These unpretentious gems hold the best of Maine seafood. The menus vary, of course, but most of them include what must be considered the “basics” in Maine: lobster dinners, lobster chowder, steamed clams, shrimp rolls and clam rolls (reminiscent of a po-boy: fried seafood piled high on a roll), and of course, the lobster roll. The lobster roll is nothing more than lobster meat, a little mayonnaise, and subtle seasonings that vary depending on which lobster pound you visit. Lobster rolls give you the best of all worlds: you get the sweetness of a big pile of lobster meat, none of the work of extracting your own meal, and mayonnaise. What more could you ask for?
After our first meal at a lobster pound, we were hooked. We visited as many as we could, and I may have eaten my weight in seafood that week. As for their laid-back ambiance, the lobster pounds of Maine were my first in many lessons of “good food doesn’t have to come from an elaborate-looking place.” In fact, I've learned to run toward any food joint that looks like the roof may cave in.
If you insist on fancy décor, table service, and plates made out of something other than paper, lobster pounds are probably not for you. If you want fresh, simple, delicious seafood, I highly recommend you visit one.
Lobster Pound Lobster Rolls
1 cup salt
One 2 1/2 pound lobster
2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1 Tablespoon chopped celery leaves
3 New England-style rolls
Add salt to about 4 gallons of water in a very large pot and bring to a boil. Place lobster in the pot and cover with a lid (or if you're a wimp like me, ask someone else to do the dirty work.) Boil gently for 20 minutes.
Remove lobster from the pot and run under cold water for a couple of minutes. When lobster is cool enough to handle, crack open and remove meat, placing it into a bowl. Resist the temptation to eat all of the lobster meat.
Place bowl of lobster meat in refrigerator until cool. Chop lobster meat into bite-sized chunks and mix in mayonnaise, lemon juice, Old Bay seasoning, and celery leaves, adjusting seasonings to taste. Divide salad into rolls and enjoy!
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