Yesterday was national lobster day. Gail went on a quest and got us three different lobster rolls from Wegmans (left), D'Angelo's (middle) and Roche Bros. (right). She tried to get one from Market Basket, but they didn't have one.
Here are the results of our taste test:
Wegman's ($10): 4oz. of lobster meat. The New England-style roll was beautifully seared with a criss-cross pattern, and the lobster meat was packaged separately to avoid making the bread soggy. Despite this, the bread was a little south of fresh. This was a good lobster roll with big chunks of lobster in a very light mayonnaise. It had decent flavor and no sense of the traditional celery salt seasoning. On the plus side, the bread was toasted with a noticeable amount of butter that made each bite taste like fresh lobster dipped in drawn butter.
D'Angelo's ($10.99): 4oz. of lobster meat. This roll also had a New England-style roll that was south of fresh. The lobster meat was lightly cooked and had just the right amount of mayonnaise. It also had a decent flavor with a hint of celery salt.
Roche Bros. ($5.99): 3oz. of lobster meat. This was a bigger potato roll that was perfectly fresh. The roll was lined with iceberg lettuce, which filled the space but gave a nice cool tasting crunch to the sandwich. The meat was lightly cooked and coated with a bit too much mayonnaise. This gave the mouth impression of mixed tunafish more than chunky lobster meat. While it also had a hint of celery salt, the flavor was the mildest of the set.
Each one had strong merits and each one was good, but none of them stood out as being the best. That said, after this tasting we had a better sense of what makes a great lobster roll: We like a fresh New England-style roll, toasted with plenty of butter. The lobster meat should be chunky but cooked lightly, coated in a medium amount of mayonnaise and seasoned liberally with celery salt.
UPDATE: Two more lobster rolls reviewed here.