12 Sep2009

shack1

It took us nearly two hours to drive to The Lobster Shack at Two Lights, and the instructions on Mapquest weren’t accurate, so we had a few “Amazing Race” gas-station-to see-where-we-were moments. After a few wrong turns, we found the restaurant and instantly knew we were going to be very happy. After a quick look around, and tag team visits to the bano or restroom, we took our place at the back of the line. Previous post on the restaurant location, here.

shack2

After a reasonable 10 minute or so wait, we placed an order for 1 lobster roll, 1 crab roll, some battered and deep fried clams, some onion rings and sodas. Total bill was a rather shocking $45 for two, so expectations were understandably high. The fried clams were over $16, the lobster roll a reasonable $12.95, the crab roll less than $10. Before heading out to the red picnic tables, we got some cocktail sauce, tartar sauce and ketchup and lots of napkins.

 shack4

We staked our claim on a picnic table at the edge of the outdoor terrace, with a view of the lighthouse nearby and the water a stone’s throw away. Seagulls hovered overhead or nearby, migrating ducks were bobbing up and down on the ocean, and the fog horn was bleating every few minutes… Well past my normal lunch time, I had blood sugar lows and was salivating at the thought of fat in both fried and mayonnaise forms…

shack3

We decided to start with the battered and fried clams (steamers, I think) and they were UTTERLY FANTASTIC! The hot crisp coating, the tender and flavorful clams, and the tomatoey cocktail sauce were SUPERB! The match with tartar sauce wasn’t as appealing but every time we placed a clam in our mouths, there were closed eyes and moans of dining pleasure. These were a surprise, as we had not expected to find a deep fried dish that would rival the lobster rolls…

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Fried clams with tartar sauce…

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…then with cocktail sauce… YUM!

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The lobster roll was a solid 10. Utterly sublime. What’s the big deal, you ask? How hard can it be to nail a lobster roll? If you break down the delicacy to the basics, you end up with these key requirements: a perfectly cooked lobster, sweet and tender. A hotdog style roll, but with the cut on “top” of the roll, made with white bread, possibly with a hint of butter in the dough. Some melted butter brushed on the roll, possibly heated on a grill momentarily. A bit of lettuce inside the roll, a generous serving of lobster, some excellent mayonnaise, and in this version, a light sprinkling of paprika and a slice of dill pickle. There are hundreds of variations on this theme, but nothing will work without the superbly cooked lobster to begin with. In this sandwich, one could literally remove the dollop of mayonnaise on the top if you wanted to eat this “naked” but I thought the mayonnaise was an excellent match with the lobster. I removed the pickle but then later nibbled on it on the side. It was definitely the best lobster roll I have ever tasted!

shack6

The crabmeat roll was very good, though I found the meat a bit less sweet than the lobster. I would have to take a wild guess that the crabmeat may not have been cooked and peeled on the premises, possibly sourced from another supplier… not sure why I suspected that, but I would take a mild wager on that. It was still an excellent 8.5/10.0 for me, and I could definitely eat a few more. Finally, the onion rings were done perfectly as well, but with three other things to eat, we left several onion rings on our tray at the end of the meal. Overall, we were extremely happy with the meal, and felt it was excellent value for money. If you ever get the chance to visit the Portland, Maine area, make sure to check out the Lobster Shack at Two Lights on Cape Elizabeth. :)

 

COMMENTS:

  1. Hershey says:

    oh lord, MM, you made me hungry at 12mn here in the Philippines lolz looks like your USD 45 were well spent :))

    Sep 12, 2009 | 12:10 am

     
  2. psychomom says:

    MM, you just convinced me to go out for fried clams tonight!!! sarap talaga di ba? fried clam bellies…. though i do not think they use steamers (could be wrong). while you are there try steamers (get the bucket size). definitely you will like it. sawsaw in the broth then butter…to die for!!!

    Sep 12, 2009 | 12:24 am

     
  3. Connie C says:

    Greetings from Maryland MM!. It is lunchtime here and I am vicariously savoring your lobster roll thru your post.

    Re your crabroll, your crabmeat may have been outsourced in Asia where most of the crabmeat served in restaurants these days come from, after the decline in the crab population in the eastern seaboard, esp here in Chesapeake Bay area; perhaps the reason why sweetness of the meat may have been sacrificed.

    http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/bal-te.crabone30apr30,0,4464418.story?page=1

    “With the bay in decline, Asian fisheries rise — catching, picking, packaging Maryland’s signature food”

    “Ten years ago, the domestic crabmeat industry made up 76 percent of the blue crab supply in the United States. By 2004, U.S. processors were just 30 percent of the market, and the surge in Asian imports made up most of the difference. The dominance of imports is expected to only increase.”

