Lobster Roll Diaries: Barking Crab
Yesterday some friends treated me to a great lunch at the Barking Crab, a seafood place on Fort Point Channel in Boston. They had been curious to try a lobster roll, so that was the purpose of our expedition.
The Barking Crab can be a little tricky to find, tucked down behind a bridge on a side of town that most people, I would guess, don't often have reason to visit. Once you get there though, the location is hard to beat, right on the water and looking up at the buildings of the financial district. In a city so famous for its harbor (remember the Boston Tea Party?), it's surprisingly easy to let months go by without glimpsing any waterway but the Charles River (which, granted, is very nice in itself), so that makes this place extra special.
It also has a fun atmosphere, with lobster traps (or crab traps? I don't know) filled with twinkly lights, and a tented, open-air side (rather carnival-like) for summer, and a cozier enclosed dining room with a wood stove for winter. We sat at picnic tables under the tent this time.
As for the roll itself, well I'll tell you, it wasn't downright bad, but we weren't wowed. The lobster meat just didn't have much flavor, but I'm not sure if that's due to the time of year, the way it's cooked, or the luck of the draw. Whatever the reason, the end result was a dominant flavor of mayonnaise and parsley. I also prefer my lobster salad in larger chunks, but that might be a matter of taste.
The use of a baguette instead of a hot dog bun worked surprisingly well, in particular because the crust wasn't too hard. The fries and coleslaw that came with the sandwich were great (it's nice to have side orders to munch on, to make the lobster roll last longer), and we also ordered some fried Ipswich clams, which were perfect.
I like the Barking Crab overall. The food is fresh and simply prepared, and it would be a good place to take out-of-town visitors. Yet, although I had no trouble finishing everything on my plate, I probably wouldn't order their lobster roll again, except in the case of a true lobster roll emergency. Never say never.