Lobster rolls can make for quite a testy conversation topic. Some like theirs smeared in mayo, while others prefer a generous drizzle of butter. There are those who swear by no-frills hot dog buns, and those who fancy something a bit more adventurous, like a buttery brioche.
With all that in mind, and some serious street cred at stake, 18 of the country’s top lobster rolls went claw to claw in Tasting Table’s annual Lobster Roll Rumble event last Thursday in New York City. We got our hands on a ticket, and then couldn’t keep them off all the irresistible rolls vying for the first place prize.
Check out our favorite bites from last week’s lobster roll claw-off.
When it came to presentation, NYC’s Ditch Plains made sure not to be outdone. Their miniature rolls sat atop a table laden with colorful salt water taffy — a clever shout out to the (un)official lobster state of Maine. But their display offered far more than just eye candy. Their entry was outstanding: buttered, grilled potato rolls, stuffed with lobster meat mixed with garlic aioli, scallions, celery, tarragon, parsley and Old Bay seasoning.
Lobster roll powerhouse Red Hook Lobster Pound put forth a roll as pretty as it was well-prepared. It was a shout-out to east coast purists, featuring large chunks of Maine lobster, lightly dressed in lemon mayo, and sandwiched into a classic hot dog bun.
Mary’s Fish Camp offered up a glorious (and gluttonous) counterpart to the otherwise lighter fare. Chunks of fresh lobster meat from Spruce Head, Maine, was drenched in tangy, lemon mayo, sprinkled with salt and pepper, garnished with tiny scallion rounds and lain atop a butter-soaked hot dog bun.
When all was said and done, local lobster roll favorite and reigning champ Luke’s Lobster took home first place. Their mouth-watering roll came packed with tons of chilled Maine lobster, and was dressed up with a touch of mayo, drizzle of butter, and sprinkling of owner Luke Holden’s homemade seasoning. Piled high on a butter-soaked hot dog bun, it won over our hearts (and stomachs), too — it was the best bite we had all evening.
Stoked about summer seafood? So is Seafoodie Ben Sargent, and he’s traveling the country exploring local fishing culture and wide open waters, and finding lots of amazing seafood on the all new Cooking Channel show, Hook, Line and Dinner.
Craving something other than seafood? Check out Cooking Channel’s Guide to Summer Grilling: