There's been a decent share of griping on this board about the ultra-cheap lobster rolls at Charlie's Kitchen in Cambridge. Thought I'd give them a fresh try and provide a report.
Cole slaw (this normally comes with fries, but they're the usual generic frozen variety, so I substituted): very good, with a bit of body to the sauce, moderate crunch to the cabbage, and a solid pepper bite.
Lobster roll -- bread and other stuff: top split hot dog rolls are used, slightly smaller than standard size. They default to not grilling the rolls, but will gladly do so if asked. A small amount of lettuce lines the bottom of the roll before the filling is added. Generic, but perfectly OK, assuming lettuce is acceptable on a lobster roll -- I'm fine with lettuce as long as it isn't a lot, which is the case here.
Lobster roll -- filling: if your ideal is all large lobster chunks with little else added, you'd need to try elsewhere. The filling might be best described as "lobster salad," with some larger chunks, but a predominance of small meat shreds, in a moderate amount of mayonnaise with small pieces of chopped celery here and there. They're actually very generous with the amount of filling provided. And as far as I can tell, it really is lobster, not a fake substitute.
Given the price of $9.95, it's a very good deal.
Service: hash house style friendly and prompt. No complaints here.
The biggest drawback to this place is its cleanliness, which is not for the squeamish. Not to mention that everything is pretty worn. It is what it is, a dive with lots of local color, decent food, and bargain basement prices.
Personally, I like the place. And my definition of lobster roll is sufficiently broad to consider it a specimen worth getting, especially for the price -- though I'm aware not everyone may agree.
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