Monday, August 2, 2010

Block Island Lobster Roll Quest

Our annual family vacation this year was going to Block Island. We rented a house with some good friends and enjoyed ourselves immensely. Biking, World Cup, beer, and lobster rolls.

My wife Anne is gaga for lobster rolls, she gets a devilish look in her eye when the subject comes up and her voice changes tone. I'm a big fan myself. We've been known to eat 5 rolls between the two of us. Lobster rolls are very popular on Block Island and we made a conscious decision to eat as many rolls as we could with the time we had, and to find the best roll on the island. Our friend Ed also had a hankering for lobster rolls, and his insights were invaluable.

Turns out we only went to three places but here are our findings:
McPhail's - this is a cafe where you order from an open window with outdoor seating. The roll was grilled, the lobster was chunky and abundant, with just a touch of mayo, a little lemon. It may be the best roll on the island.

The Oar - the lobster was good, maybe not as plentiful as one would like. The roll was a little dry, sad to say. Good beer at the Oar. Great place to watch boats.

Food Shack across the street from Bike Rentals on Water St. - a little too much mayo, and it had celery in it. Roll-to-lobster ratio was good.

Regarding source, I believe that there has been a lobster fishing ban in the Long Island sound for some time, so this was all Maine lobster.


  1. The place across from the bikes on Water Street was probably Rebecca's Seafood Takeout. Next trip you might also investigate Finns, by the Ferry dock.
    I bet Ballard's has a lobster roll too.

    Lobster is sourced from as close as possible - even from around the island.

  2. Now that I think about it, Block Island isn't a part of Long Island Sound and there is actually a Block Island Sound so my comment about the lobster being from Maine is most assuredly not entirely accurate.

    I'm from the mountains of Colorado, so fishing trends are a bit out of my realm of experience, admittedly.