Day Three: We Test the Limits of the Lobster Roll Challenge…
Saturday, September 28, 2013
I awoke feeling tremendous, ready for a full day of feasting and football. I did not foresee bitters and soda on my menu. We started the day with coffee and Diet Coke and left the hotel by 10:30 a.m., taking a cab to the Boston Seafood Festival being held at Boston Harbor. Saturday was game day and we had limited time to eat our way around the festival before traveling to Chestnut Hill to watch Florida State take on Boston College in football. Clad in garnet and gold, we paid our cover fee and entered an arena that would push our lobster roll tasting to extreme limits.
The day was quickly warming, still offering bright blue skies but now with more heat. The festival was set up with individual food and beverage booths lined along the outside perimeter which allowed us to stroll and sample with ease. As we made our way to each vendor, we shared crab rolls, lobster rolls, crab cakes, fish tacos and several local beers. We had our picture taken with a giant, foam lobster and someone dressed as Poseidon, complete with a foam trident and ill-fitting beard. We also ventured out and tried some fried seafood, slathered in homemade tarter sauce, garnished with a sprinkle of lemon. One of the larger booths sold raw oysters and clams on the half shell so Kyle and I did our duty and helped the vendor meet payroll. All the food was good and it was a productive two hours. Although we had to purchase the food and beverages while inside the fence, we did not feel cheated by the cover charge.
As we gathered outside the festival gate, trying to decide whether to take mass transit or a cab to the game, we spotted a small restaurant called Yankee Lobster Company down the street, a permanent establishment, not part of the festival. If a diner is going to be so presumptuous and burden themselves with that name, there was no question we had to honor them and try one of their lobster rolls. It was a small shop so Hope, Shannon and I waited outside while Kyle ordered one roll for us to share. Even though we were all uncomfortably full from the previous two hour graze, one bite convinced us this purchase was the best decision we made all weekend; the lobster roll was transcendent. Curiously, there is no one thing that made their roll stand out. It was basically constructed the same as all the others we had eaten—lightly seasoned chunks of lobster meat piled onto a long, thin bun—but, like a special athlete, the roll had an “it” factor that is impossible to define. Washed down with a Sam Adams Octoberfest served in a plastic cup, we were in unanimous agreement that the Yankee Lobster roll was the best of all our sampling, all of our previous research leading us to this glorious moment. After giving ourselves a few minutes to bask in its greatness, we finally rolled our stuffed selves into a cab and directed the driver to take us to Chestnut Hill. We had a football game to watch.