    Sep 12, 2009 | 12:29 am

     
  4. Vicky Go says:

    Yummy! Lobster needs to be fresh – to be good cooked! I still prefer mine as simple as steamed (not boiled) or broiled. Because I like the head better than the tail – despite all that meat. I always trade w somebody – my tail for their heads & we both think we’re getting the better of the deal.
    Yes, cocktail sauce esp w lots of horseradish & lemon juice beats tartar sauce all the time! Next year hopefully, we’ll be in Cape Cod around this time – if not then Maine. I plan our New England jaunts AFTER labor day for exact same reasons! No crowds! No kids! Colder maybe – but OK since we’re not bask on the beach or swim in the sea folks. We like to just take walks!

    Sep 12, 2009 | 1:00 am

     
  5. Anna Banana says:

    Wow! At 1 AM, I was starting to get sleepy but with this post now I’m hungry! I want some of those lobster roll! Is there any place in Pinas where we can have decent lobster rolls? And those onion rings look perfect, those fried clams remind me of pub food in UK~ thanks for this yummy post, MM!

    Sep 12, 2009 | 1:11 am

     
  6. rach says:

    Marketman – have you tried lobster ice cream? The onions, clams and the lobster look mouthwatering in your photos. Tried lobsters while in Maine and loved it. Drew the line,though, at lobster ice cream. It just seemed a bit odd to me.

    Sep 12, 2009 | 1:41 am

     
  7. Ariel says:

    Sarap, in Rhode Island, there was a shack like that we used to go when I went to the Navy Officer Candidate School eons ago.
    One thing missing where is the clam chowder? or if you are in San Francisco in Fisherman’s Wharf the Cioppino? Sometimes me and the family still go to Fisherman’s wharf and just eat seafood outside, the feel of the wind, the seagulls add to the nautical ambiance.

    Sep 12, 2009 | 2:18 am

     
  8. jean says:

    The lobster roll looks scrumptious! And here I thought the best I’ve had was in Mashpee on Cape Cod, at this small restaurant at their “Marketplace”.
    The fried clams you had look delicious as well. I miss living in the Northeast. I’m now in the land of Carolina barbecue!

    Sep 12, 2009 | 2:27 am

     
  9. iris says:

    Seeing your post at this late hour does not help appease hunger! :)

    Sep 12, 2009 | 2:46 am

     
  10. thelma says:

    omg…your pictures made me super hungry!

    Sep 12, 2009 | 2:51 am

     
  11. pbp says:

    OMG! After that post, I just had to eat something. Anything….

    Sep 12, 2009 | 3:25 am

     
  12. marguerite says:

    YUM!!! I’m from New England and I’ll be there next weekend. I’ll DEFINITELY be eating fried clams (closing my eyes imagining the creamy butter clams in my mouth!!!) and a lobster roll!! I just posted my version of a lobster roll on my blog last week. =)

    *drooling in Pittsburgh*

    Sep 12, 2009 | 3:59 am

     
  13. tok says:

    mm,kagutom naman.mag mimidnight snack tuloy ako,11:30pm na d2 sa khafji,ksa.

    Sep 12, 2009 | 4:39 am

     
  14. Rona Y says:

    Do you know if the onion rings are made in-house? I love onion rings!

    Sep 12, 2009 | 5:56 am

     
  15. sanojmd says:

    oh wow! im salivating!

    Sep 12, 2009 | 6:46 am

     
  16. kurzhaar says:

    If you like fried clams, other seafood “shacks” (as they tend to be called) to try for fried clams (especially whole-belly clams) are Woodman’s in Essex, MA and the Sea Swirl or the Cove (both in Mystic, CT). All of these places have good lobster rolls as well. I like lobster (love it with pasta) but I’m less than enthusiastic about the hot dog roll that’s usually the conveyance.

    And for something out of the ordinary for clam-lovers, seek out Pat’s Kountry Kitchen in Old Saybrook, CT…ignore the kitschy name and kitschier decor if you can, because they serve a fabulous clam hash (I like it done extra crisp). I am a sucker for hash of any sort (I make my own corned beef specifically for hash) and clam hash is great!

