Favorite Maine Lobster Pounds
Posted 21 May 2002 - 02:00 PM
----- From 5/15/99
As I prepare for a clam and lobster trip up the New England coast, I thought I'd open a thread on lobster pounds.
Besides the Sterns' well-known choices (Abbott's, Beal's, Chauncey Creek, Five Islands, Nunan's, Ogunquit, Two Lights) and the ever-popular Lobsterman's Coop and Robinson's in Boothbay Harbor, my own very favorite is the Muscongus Bay pound at the left rear of the parking lot at Round Pond, near Pemaquid Point, Maine (the more distant of the two establishments that share the lot, though, for all I know, they may be under the same management). It's simple, uncrowded, inexpensive, and, at least as of last summer, nearly perfect for a casual outdoor waterside meal of steamers, lobster, and corn. You may, if you wish, pick up beer, wine and/or bread in Damariscotta on the way out. Shaw's pound nearby is also perfectly fine, but somewhat overcrowded and touristy; Shaw's also sells a variety of fried and other foods. For what it's worth, one of the locals claimed that Pemaquid is the optimal spot on the coast for trapping lobsters, due to an abnormality in the Gulf Stream that makes its waters especially chilly.
The Muscongus Bay pound was sold a few years ago and has been slightly enlarged. As of my visit last year, however, the new owners had not ruined it.
Other pounds culled from other venues: Thurston's Lobster Pound, Bar Harbor; Trenton Bridge Lobster Pound, near Bar Harbor; Waterman's Beach Lobster Pound, Rockland; Young's Lobster Pound, Belfast.
Any other opinions or suggestions?
Edit: Fixed a typo ("opinions").
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Posted 21 May 2002 - 02:39 PM
Posted 21 May 2002 - 04:21 PM
I've found Shaw's to be a good, reliable, Maine name. Back a couple of scores or so, during my first 20 summers which I spent at Sebago Lake, we bought what we could from Shaw's General Store in South Casco. Great selection of comic books, ice cold Nehi, and Old Settler's bread. Since then, I've happened accross the Shaw name all along the coast, selling this and that. Never been disappointed. Beale is another one of those Maine names. There are a bunch of them selling lobster along the coast. Last year when I rented a cottage in Jonesport, I was right next door to a lobstering branch of the Beale family tree. Didn't even have to drive into Jamesport, just leave a note on their door.
As to Lobster in the Rough, agree on Noonans - also enjoy the Cape Porpoise Lobster Company in the Cape Porpoise area and the Lobsterman's Coop in Boothbay Harbor. Harraseeket Lobster in Freeport is fine, if you manage to avoid what can be a multi hour wait. Had one of my best lobsters in Round Pond, though I think from was at the place closest to the parking lot. Carman, Buddha and I, a few sea gulls, a setting sun and a couple of two and a half pounders.
While it's no challenge finding a mediocre Lobster Roll in Maine, I think it is much more difficult to find a mediocre lobster from a Maine Lobster Pound or other in-the-rough establishment. The only exception, and that has to do with ambinece not lobster, is where the tourists outnumber the sea gulls. But lobster pound for pound, the lobsters in Maine seem to be consistently good.
I'm also a fan of the Bush family's favorite haunt, Mable's, in Kennebunkport. But that's a restaurant and up there in price. Ambience can be a problem there too. My last time at Mable's I had to share the dinning room with Ken Starr.
You mentioned clams. So far my favorite Maine clams come from Allison's, a restaurant in Kennebunkport. The Clam Shack, on the River in Kennebunkport is great too (horrible lobster roll though). Also quite good is the NY Times favorite clam shack, the Sea Basket in Wiscasset.
Wiscasset is a tough town to hit on an empty stomach. Chowder and Clams from the Sea Basket and a Lobster Roll and Hot Dog from Red's.
Posted 21 May 2002 - 04:31 PM
These clams were shucked an hour before I ate them.
Posted 21 May 2002 - 05:37 PM
It is definitely unfair to show those luscious fried clams to a Bostonian who is on the West Coast. Does anyone know where to get them out here?
Posted 21 May 2002 - 07:40 PM
It's directly opposite the side gate to the Naval Air station, and I've personally observed huge bags of takeout moving into the base, probably on their way to Turkey, Korea, or some other place beyond Fatso's usual marketing...
Posted 02 June 2002 - 05:43 PM
My new favorite is Waterman's Beach Lobster in South Thomaston ME. I may have been influenced by their having received a James Beard Regional Classic award, but I think it was the setting, the 2 pound lobster that had to weigh in closer to 3 pounds and the home made rhubarb pie.
Posted 12 June 2002 - 05:58 PM
-- Favorite Twilight Zone cookbook