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Monday, September 28, 2020

The Lobster Shack - East Haven - Lobster Roll Tour Stop #6

It took me a few summers to finish my lobster roll tour.  For starters, tasting lobster rolls is an expensive hobby.  Lobster rolls generally cost anywhere from $18 to $20 (usually without sides) and while insanely delicious, aren't always filling.  Geographic location also made it a little more time consuming as we sample lobster rolls as far east and Noank and as far west as East Haven.  If there was ever a time to eat lobster rolls - now is it.  The crowds are gone after Labor Day, COVID-19 has forced us to dine al fresco, and it just felt like the perfect time to spend a Friday night chowing down lobster rolls along the water (and head to IKEA when it is least busy).  

The Lobster Shack was Shack Number 6 on my shoreline tour and as far as I could tell from my *lobster research*, the last shack on the Connecticut shoreline that made the cut of "lobster shack".  The criteria is simple... Small operation (often seasonal), limited menu (lobster roll is the crown jewel), outdoor seating, simple.  The Lobster Shack made the cut so here we were on a Friday night, hungry and happy to try another lobster roll.  

If you are saying to yourself "I didn't know there was a lobster shack in East Haven", then you are mostly right, its new, sort of.  The Lobster Shack operated at a marina located directly across from the Stony Creek Brewery in Branford until they moved their business to East Haven in 2019.  New spot, same lobster roll, let's get crackin. 

The Lobster Shack

3 Cosey Beach Avenue

East Haven, CT 06512

We pulled up and parked in the lot and saw a decent amount of people enjoying their dinners under a covered area along the marsh. In the era of COVID-19 (#2020), the restaurant is at half capacity inside and the tables under the awning are distanced (more than 6 feet apart). We grabbed a menu outside and in my lobster roll tour fashion, decided to stick with the standard size lobster roll for sampling ($17.99 with a side of cole slaw). We also added in the clam fritters that were on special for the day. Like many of the lobster shacks, there were a few options for the non-seafoodarians and there was an option to upgrade, in this case to The Whaler, double the size (and pretty much double the price), a half-pound of lobster on a roll for $34.99. 

The restaurant takes cash and credit cards so don't worry about having cash. You could sit outside with a view, dogs were allowed under the awning and there was a BYOB option.  It had everything a great lobster shack needed and I was excited to sample this New England favorite.  We waited for our food, chatted about future IKEA purchases, and enjoyed the sunshine while we waited for our food outside.  

After about 10 minutes, two hot lobster rolls and an order of clam fritters showed up with a mustard/aoli style dipping sauce. First impression was the roll was a decent size, there was a variety of lobster meat (claw and tails), the roll was toasted and buttered to perfection, and the lobster meat was perfectly cooked with a squeeze of lemon and butter. The clam fritters looked great and the dipping sauce was the perfect touch. We put our review caps down and dove right in.

I was impressed with this lobster roll. Variety of meat, perfect toasted bun, sweet and tender lobster, great butter ratio and I loved the addition of zesty lemon. Adam did not love the lemon which ruined the roll for him a bit but to me, lobster and lemon are a match made in heaven. The fritters were also great, with a perfect crunch and generous offering of clam chunks.

The Lobster Shack - you did good.

1.  The Shack:  Is it small and does it have that coastal charm?  Is it right on the water?  How is the atmosphere?  8 - Not right on the water like other shacks but it still had a nice view and seaside atmosphere. 
2.  Ordering system:  Easy? Make sense? Fast? 10 - someone greeted us at the door and we placed our order right there.  
3.  Booze:  Is it BYOB? Or is there a good local beer selection?  10 - BYOB! 
4.  Dogs:  Is it Dog-Friendly?  10 - Yep! Outside under the awning. 
5.  Parking:  Is there any parking? 10- Plenty!  Large lot and on-street parking. 

1.   Size:  Is this a tiny sandwich or is it a decent-sized lobster roll?  9- It was a good size
2.  Meat:  How much meat is on the roll?  Is it tender or overcooked? 10 - cooked perfectly 
3.  Bun:  Toasted? Soggy? 10- perfectly toasted, not soggy at all 
4.  Butter:  Enough?  Too much? 10- perfect butter ratio 
5.  Price:   Worth the price tag or overpriced? 9 - fair price for the size and came with a small side of coleslaw

Score:  46/50 

Lobster Shack - this was one tasty lobster roll and I don't know why it took me so long to make it here to try one.  I do know we will be back soon to try a few other things on the menu and enjoy a perfect lobster roll.  

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