You can’t visit Maine in the fall and NOT have a fabulous lobster meal! This time around, we didn’t bother to drive all the way North to the Lobster Shack at Cape Elizabeth, and opted instead for a place in Kittery, Maine, just 15 minutes or so from the outlet malls… :) Ranked as one of the Top 10 places to eat lobster in Maine, the Chauncey Creek Lobster Pier also happens to be the closest to Massachusetts.
A lobster meal seems quintessentially American. Something about the informality of the setting (usually picnic tables, seaside, brightly colored (why, I have no idea), the hands on eating and delicious simplicity of the food make this a must-do activity whenever you are near the Maine coastline. The restaurant was set up “creek side” along a tributary that fed into the ocean, I gather. A large wooden deck had several brightly colored picnic tables and benches that could have easily accommodated 100+ people. It was a cool, rainy day when we visited, and only a few other tables were occupied.
We started of by inspecting the lobster tanks, several shallow cement tanks filled with sea water and lobsters of varying sizes and aerated to keep the lobsters happy. In case you are wondering about the sign, “chickens” refer to smaller sized or lighter weight lobsters…
Our initial goal to down a few lobster rolls quickly escalated to perhaps savoring a freshly boiled lobster as well, so we decided to choose the poor critter that was about to get plunged into boiling filtered sea water for a few minutes… Using sea water to boil the lobsters in is traditional, and the salty water helps to bring out the best flavor of the lobsters.
We could have had this monster, at 4.5 pounds, with massive claws, but decided on a roughly 1.5-1.75 pound lobster instead.
At $15.95 a pound for the boiled and served lobster, it was roughly 2-2.5x the price of lobsters at the wholesale markets, a fair mark-up, I thought. The deck was spacious and extremely pleasant, and apparently you were free to bring your own food as long as you didn’t bring anything they sold in the restaurant. And you ordered something from their menu…
The picnic tables were painted in bright colors, and numbered for easy delivery of orders.
Standard paraphernalia for a whole lobster order… a bib, napkins, crackers, moist towelettes, picks and a fork.
Fishing nets and buoys hanging from the ceiling.
Large breaded and deep-fried onion rings… sinfully delicious!
Our lobster, with some potato salad and clarified butter in the background.
A lobster “roll” but served in a hamburger bun… It tasted brilliant, but the missing top-sliced hotdog bun was missed. There was easily the meat of half a 1-1.5 pound lobster in this sandwich. The first one was gone in just a few bites, so we ordered another one. :)
Mrs. MM ordered some New England clam chowder that was very good, the saltine oyster crackers floating on the thick chowder…
The paprika-dusted potato salad wasn’t memorable, but it just seemed like we needed some starch with the lobster…
…so we also placed an order for a freshly boiled corn on the cob. This was SIMPLY SUPERB; freshly picked, the two toned white and yellow ear of corn was perfectly cooked (which means NOT overcooked) and it was juicy and intensely sweet.
The dock right next door where the lobster boats bring their produce directly to the restaurant.
Oh, and just in case you were wondering… if you fly home from Logan airport in Boston (or any other nearby airport for that matter), you can purchase lobsters at the airport packed for carry on baggage or you can check them into the hold.