional mayo-based dressing. I thought it was one of the top ones I’ve tried so far but I have to say that Luke’s was better. (Read more below).
My favorite Maine-style roll ($16). (Luke’s only serves Maine-style lob rolls). I have to say that the “lobstah” love in this roll is unmistakable. Huge chunks of tender lobster are served in a nice buttery and toasted roll and dressed with just enough mayo, lemon butter, and other “secret spices” to bring everything together. While I think Red Hook’s Maine-style roll is a strong competitor, it just didn’t marry the flavors together in the same way that Luke’s does. AND the bread held up well to the mounds of lobster. Win-win!
While this post is about lobster rolls, I have to say a few words about whoopie pies. Red Hook was giving away Whoopsies Pies whoopie pies yesterday, and, of course, I can’t say no to free dessert. Let’s face it, I can’t say no to dessert even when I pay for it. The flavor was apple, cinnamon, and caramel. It was so good, I don’t even know where to start. I was in the zone eating it, so much so, that I forgot to take a picture of its cross-section so you can see the filling. AWESOME-EST (yes, that’s a technical word in the culinary world) whoopie pie I’ve eaten. The cakey cookies flanking the filling were flavorful, chewy and complemented the filling extremely well. The filling was fluffy and amazing. I could taste the apple, cinnamon and caramel flavors swirling around in my mouth creating the perfect balance of warmth and sweetness. It tasted like a pie crust and that gooey sauce that envelops the apple slices in apple pie had a baby. I don’t know about you, but I’m not a big fruit pie person so the gooey cinnamony-sweet, gooey sauce and the crust are my two favorite parts of an apple pie. In my mind, this whoopie pie, which remains unnamed, should be called “Better Than Apple Pie”. Yeah, I just threw down the apple pie glove. I’m sure I’ll get angry emails from apple pie lovers out there, but that’s ok. I really hope Red Hook decides to continue offering Whoopsies Pies’ treats.
Before I tried Whoopsies Pies, I had tried Luke’s classic whoopie pie, which is also sourced from a third-party. Luke’s whoopie pie came with chocolate wafers flanking marshmallow fluff. It was so disappointing. The cake part was dry and sticky which made it twice as hard to eat because it both crumbled away too easily and stuck to my fingers. While it was twice the size of Whoopsies Pies’ whoopie pie, its size didn’t make up for the lack of awesome-ness.
What should I try next?? Write me!