I should preface my review by stating that I've had lobster rolls at a handful of places from Portland south, and have never disliked one. But after reading the blog From Away last week, highlighting the best "Connecticut-style" lobster rolls, in which the Clam Shack took the top spot, I knew we had to give it a whirl. Could it really be that special?
YES. They are THAT special.
You should be prepared that they are not served in the traditional Maine way- no hot dog bun, no lettuce. I never really got the lettuce thing- seemed like a distraction to me, anyway. When I ordered it, I asked if it came with, as I would have had them leave it off. I also ordered it with both butter and mayo, as was suggested by the blog. It comes on a soft Portuguese hamburger roll that is lightly buttered and toasted- a total winner in my book. The lobster was perfectly cooked, and filled the large bun amply. I made the mistake of sharing one with my husband instead of each ordering our own. For both of us, it was a hundred times better that any we've tried over the years. Perfection.
We split our roll, so that we could also try the clams. We try them everywhere we can get our hands on them when we're in New England. These are the best I've had. I was underwhelmed by the Ken's tartar sauce- with this caliber food along with the steep prices, I would have hoped for some homemade tartar goodness. It actually tasted really good, though...I'm almost embarrassed to admit.
We ordered the chicken tender lunch box for the kids- I think it was $18, but it could have fed 4 kids easily. (Even the chicken was outstanding)
I know that many have complained about the prices- sure, you can get less expensive rolls and clams elsewhere. But in my opinion, you won't find any better.
Regarding the service- despite it being counter service, the most friendly and polite young adults took care of us- both at the Clam Shack and at the lemonade stand nearby. Sweet kids, doing a really great job.
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