Thursday, July 7, 2011

Searching for the perfect lobster roll

My lobster roll sampler platter!  Four just lo...Image by dpstyles™ via Flickr
Lobster and lobster-salad rolls.

Lobster is a rare and expensive treat, and the lobster roll is perhaps the easiest way to enjoy this wonderful, armor-plated crustacean.

Restaurants do all the work for you by cooking the live lobsters, cracking the shells and extracting the meat, then dressing it lightly and piling it into a hot dog roll.

We drove over to Panera Bread on Route 4 in Paramus on Wednesday night after I half-heard a TV commercial the night before.

What I thought was a lobster roll turned out to be a lobster sandwich, with lots of bread, some lettuce and only 4 ounces of lobster. 

I had planned to order one for each of us, but at a pricey $16.99 per sandwich, I quickly changed my mind.

We ordered soups, drinks, a single lobster sandwich for my wife and a smoked-turkey panini for my son.

At the register where I placed my order, I noticed a photo of the lobster sandwich showed a lot more meat than the one we got.

I tried some of the lobster and it was delicious. But I'm on a no-bread diet, so eating even half of the sandwich was out of the question.

The search for the perfect lobster roll continues.

I've heard that Picnic, the Restaurant, in Fair Lawn has a great lobster roll, but it's listed online only as part of a $40 fixed-price dinner. I'm sure you can get it at lunch, too.

I also checked the Web site of Luke's Lobster in Manhattan, where the Maine lobster roll is listed at $15. 

When we tried it in November 2009, the roll was $14 and contained 4 ounces of chilled lobster meat.

Soft-shell surprise

This morning, I was surprised to find fresh, wild-caught soft-shell crabs on ice at ShopRite in Hackensack.

I bought two at $3.99 each, dipped them in egg white and seasoned corn meal and pan-fried them in extra-virgin olive oil and Smart Balance spread for 3 minutes to 4 minutes on each side.

One of them made a great breakfast with two fried eggs, sunny side up. My wife and son split the other.

The store also had Coleman organic chicken legs for $1.99 a pound, less than antibiotic-free Readington Farm legs ($2.29 a pound) and even crappy Perdue legs ($2.19 a pound).

On Wednesday, my wife picked up six pints of Jersey Fresh blueberries on sale for $6.99 at the ShopRite in Rochelle Park. They are plump and sweet, and a better buy than the ones I got last week at Costco in Hackensack.

Soft-shell crabs for breakfast and warm, ripe peach slices with wild salmon for dinner. Don't you just love summer food?

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