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The Wiscasset Lobster Roll Trap

At the bridge in Wiscasset, Maine traffic is always stopped in summer.  Why? Over the last fifteen years, the Boston Globe and New York Times have written multiple articles extolling the virtues of the lobster rolls at Red’s Eats, a food shack perched there.  Here’s today’s line winding around the building, 35 deep:

Most of the folks in this line are visitors looking for an experience of the “real Maine.” If you’re planning on visiting Maine and looking for a “real” Maine experience, here’s a tip: when you mention Red’s Eats to most people in Maine, they won’t wax rhapsodic. Most people here just screw up their faces and ask what the big deal is. Then they’ll rattle of a few other places they say have good lobster rolls. The conversation usually ends with confusion: “it’s just a lobster roll.”

They’re right: lobster rolls aren’t tricky. Lobster meat + onion & celery (sometimes) + butter + (sometimes) mayo, on a bun. The miraculous Red’s Eats lobster roll is a media myth.

If you find yourself in Wiscasset and you want that taste of Maine, look across the street to Sprague’s, where the lobster roll is just as good and the lines are a heckuva lot shorter:

Better yet, meander off Route 1 and follow your nose. That experience is a whole lot closer to what Mainers do here anyway.

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