    Sep 12, 2009 | 8:19 am

     
  17. bernadette says:

    oh gosh! MM, i find it masochistic for me to read your posts! :-) have been trying to turn vegetarian kasi! but hey! i can just read and enjoy di ba?
    Thanks as always!

    Sep 12, 2009 | 9:09 am

     
  18. elaine says:

    Oh man that sure looks GOOD! I’ve been a vegetarian 4 close
    to a year(don’t eat anything with a face:)) I must admit I still read every single blog you
    post! With your very clear description on how a certain
    dish taste like, it feels like I’m eating it myself!
    Your blog is truly an enjoyable read!!!

    Sep 12, 2009 | 9:44 am

     
  19. paolo says:

    hi MarketMan! do we have those steamer clams here in the Philippines? those deep fried clams look good!

    Sep 12, 2009 | 9:53 am

     
  20. gia mayol says:

    if i remember correctly, phillips seafoods(?) used to have buying stations for crabs at bantayan island and masbate. i dont know if they’re still there. they said the shelled crabmeat was canned and shipped to a US restaurant

    Sep 12, 2009 | 11:33 am

     
  21. natie says:

    i love fried seafood! beautiful pictures,MM..makes one really hungry at 15 past midnight…

    Sep 12, 2009 | 12:18 pm

     
  22. Laura says:

    I agree Mapquest can be unreliable at times so we prefer Google Earth now with it’s very helpful street views as well. The food looks great! Thanks for the info & reviews.

    Sep 12, 2009 | 1:55 pm

     
  23. Lava Bien says:

    Wow they all look good. I’ve tried them her in the Yay Area on one of those wine festivals but I’ sure there’s not nothing like it in Maine hehehehe.

    Agree with Vicky Go, I like mine just steamed and simple, yummy! Goona watch my carbs and cholesterol intake hehehehe.

    Sep 12, 2009 | 2:00 pm

     
  24. Lava Bien says:

    Correction:
    There’s nothing like experiencing it (the lobster etc.) in Maine.

    Sep 12, 2009 | 2:01 pm

     
  25. terrey says:

    wwwwahhhhhh…galaway na sad ko!

    Sep 12, 2009 | 6:44 pm

     
  26. kit says:

    you’re really good in torturing us MM! incomparable in making your readers salivate in envy. buti na lang you don’t go as far as posting a pic of you slowly sinking your teeth, on those delectable cholesterol loaded gastronomical delights. LOL

    Sep 12, 2009 | 7:55 pm

     
  27. Marketman says:

    kit, terrey et al, hahaha. Sorry. :) Laura, we tried mapquest twice and had problems on both trips… of course we were on winding backroads in the outer reaches of New England… gia, yes, Philipps used to have a peeling and packaging plant in Northern Cebu. But overall, I think these crab sandwiches were made with shredded King Crab or the Eastern Equivalent. The shreds were longer and more stringy than blue crab meat. So while I think it is North American crabs, it wasn’t the sweetest I have had… paolo et al, now I am not sure these were steamers, but the “full belly” clams that others have mentioned in comments. At any rate, I don’t think we have this in Manila or the Philippines, our clams tend to seize up a bit more when fried… kurzhaar, unfortunately, I won’t be going by the CT coast this time around… Rona, I am not sure if the onion rings were homemade but they were good. If I had to take a guess, I suspect the batter on the rings was not overly commercial in nature… rach, no, I have not tried lobster ice cream… yikes, it does sound odd. Sorry to give everyone hunger pangs… :)

    Sep 12, 2009 | 8:15 pm

     
  28. paolo says:

    thanks MarketMan! anyway i might try frying some clams or other shellfish when i get to see some in the market. i have just the right batter for them.

    Sep 12, 2009 | 10:21 pm

     
  29. Tricia says:

    This looks amazing! Will try the Lobster Shack next time. We vacationed in Boston and took a drive to Maine as well in late Spring and went to the Clam Shack in Kennebunkport. It was amazing too. I agree with the you on the preparation. It seems really simple but not many places get it right. For an elevated version of a Lobster Roll that does not stray from the basic principles, Mary’s Fish Camp in the West Village is good. Manhattan prices but it hits the spot. Their roll is buttery.

    Sep 12, 2009 | 11:56 pm

     
  30. Kubiertos says:

    The lobster roll looks soo good. If only lobster were not as expensive here then it would be ok to have this everyday. Sigh.

