June 16, 2022
I once ate three lobster rolls in one day. That was a good day. To be honest, I’m not even a big fan of lobster rolls, but my wife thought it would be fun to drive up the Maine coast stopping at seafood shacks as we went. She was right. We started in Kittery and ended in Portland and in the middle was Kennebunkport and The Clam Shack.
That was years ago, but the lobster at The Clam Shack has stuck with me, so when my wife suggested a drive up to Kennebunkport, I was all in. We ate and drank at a couple of other places, Baston River for gin, wings, and fries and The Spirit of Massachusetts for more cocktails. But I knew I wasn’t leaving without trying that lobster roll again.
The Clam Shack is located right on Western Ave, just southwest of the bridge. There is indoor and out door seating and a market. The menu is typical for a clam shack: fish, clams, shrimp, scallops, fries, chowder, and of course lobster. The Clam Shack’s lobster roll is different and you notice it right away. Instead of serving it on a traditional New England split-top hot dog bun, it’s on a hamburger roll. The rolls come from Reilly’s Bakery in Biddeford, ME. It’s not traditional, but it works, and it sure seems like you can get more lobster on a hamburger roll.
You can get it with mayonnaise, the traditional Maine way, cold. You can get it with butter, the traditional Connecticut way, hot. Or you can get it with both, the best way! At the window they actually ask you, “mayo, butter, or both?” Whichever way you choose, you won’t be disappointed. Their lobster roll is generous, and as of last weekend was only $25, an absolute steal for a lobster roll right now. I saw one for $45 a couple of weeks ago. The lobster is pleasant a combination of claw and tail. Like getting butter and mayo, this is the best of both worlds, the sweet tenderness of the claws and the firm, meatiness of the tails.
So I’ve only made two trips to The Clam Shack, but I probably only eat one or two lobster rolls each year so they make up a decent percent. I like Kennebunkport a lot and there is plenty to eat and drink in just a few short blocks, but don’t skip The Clam Shack. A lobster roll and crinkly fries as you watch the people and the cars roll down the street is the perfect way to spend an afternoon this summer. If you do let me know!