How I beat the heat

Every year I keep my fingers crossed and make all sorts of failed plea bargains with God to make it a cool summer, one where the temperature never goes above, oh I don’t know, say 75 degrees. And every year my prayers fall on deaf ears and the sticky, opressive heat of summer comes down hard and heavy on me. With temperatures in the 90s today, it looks like this summer is shaping up to be more of the same.

So if nature, Earth and the universe itself all insist on another steamy summer, I insist on lobster rolls. That’s just all there is to it and I’m not budging on the matter.

Summer comfort food: New England lobster roll at Greenpoint's Lobster Joint

Summer comfort food: New England lobster roll at Greenpoint’s Lobster Joint

So with the morning off from work and the sun beating down on the city, I decided to walk over to Greenpoint’s Lobster Joint, a cute, casual place serving all things lobster and if you ask me, all things summer. The oyster roll, lobster club and crab cake sandwich were all tempting but the only question for me was how I wanted my lobster roll, New England style with mayo or Connecticut style with butter. With sweat trickling uncomfortably down several parts of my body, ordering anything warm with butter seemed completely out of the question, so I went with the cold-prepped Connecticut style lobster roll, with mayo, herbs and celery.

Nothing pulls me out of the sweaty trenches of a bad mood quite like a lobster roll, especially when it comes with a heap of golden, crunchy-on-the-outside, just soft-enough-on-the-inside fries, a fat, juicy pickle and a little serving of creamy, cool cole slaw. Add a frosty cold Maine Root root beer and you’re looking at an ideal way to spend a sweaty afternoon. I usually prefer butter over mayo when it comes to lobster rolls, but Lobster Joint’s was perfect, with just the right amount of mayo, nothing too slimy or goopy and for under $20 I was shocked at the fat chunks of soft, pink lobster meat bulging out of my roll.

It might end up being an overindulgent, decadent summer if I use lobster rolls to combat the heat, but that’s an issue I’m ready to take on if it means any relief in the months to come.

Lobster Joint on Urbanspoon

Lobster loving

That not everyone can know the deliciousness of a lobster roll is a sad, sad thing.

Blind people always fill me with incredible sadness. The thought of living in a world of permanent darkness, of not having any idea what clouds look like or the ocean or a full moon— I just can’t wrap my mind around it. I feel the same way about my boyfriend’s shellfish allergy, especially when it comes to lobster rolls.

God, I love lobster rolls. And that’s something I’ll never be able to share with my darling Flaneur. When my fingers and lips are slick with butter and my cheeks are chipmunk-full of  juicy chunks of sweet lobster meat, he’ll have no idea what joy I’m experiencing. And that makes me sad.

A pretty perfect little lunch at Luke's.

Yesterday, during what was a dreary, rainy afternoon, I cut across town to have a lobster roll in the East Village at Luke’s Lobster, figuring it was best to get my lobster roll eating done before he comes back (two weeks from today… yay!). While the lobster roll was slightly on the small side (or maybe I’m just slightly on the fatass side… a more likely possibility), it was absolutely delicious. The lightly toasted, buttered bun was soft and doughy and the hunks of beautifully colored orangey, pink lobster meat were smooth and sweet, with just the perfect amount of mayo, butter and spices. With a frosty Maine Root root beer and a bag of my favorite sea salt and cracked pepper Miss Vickie’s potato chips, I was happy as a clam.

Ironically enough, the bf called me while, I was eating. When I explained what a fantastic lunch I was having he said, “Hmm. I’ve never even had lobster. I can’t even imagine.”

Ugh, it breaks my lobster-roll-loving heart every time.

Summer hybrid

Is there a more quintessential summer food than hot dogs? Lobster rolls, you say? Well what about hot dog-lobster rolls? As in a hybrid of the two. Too much summer in one food? Nonsense!

Hot dog meets lobster roll

Now, as some of you might know, I actually hate summer. And this particular summer, though not as hellishly hot as summers past, has gotten no more love from me than before. (Partly due to the fact that my boyfriend will be gone for almost all of it, leaving me to count the days till fall.) But I don’t want to be a total hater, so I’m trying to seek out the good in the current season. Enter the hot dog- lobster roll. I read about it online recently, and yesterday during my day off, when I found myself near the place that makes them, I went and got one.

Henry’s Rooftop Bar at midtown’s Roger Smith Hotel isn’t really anything to write home about so I’ll skip straight to the food, which unfortunately didn’t blow me away either. The lobster topping on the hot dog just wasn’t fantastic, it was only ok, and probably needed to be a little creamier and smooth. But overall it wasn’t bad and I still really like the idea of it so hopefully someone out there in the city will tweak it and make it better.

In the meantime, I’ll be riding out the rest of summer, waiting for fall.

Butter me up

Lobster roll at Neptune Oyster

“Hot with butter or cold with mayo?” asked the waitress as she took my order. Oh, that all of life’s decisions could be so win-win.

Alas, they rarely are but for at least one night, when I ordered the lobster roll at Neptune Oyster in Boston’s North End, that’s precisely what they were.

While I don’t doubt that the cold-with-mayo option would have been delicious— the creamy tangyness of the mayo playing off the sweet, juicy lobster meat— it was a cold and blustery night and that called for hot. With butter.

What came from the kitchen and was placed before me didn’t just warm me with its temperature but with the fuzzy feeling of gluttonous happiness it spread inside of me. The soft toasted roll was practically an open faced sandwich, with fat chunks of tender lobster meat piled high and spilling out over sides, glistening under a golden coat of warm, melted butter. Each bite was rich and buttery, sweet and savory in the way that lobster always is.

I ate lots of good stuff in Boston but the lobster roll might have been the best. A great dish at a great restaurant. Win- win.

 

Lobster rolling

Lobster roll and a small mountain of fries at Pearl Oyster Bar

I don’t eat shellfish very often. Not because I don’t like shrimp, crab or lobsters, or even because I’m allergic, but instead because my boyfriend is.

I’m all about sharing food, and if he can’t eat something because there’s a sea creature in it that’s gonna make his lips balloon and his throat swell shut, than I’m not gonna order it. Really, what kind of girlfriend would I be if I did? (And if I were allergic to anything, I would expect the same from him.)

So on the eve of his return to the city, I decided that it was only fitting that I have shellfish, one last time while I still could without feeling selfish. My good friend and soon-to-be-West-Village-neighbor, Vanessa, had recently been to Pearl Oyster Bar and raved about it so we decided that’s where we’d go. (Side note: In case you were interested, yes, the gods of New York city apartments finally heard my prayers.  As of Dec. 1 I am homeless no more.) Continue reading