After reading numerous tantalizing posts about this place here, I managed to maneuver yesterdays work trip to the Peninsula so that my work mate and I found ourselves done with our duties, hungry and on Jefferson Ave in Redwood City around 2pm. I was hell bent on a lobster roll. She wanted chowder. She doesnt even like lobster and shes from New Englandgo figure.
They were out! The kid at the counter said they got slammed last night and I was about to blame it on the Chowhounds until I remembered it was Valentines Day. Gamely regrouping, we settled on splitting the fish sandwich and each having a clam chowder. Thing was, the nice young man at the counter (that makes me sound old) said the lobsters were flying in just now and theyd have them that night. But when I went to the restroom, I spied a tank with 6-8 lobsters in it. I guess they only want to cook a mess of them up at once. I told him I was apt to reach in there and grab one for myself. He was kind and funny and knew all about the posts on this board. He assured me that this doesnt happen often. A big concern for me since I live in San Francisco.
On to the food:
Chowder: My friend pronounced it delicious and authentic. On our way there, shed said, it better NOT be all thick and gloppy. I pronounced it the best Id had (Im not from New England). It was thin and buttery with large tender chunks of potatoes, generous, meaty slices of bacon and plenty of sweet clams. A shot of Tabasco made me swoon.
Sandwich: Again, perfect! Perfectly fresh, perfectly battered to a crisp, perfectly golden, perfect size. The bun was perfectly toasted and the tartar sauce, coleslaw, single slice of crisp ice burg lettuce and delicious fries showed the same rare attention to detail. Sadly, its difficult to consistently find such a well-made sandwich. Each bite was balanced and the whole thing just got more delicious with each morsel. Eating only half left me wanting (but not needing) more.
I love this place. The décor is kitschy and great. And its strip mall location makes it seem more special. If I hadnt been here Id tend to agree with all the talk about eating local, but the food here is so carefully made and so good, pure deliciousness wins out over politics in this case. And I havent even tried the lobster roll. Yet.
Was that a fellow chowhound who walked in with great purpose looking for lobster rolls around 2:15? I had a feeling.