Bad Chain Restaurants VIII – A Lobster Rolls into McDonald’s

Lobster rolls are a unique thing. They’re the mating of shabby and chic. The melding together of expensive, fancy-schmancy, pinky-in-the-air lobster, with a cheap, blue collar hot dog roll. Who in their right mind would do such a thing? It’s crazy. Crazy good! Frankly, I’d much rather eat a great lobster roll standing up outside a lobster shack, than eat a whole lobster in a fine dining setting, and all the work it takes to de-shell the thing, all while wearing that silly bib.

Moreover, lobster rolls are pure genius in their simplicity. Just three components, lobster, hot dog roll, and mayo. Those three ingredients come together to make culinary magic. And its simplicity belies what an incredibly delicious thing it can be.

Back in March I had the pleasure of attending a preview for Troy Kitchen and came away very impressed with what Troy Lobster, one of the food stalls within, was doing. I finally made it back this past weekend and ordered Troy Lobster’s take on the classic Maine-style lobster roll.

Damn, that thing was good. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I swooned upon the first bite. A New England style hot dog roll buttered and toasted, and then stuffed full of huge chunks of claw and tail meat coated with the barest amount of mayo. The roll is buttery and warm, and each bite of the sandwich is a big mouthful of tender, delicate, flavorful lobster. The thing is lobster heaven. It’s $18, and considering the quality and how delicious it is, it’s a steal.

Look at it. Look at how much lobster there is. All big chunks I might add. Nary a small piece of lobster to be found.

Hello gorgeous!

If you love lobster, and especially if you love lobster rolls, get over to Troy Kitchen, and patronize Troy Lobster, ASAP.

Coincidentally, McDonald’s just a couple of weeks ago launched a lobster roll, and having just had that stellar lobster roll at Troy Lobster, I thought it would be fun to try McDonald’s version and compare the two.

I had high hopes that McDonald’s lobster roll which costs a not insignificant $8.99 (a lot for a sandwich at McDonald’s) would be good, but it falls short.

McDonald’s puts lettuce on theirs, and if I order one again, I’ll either ask them to hold the lettuce or just pull it off myself. While it adds texture, it detracts from the lobster and a good lobster roll is all about the lobster. I don’t want a mouthful of lettuce when eating a lobster roll.

The roll is not the classic New England split top hot dog roll but is something more akin to a small hoagie roll. They made the odd decision to top it with cornmeal. The cornmeal is gritty and doesn’t make for a good mouthfeel.

Lot’s of lettuce. Not much lobster.

For nine bucks I would expect more lobster. There’s just barely enough in the sandwich, and it’s mostly small bits and pieces, with one small claw. The lobster tasted fishy. I don’t know if they’re all like that, or if mine had been sitting around awhile or what, but lobster should never taste fishy.

While it’s not a terrible sandwich, it doesn’t deliver a great lobster roll experience. The main issue is the lack of lobster. It’s more like a lobster flavored sandwich than an actual lobster roll.

The difference between Mickey D’s and Troy Lobster is striking. Obviously, the McDonald’s version is half the price and that matters, but it’s not close to being half as good as TL’s lobster roll.

One thought on “Bad Chain Restaurants VIII – A Lobster Rolls into McDonald’s

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s