    Sep 13, 2009 | 1:03 am

     
  31. fortuitous faery says:

    you’re in maine! never been there yet. what a spectacular seaside view to complement your meal! and a lighthouse close by!

    mapquest sometimes tricks drivers into taking unnecessary back roads. thank goodness for more accurate GPS devices!

    Sep 13, 2009 | 1:21 am

     
  32. marilen says:

    We will just have to be content with drooling at the great photos! Enjoy your trip.

    Sep 13, 2009 | 2:26 am

     
  33. Nina says:

    Mapquest is off most of the time; GPS is more reliable. Lobster roll at Lobster Roll Rest. in Montauk, LI has the most incredible lobster roll and clam chowder. Yummy!

    Sep 13, 2009 | 2:38 am

     
  34. mikelinparis says:

    hey MM. if still in boston, let me know. in town for a few more days before returning to paris.

    Sep 13, 2009 | 6:21 am

     
  35. mikelinparis says:

    p.s. B&G Oysters on tremont st, boston serves a most excellent lobster roll. giacomo’s in the north end or south end the best calamari frito and seafood linguini.

    Sep 13, 2009 | 6:25 am

     
  36. Lilibeth says:

    I think $45 for that kind of a meal is very reasonable considering it is Maine lobster. We paid $35 for an order of twin Maine lobster tails with a coleslaw side at Catalina island. You might want to bring a GPS with you too because eversince my husband and I did, we never get lost. Even if you make a wrong turn, it will always re-route and bring you to where you are heading. Now I am hungry and craving for Maine lobster tails.

    Sep 13, 2009 | 7:41 am

     
  37. mardie c",) says:

    wow naman, sarap! i’d gladly go for seconds on these and not be guilty about the diet.

    Sep 13, 2009 | 7:56 am

     
  38. Cattyjackie says:

    MM I’m glad you are in the land of lobster, here in Maine. Part of the fun of living in this great place is getting to try and see who has the best lobster roll. Personally, I’m not done looking yet! We had lobster for dinner tonight and it’s only $3.99 lb for soft shell when you buy it from a fisherman. I cooked a couple extra to make my own lobster rolls tomorrow night. Enjoy yourself and I hope you get to eat lots of Maine lobster!

    Sep 13, 2009 | 8:47 am

     
  39. junb says:

    Lobster seems to be a luxury in asia but a staple food somewhere else. This is a few things in life that has not yet reach by consumerism which I hope will not as it will bring the quality level down.

    Sep 13, 2009 | 11:30 am

     
  40. Ley says:

    Yay, I am literally salivating!!

    Sep 13, 2009 | 4:20 pm

     
  41. Mom-Friday says:

    now i’m craving for the impossible meal…if only you can freeze those rolls and ship them here…

    Sep 13, 2009 | 10:17 pm

     
  42. Bubut says:

    the food looks so delicious and the photos are great! thanks for sharing!

    Sep 14, 2009 | 11:50 am

     
  43. ted says:

    I never go anywhere now without my GPS, MM, they are getting cheaper and cheaper, and you can almost get one for under $50, by black Friday they may even be cheaper. Also Mapquest is terrible, switch to Yahoo Maps or Google Maps.

    Sep 15, 2009 | 1:26 am

     
  44. Ester says:

    I haven’t been to Cape Elizabeth but I have been to Portland. Thanks for the info. Those clams look delicious.
    I was craving for lobsters last Friday so I went to the grocery story and got 2 lobsters (3.3 lbs. total weight) for $26 and the store steamed it. :-)

    Sep 17, 2009 | 2:33 am

     
  45. marissewalangkaparis says:

    I remember eating at a similar set up a long way back with hubby and a brother-in-law– it was one of my best memories of that place. We even passed a pond where there were ducks..and I loved that site….still hope to be able to visit that place again. Lobsters and clams and onion rings.. with steamed corn on a cob…eating outside with the cold weather nipping your nose…wonderful memories indeed…

    Sep 18, 2009 | 10:10 am

     
  46. Cristina Gray says:

    I love your first and second photos. Well-composed shots!

    Sep 27, 2009 | 12:34 am

     
  47. dottie says:

    i am so looking forward to coming to the clam shack for the best haddack to be found. My husband and i went there for years,he passed away 3 years ago and i still visit once a year in his memory.i am wondering when you close this year,i dont want to miss you.

    Sep 30, 2010 | 9:01 am

     
 

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