Mentions of it are everywhere. Taunting me. On TV shows, blogs, in magazine articles. Talk talk talk, but to my knowledge, nowhere in driving distance of Pittsburgh, to be found: THE LOBSTER ROLL.
I have never before had a lobster roll. Never had the joy of biting into the meaty seafood, slathered in mayonnaise and spices, stuffed into a buttered roll, while lounging beachside. No, I grew up in a desert town, where all celebratory meals were held at The Olive Garden, because that was the only place in town available for such things. Special treats of the eastern seaboard were unknown to us. And the lobster roll unknown to me until this summer. Now it is all I can think about.
I first heard of a lobster roll on some travel show earlier this summer, where dueling restaurants in the same oceanside town (in New Jersey I think) each claimed to offer the world’s best lobster roll. Having never tried one, I didn’t have an opinion, but I was drooling in front of the TV set, promising my loyalty to whichever shop would get me a lobster roll the fastest.
Maybe it is the record low prices on lobster, or maybe the world is just obsessing over summer snacks, but I’ve gone from never having heard of a lobster roll before in my life, to feeling like mention of it confronts me everywhere I turn. And short of driving hours and hours and hours to a shore, I don’t know where to find one! (And don’t try to convince me to make it myself, I very rarely cook seafood or fish to begin with, and I know that trying my novice hand at this delicacy will just not be the same. Also, I recognize that Au Bon Pain offers a lobster salad sandwich, but for reasons I hope are obvious, that is hardly an acceptable substitute.)
Until I can get a roll in my hands, I’m going to continue my tortured dreams, wherein I stuff roll after roll after roll in my mouth, my belly puffed and full, and face greasy. Then I’ll wake up, so very sad, and nibble at a PB&J.
Pittsburgh, if you’re holding out on me, and there’s an authentic (or nearly authentic even) lobster roll to be found in your boundaries, please do share. Before my dreams of this sandwich drive me mad.