I will gladly stand in line for thirty minutes for a lobster roll. This is a fact I know to be true about myself. I did it many times in San Francisco at Fisherman’s Wharf, and it always proved immensely worth it. Hence, when I went to Boston last month for the Food & Nutrition Conference Expo, I knew that the quest for the best New England lobster roll was at the top of my priority list. Luckily, I was traveling with a local, so she guided me fearlessly to Neptune Oyster and I followed faithfully, visions of seafood dancing in my head.
In the hustle and bustle of the expo hall and juggling multiple client events, we only had a small window of opportunity to sneak away for a bite to eat before it was back to the grind. We arrived to Neptune at 11 am and it was a good thing we did – the line was already forming outside. Waiting patiently, I took in the beautiful fall day in Boston’s north end. At 11:30 the garage door to Neptune opened and you would have guessed that a game-winning 3-pointer was just scored at the buzzer by the way people were cheering. Needless to say, I was psyched.
After a quick scan for seats, we found a cozy booth in the back corner. The vibe was authentic Boston – a little nautical and nothing too fancy about it, just focused on the good grub and good people, which is right up my alley. Although we came for the lobster rolls, it felt wrong to come to Neptune Oyster without ordering oysters! By no means am I an oyster connoisseur, so I happily let our Boston-local take the reigns in ordering responsibilities. She selected a variety of four – some mineral based oysters, some with a buttery finish or citrus finish, with varying levels of salt. As it turns out, I prefer oysters with less salt, and fully enjoyed a little buttery action in there. Who knew?!
Although I’ll never admit it to my San Francisco friends, New England’s oyster game was spot on. I was fully content, relishing in my post-bite bliss, and then the lobster rolls came. HOLY MOLY. There are two options for the lobster roll: cold with mayo or hot with butter. I chose hot with butter, and have NO REGRETS. Funny enough, we all ordered fries with our roll except the one person in our party who isn’t a dietitian. (Whoops!) Everything was fantastic! The roll was actually overflowing with lobster, to the point that I had to have a second go at it with a fork to finish off the leftovers on my plate. The bread was soft and buttery and the whole experience was above and beyond.
Needless to say: New England changed me. And to be honest, I wonder if I’ll ever be the same.