BY NICOLE MANCINI
Maine seems to be the new hotspot for travelers and foodies alike. According to this month’s Travel and Leisure issue, Maine is the second most searched U.S. state on TravelandLeisure.com so far this year. Anthony Bourdain recently did an episode on the state, featuring the epic cuisine of local fishmongers and the abundance of restaurants in Portland. But for those of us who can’t make the trip to this lauded destination, Luke’s Lobster of New York City is providing us with a taste of Maine.
Luke Holden is the owner and mastermind behind this lobster goodness. He grew up in Maine; his father was a lobsterman and is currently the owner of Portland Shellfish. Everyday they bring fresh lobster from the shores of Maine to the concrete jungle. For just $16.00 Luke’s offers their signature lobster roll, your choice of Miss Vickie’s chips, a pickle, and Maine Root soda (yes, the soda is from Maine too!). This lobster roll does a lobster proud. While other lobster rolls shred the meat down to nothing and lather them in mayo, Luke’s lets the lobster take front row center. Chunks of it are stuffed into a buttered, but not over buttered slice of bread. There is a smear of mayo on the bread and on top are pieces of bright red lobster-left in chunks so big that the claw is still in tact, and sprinkled with secret seasoning. They also offer shrimp and crab rolls- I had the latter which if you’re a crab lover- this is the roll for you.
To end things on a sweet note, Gifford’s ice cream is available, and you guessed right, it is also from Maine. I’ve tried the award winning Chocolate Lover’s Chocolate and Sweet Maine Blueberry two great flavors that live up to their names.
I recently was chatting with a couple that vacations in Maine every summer. I asked if they had tried Luke’s Lobster, and they said eating a lobster roll outside of Maine is ‘sacrilegious’. But I told them, ‘No, Luke’s brings the lobster from Maine and the owners are from there!’ to which I received a look of ‘Hm, maybe I’ll go against my religion.’ And right you should, because they are damn good.