So I went to Fairway a few weeks ago for a big shopping. To prep myself for the aisles I headed to the back to fortify with a lobster roll.
After a brief wait, the staff member handed me not the usual paper plate on a cardboard tray, but a clear plastic clamshell. Inside was the usual cole slaw and chips and something small wrapped in white paper.
I looked down at it and handed it back and said "you forgot the lobster roll."
He handed it back and said "no I didn't."
I looked again and passed it back and said "yes you did."
He passed it back and said "It's right there."
I then opened the clamshell and unwrapped the skinny little piece of white paper. Inside was the usual toasted hot dog-shaped potato roll. It was empty.
I handed it back and said "You forgot the lobster."
He handed it back and said "it's in there."
I now pulled open the hot dog bun to find the merest trace of lobster meat. I'm not exaggerating when I say that it was so little salad that he was able to close the bun back up and it looked like there was nothing inside of it. All told I'd be amazed if it added up to the meat of a half of a single claw of a 1 pound lobster. Seriously, volume wise, there was maybe 6 times more bun than there was salad.
I looked up at him and said "You have *got* to be kidding."
He then told me that they were inspected and were told they could not give out more than 2 ounces of lobster meat.
I asked if he expected me to believe that the Department of Health placed a limit on the amount of lobster they were allowed to serve?
He then told me that it wasn't the Health Department that inspected them -- it was Fairway! Apparently Fairway wants them to give out no more than 2 ounces of lobster meat per roll.
He offered to add a "tiny bit more" but I told him that was ridiculous and never mind.
Bottom line, the best deal on a lobster roll is no more.
I'm fine with Fairway realizing that they were losing money on each lobster roll (though I like to think of it as a loss leader) but either own up to it and post a sign saying why there's no lobster in the lobster roll or just up the price so it's a proper lobster roll.
And the worst part? The way they tried to hide the change. Before it was an overflowing bun (though eventually a full, but not overflowing, bun) sitting in the open of a paper plate. Now it's a bun squeezed closed over the paltry meat, wrapped up in paper to hide the insult, and then closed inside a plastic clamshell. The only thing they didn't do is tape the clamshell shut!
So... shop at Fairway for a variety of reasons, just don't expect to get a satisfying lobster roll.