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For Lobster Straight From Maine: “Luke’s Lobster”

The man with the plan here is Luke, no surprise there. What seems like a pretty simple business plan has now transformed the way we eat seafood in the non-New England North East states. Fresh fish be it shrimp, crab, or lobster isn’t something that we are used to.

There is no comparison to be nearing the water in great weather having seafood you know it fresh and delicious. In my mind’s eye I am in what I assume is Maine although I have never been. There is a lighthouse in the background and some happy tourists and locals sitting on picnic benches on a bright sunny day eating sweet, fresh lobster on hot buttered rolls. It sounds like part of my future Maine trip is already coming together nicely.

The very first time I heard about Luke and his lobster was on a day when I was out eating myself to death throughout the East Village. On that particular day my friends and I were trying Pomme Frites (, Butter Lane bakery (, and the Big Gay Ice Cream ( shop. We started off sharing fries and special dipping sauces then we moved on to ice cream. Technically I ended with the cupcakes but I brought that home for a later time. On the way back is where I happened to stop in front of Luke’s Lobster and that’s when I was told how incredible their lobster rolls were. It sounded like something I would definitely want to try but at the end of that day I couldn’t take another bite or carry another bag. I was done.

Since that day in 2012 I have been trying to get back there. Despite the food trucks and many other locations that have popped up all around N.Y.C. I still had this on my to do lists for another three years ( Luke was able to ship lobster fresh from Maine daily easier than I could get back to his store.

When I learned they expanded to other cities I felt like they were just taunting me. Daring me to find the time and location where we would finally connect. Then a few months ago I noticed they opened their franchise in Washington D.C. That one caught my attention. I knew I was going to spend a weekend in D.C. over the summer and planned to visit then. I felt secure in my decision and that this mission would finally be completed. But what is that saying? We make plans and God laughs? Well that was true. Needless to say Luke and I never met in D.C. No we met up much closer to my home.

A few months ago I spent a wonderfully busy day in Park Slope eating my way around town and seeing the historical sites. After brunch at the Stone Park Slope Cafe (, visiting the Old Stone House (, and then I was off to Ample Hills Creamery to take the ice cream to go (obviously you found out how different that went too if you read the previous blog) but on my way I drove past a brand new Luke’s Lobster store!! I involuntarily screamed and pointed as I saw it. That was it I wasn’t going to wait another minute. After a few quick turns to come back around the block I was going to go in.

Naturally I was already full on this afternoon too but I was buying a lobster roll for the road then I would be off to eat ice cream. Some days I love my blog more than anything else in life.

Upon entering the store, which at that time in late afternoon, it happened to be empty, but transported me to Maine nonetheless. I was no longer in Kansas (Brooklyn) anymore. For starters the way it was decorated was beyond what I could have imagined. The floor looked like wood on an outside deck, the atmosphere felt like you were right on the water waiting for your lobster to be carried out. I was snapping away taking pictures of all of the signs. It is these little details that make experiences even more exciting for me.

Then I ordered my lobster roll. It only took a few minutes for it to be prepared and the smell that came before it was handed to me was intoxicating. It smelled like sweet butter. There was no fish smell, it just got better and better. Once it was done I was out the door. I didn’t eat it right away but when I arrived home.

I have to say that I am not sure I was in love with it right away. I loved the way it tasted fresh, light, and not over-seasoned. I couldn’t get over the lightly buttered hot roll it was placed on. In fact I do think it was better than my past experience but I think what initially threw me off was that it was all different parts of the lobster for the meat. I usually only eat the tails and having the claw meat in added a different flavor. It was still better and different than anything I have ever had.

My prior lobster roll experience (the only other one I have ever had) occurred in a place I love: Newport, Rhode Island. On my first trip there I got to see my first “summer cottage” and then have lunch at a place I return to whenever I go back. La Forge has some of the best simple meals you could ever want. They satisfy the giant hunger you get walking around a famous old house that’s too pretty to imagine living in. It was at La Forge when I had my first lobster roll ( This was the kind of lobster roll that has mayo in it and it served on a plain roll. I enjoyed this very much at that time but now that I have another kind to compare it to, I am afraid I will have to stick with Luke’s. It was just too good. Maybe next time I will just ask to leave out the meat I don’t care for.

I am so glad that I got Luke’s signature meal but I was so tempted when I looked at their menu. I bet the New England clam chowder is good. I also definitely want to try to shrimp and crab rolls as well. I suppose that’s for another time and another location.

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