Monday, May 23, 2011

Culinary Adventures in Maine

Last week, I accomplished another goal on my bucket list with gusto: Eating Lobster in Maine

Copyright Jeffrey 2011

I love seafood (who doesn't?) and lobster is my second favorite crustacean just behind crawfish.  So when my wife's parents came to visit us from the desert state of Arizona and wanted to explore New England, I couldn't wait to finaly visit the rocky shores of Maine and gorge myself on some fresh lobster. 

Lobsters in a tank at a local seafood market in Maine
Copyright Jeffrey 2011 

I expected there to be a lot of lobster in Maine, but I was still surprised at how many different ways and places lobster was served.  It seemed like everywhere we went, they had lobster of some kind on the menu.

 My favorite lobster of the trip from Poor Boys in Bar Harbor
Copyright Jeffrey 2011
I heard that McDonald's serves lobster rolls in Maine. (lobster rolls are a type of sandwich very popular in New England)  So when we stopped for lunch next to a McDonalds, I had to see if it was true.  I didn't see any lobster on the menu at Mickey Ds, but I had much better luck at the Arby's next door!

The lobster roll at Arby's only cost seven dollars and was about what I expected from fast food lobster.  It's half the price of a fresh lobster roll and a fourth as delicious.  I wouldn't recommend this as your very first lobster roll experience.  But if you're curious and in the mood for something a little wacky, it's worth a try. 

Copyright Jeff 2011

The lobster from Arby's was unique, but it wasn't the strangest lobster dish I had while in Maine.  That honor goes to the only lobster dessert I've seen, lobster ice cream.

Copyright Jeffrey 2011

Copyright Jeffrey 2011

If you can imagine what it would taste like if you cooked up a lobster, dipped it in some butter and then chopped it up and folded it into a batch of icecream, then you've got a pretty good idea what this tasted like.  I'm not a fan of cold lobster and I like my desserts with a little more sweetness and a little less seafood.  So I only ended up trying the sample and not ordering a whole cone, but I did get a scoop of the KGB ice cream (made with Kahlua, Grand Marnier, and Bailey's Irish Cream liquors) and it was fantastic.

I had tasted some amazing fresh boiled lobster in Maine and several wacky lobster dishes.  But I was beginning to wonder if there was any way to eat REALLY good lobster other than just boiling it and dipping it in some drawn butter.  Lobster likes to be the star and doesn't always play well in an ensamble dish.  But it CAN work well with other ingredients to produce a fantastically delicious meal and these lobster nachos proved it.

Copyright Jeffrey 2011

These nachos weren't from Maine but rather The Red Parrot in Newport, Rhode Island.  Thankfully, they didn't just throw together some run-of-the-mill nachos and drop some lobster on top.  They must have tried dozens of cheeses, because the one they picked for these nachos perfectly complimented the lobster.  In fact the cheese sauce itself had been infused with lobster flavor and a few other spices before being poured over the nachos and topped with lobster meat.  I could eat these all the time.

Copyright Jeffrey 2011

The same restaurant also served up some equally delicious lobster pizza.  During our five day trip to New England, I ate boiled lobster, lobster nachos, lobster pizza, lobster ice cream, a lobster roll from Arby's, lobster bisque and several seafood dishes covered in lobster sauce.  From a culinary standpoint, I think it may have been one of the best vacation's I've had.  If you ever end up in Maine, I reccomend you try as many lobster dishes as you can.  You will be certain to have a delicious and memorable vacation.

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