Finally got my ass into Luke's Lobster on 17th Street. This is a New England specialty, but has started to make it's way south. It's a pretty simple creation - buttered & toasted roll, stuffed with chilled lobster meat, a touch of mayo, a drizzle of lemon butter and some "secret" spices. Seems like any yocal with a lobster trap and a Boston accent could whip this up. But there is magic nestled in that split top roll. It's the utter simplicity that makes this little miracle so wonderful.
The lobster has to be cooked just right - there's no faking it here. If it's rubbery or mushy, you can't hide it under more butter. The roll has to have just a bit of toasty crunch to hold up to the lobster "salad" on top. Too much seasoning and you overpower the lobster. But when it all comes together it is magnificence personified in crustacean form.
There are other lobster rolls in town, but none are under the $20 mark. Just down the street at Oyster House you're going to pay $26 for one. Luke's is just $15. For $2 more you get a soda, chips and a pickle. Score!! You can also do crab or shrimp rolls, if that's your bag. But then why come to a place named Luke's Lobster in the first place?
The wait is no longer than a few minutes, plus they have really good chips and "craft" sodas. Pick up a lobster card and your 10th roll is free!
Ah, a little bit of heaven in a red plastic basket. Look at those huge hunks of lobster. It's not a cheap lunch, but you also won't feel like you need a nap afterwards (not that that's always a bad thing). For the mayo haters out there, there is barely a scant trace that is there just for flavor - so no weird texture thing to complain about. You can even order it sans mayo if you really are anti-condiment. Simply put, it tastes like summer on Cape Cod. Or at least that's my impression, having never actually been there. Close your eyes and you can smell the salt air and feel the sand in your toes, hear the gulls, the boats pulling into the habah, and the silly accents.
There's only a few days left of our actual summer here in Philly. Pop on down to Luke's and get one last taste before it's time for root vegetables and hot chocolate.
Food Baby Rating: Twins!
130 South 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102