Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Linda Bean's Lobster Cafe - Restaurant Review

I must admit it was curiosity that drove me to try Linda Bean's Lobster Cafe at the Portland International Jetport in South Portland, Maine. My husband and I had often passed her former location on Exchange Street in the Old Port, peering in through the windows, marveling at the sheer lack of customers. Never did see an actual diner in there.



Lo and behold, the Exchange Street location closed sometime last spring, and the LBLC reopened in the brand-spanking-new section of the PWM airport. Truly, as one of the Hungrygals, I felt it a moral imperative - not to mention a drive to satisfy my aforementioned curiosity - to give the LBLC a shot.

The menu is, as you can imagine, crustacean-heavy: lobster quesadillas, lobster roll, lobster salad and chilled lobster tail on a bed of greens, to name a few. Linda's also offers other fare, like burgers, sandwiches and soups, but hey, you can get that stuff anywhere! If you're gonna eat at the LBLC, you must have the lobster.

I ordered the lobster sliders, three mini-lobster rolls served on grilled, buttered rolls with a side of "kelpislaw" ($17.99). Now, cynic that I am, I expected the lobster to be dry or stringy, something that happens when lobster is frozen, even if only for a day or two; however, this was not the case. The LBLC must either use really, really fresh lobster, or they've perfected a way to freeze it without toughening the meat (since they sell live lobster right there on the premises, I presume it is the former). Each roll was stuffed with a generous portion of Maine's other-white-meat, juicy and tender, with just a tiny bit of mayo and a pickle on each sandwich. Deeeelicious!

The "kelpislaw" - which I noticed on the menu was a trademarked term - is a very light, sweet, vinegar-based cole slaw made with cabbage and yes, real Atlantic ocean kelp cut into thin strips. Although I'm a Mainer, I've only had dried kelp before, a salty, crunchy snack product that I didn't care for in the least. But this fresh kelp accented the cole slaw beautifully, lending a crisp and savory flavor to the sweet slaw. Outstanding. When I asked, the waitress told me the trademark was necessary because Linda Bean had plans to market and sell "kelpislaw" up in Freeport (perhaps she already is). If so, I'm buying!

Overall, the meal was excellent and I wolfed down every last speck of lobster and "kelpislaw" on the plate (although I did leave the last bun so as not to overstuff). Total bill, which included a diet soda on the side, came to $22.02. The waitress was prompt and very friendly.

Not sure what was going wrong at the Exchange Street location, but I'd be surprised if Linda Bean's Lobster Cafe doesn't become a huge hit at the jetport. Absolutely, unequivicably, two thumbs up for the LBLC!

Sorry, no doggie bag this time. Perhaps if I weren't leaving on a jet plane, I would've brought the furry 'gals some lobster (yeah, right).

No comments:

Post a Comment