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Seven Hills

Boston-area exploration, travel notes, crafty things, and other Somervillainy.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Lobster Roll Diary: Cobie's

If it's August, it must be time for another trip to Cape Cod. We headed down for a few off-weekend days in an attempt to miss the worst of the summer crowds (though there were still plenty of people around). While we intended to branch out this time, we ended up staying in Orleans where we've stayed a few times before. Obviously there are many nice towns on Cape Cod, but we found we were once again in the mood for this one's particular style - quaint but not overly cutesy, not too snooty with historic pedigrees, and convenient without being a mess of strip malls and chintzy motels.

This time we revisited a seafood place in Brewster that has to be one of the most picturesque roadside establishments ever: Cobie's, ideally located next to the Cape Cod rail trail and bursting with picket-fence charm. We had a vague memory of not liking it for some reason, but as it's so darn cute and was close to the lake where we went swimming that morning, we decided to give it another chance.

The covered picnic tables where we grabbed a seat.

Naturally, my recent adventures in lobster-consumption hadn't tided me over for long; in spite of other menu options, I was helpless before the possibility of getting a lobster roll. My companion discovered he could order a veggie burger, a big point in Cobie's favor, considering one memorable occasion at Ipswich's Clam Box where the only vegetarian item on the menu was a grilled cheese sandwich jury-rigged from a hamburger bun.

When the lobster roll arrived, I remembered what I hadn't liked so much about Cobie's: the roll consisted of chunks of lobster and only the barest trace of mayonnaise, if that. It also included an offending leaf of lettuce. Now, I realize lack of mayonnaise is considered a point of pride at some seafood shacks, where they prefer their lobster unsullied by such crude fillers, but I do feel lobster+mayonnaise results in a magic alchemy.

However, this time around, being less of a novice in both the Cape and lobster roll departments, I went in search of a side of mayonnaise, plucked off the lettuce leaf, and enjoyed my lobster roll mightily. I mean, look at the size of that claw. Much larger than my home-cooked one (which leads me to believe I purchased a soft-shell lobster, known for their shrunken claw meat). The bun was toasted, too. Simple as it sounds, that can make the meal.

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At 8/17/2006 1:48 PM, Blogger Brian P said...

Lobsters of New England: beware the Somervillain! She continues to make lobster sound SO tempting even to someone who very marginally enjoys seafood.

At 8/17/2006 3:20 PM, Blogger George X said...

Oh... the glorious lobster roll. I've only had one & it was divine: J's Oyster Bar in Portland, ME. It's one of those foods that only tastes right in the right place: Portland,Kennebunkport,Portsmouth, etc. You could beam the same lobster meat, the same ingredients, and the same cook to another place and it wouldn't be nearly the same. Lobster rolls just don't "happen" anywhere else.

At 8/17/2006 5:58 PM, Blogger Chrissa said...

I am starting to feel a little nervous that I am over-selling the delights of the lobster roll. Brian, you are not the first seafood-skeptic to feel perhaps they should give lobster rolls a chance as a result of my rantings.

All I can say is, if you do try one and end up not liking it ... can I have the rest?

And totally agreed that location is perhaps the most important ingredient in the lobster roll "recipe."

At 8/22/2006 9:07 AM, Blogger marshmallow soup said...

Geo--in my humble opinion, J's Oyster Bar does possibly the best lobster roll in the country (second only to my favorite place in rockport, ma--but that one is slipping). You started off well!


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