The lobster roll is a quintessential sandwich, because it takes an otherwise luxury foodstuff and makes it a meal for the masses. To eat a lobster roll, you don't need a fancy restaurant, a platinum card, a silly bib, or even a table — only a firm enough grip to ensure that no succulent shellfish escapes from the bun.
Now, the lobster roll is more accessible than ever. Thanks to a lobster glut in Maine, the East Coast classic is having a moment in New York City, writes New York magazine. One good sign: the fact that one peddler has a cult business selling lobster rolls out of his Brooklyn apartment under the name Dr. Claw and the Lobstah Pushah.
The excess of lobster stems from an environmental conundrum: overfishing of cod, a natural lobster predator, meant huge shellfish hauls for Maine fishermen. Meanwhile, competition is fierce, with upstarts like the Red Hook Lobster Pound turning the seaside treat into a street food and challenging once-trendy restaurants like Pearl's Oyster Bar in Manhattan for buzz-generating dominance.
The lobster crowd is a colorful bunch, with Pepperidge Farm buns being badmouthed, cell phones ringing to the tune of "Rock Lobster," and even tales of guns drawn. One thing's for sure: this boom in sustainably fished lobster is an opportunity to be seized. Perhaps this calls for a visit to my local lobster roll purveyor.