I need to make some changes in my life and am going on a major diet. So this is my last post and I wont be responding to it.
On my way back from a brief vacation this weekend, I stopped by Old Port Lobster Shack as a farewell to the restaurant scene. The angels smiled on me and what a grand finale.
This is everything a home sick New Englander dreams of. Theres a link below to a previous post from someone who went when they opened. My experience was almost nothing like that. From what they said, there were opening pains.
It was worth a detour on a rainy day. It would have been worth a drive from my home in San Pablo to Redwood City and back in the rain in traffic.
They bake their own New England Style hot dog rolls. That alone is worth the trip.
The outside of the roll is properly buttered and grilled. The inside is stuffed with lobster in butter, the good part of the lobster with very little claw meat.
Sea Salt is a pale comparison. This is not a California lobster roll. It is the real thing and deeply satisfying to this New England ex-pat. Actually there was more lobster in there than most rolls back home.
The also have FRIED CLAM ROLLS with IPSWICH clams. Am I dreaming or what? Unfortunately, they were out of Ipswich clams. The plane was flying them in today. I said Id come back tonight the lobster roll was that good so the owner checked the arrival of the plane due to rain it was delayed. Tragic, just tragic.
They also sell Caspers hot dogs with natural casings which have nice grill marks and are served in those buttered New England hot dog buns. Wow, the rare Bay Area dog that isnt steamed.
I would like to have plain yellow mustard for the dogs though. They have Beaver brand sweet hot mustard which was actually good, but I still would like the classic mustard. Some relish would be nice too. And if its not too much trouble, some hot sauerkraut as an option. At that point, we are practically talking Jimmys in Connecticut. Trust me. Jimmys has great dogs.
There was a nice selection of condiments on the table. A bowl of little bags of Westminster Oyster Crackers baked in Vermont, Four Monks Malt Vinegar, Heinz Catsup, red and green Tabasco sauce.
The menu changes every day depending on availability of seafood. Today a dozen oysters were $10. It was $6 for half a dozen. It said blue point wellfleet oysters on the whiteboard.
They have a great wine list at reasonable prices served in stemless wineglasses similar to the Riedel glasses. Not Riedel, but they were nice.
What really was impressive to me was when I asked what the best wine for the naked lobster roll was, they called over the manager who gave it some thought and selected a wine that matched very nicely. You dont get that in Connecticut lobster/clam roll and wine pairings. This is an approved improvement IMO.
The link is to their menu is below. Today they didnt have all of the lobster roll options, only the Maine roll which is mayo based and the naked roll which is butter based. In my neck of the woods, the lobster roll with mayo was called lobster salad, not a lobster roll.
So, I cant speak about what the poster below was anticipating out of the Maine roll. I do know that the roll itself has changed and the portions are generous. The manager is really nice and would be open to feedback if the roll wasnt how they made it in a particular corner of New England.
They have some different sodas like Moxie and some other soda with a parrot on it. As the other poster mentioned there is draft beer, but I wasnt paying attention.
I dont know enough about wines, except sparklers. They had two available today that I havent seen before:
Segura Vludas, Spain
Argyle Brut, Oregon
Momokawa sake, Silver dry was another option. Todays approximately 50 wines (half of them offered by the glass) not only included California wineries but those from Australia, Spain, France, New Zealand, Italy and Argentina. Price by bottle ranged from $11 - $57. Half were in the teens, the rest in the twenties. Three bottles were over $30. The most expensive at $57 was the Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon 2001 from the Sonoma Valley
The owner, didnt catch the name, is from Portland Maine and graduated from the same Boston College that I graduated from. His wife, who is a co-owner is from Palo Alto.
They were really nice people and we talked a bit about New England and future plans for the restaurant. They said they were still working out the opening kinks. The manager was watching all the orders. He stopped by all the tables to chat with people about how they liked the food without being overbearing. He is just a really nice, likable person.
They said that there are plans to expand the menu fish and chips are coming. They did have a fried haddock plate today for $12.75. It was a generous serving and looked good. The menu is printed every day.
They had steamed whole lobsters ($26) or sautéed lobsters ($28) that are served with homemade fries and slaw. Cant speak about the fries.
My order came with thick house-made potato chips that had a nice Maine potato flavor. I actually liked them better than the Sea Salt chips. They had more taste. Sea Salt wins for the slaw though. It wasnt the crisp kind and not traditional. There was a nice paper cup of bread and butter pickles. Nothing fancy, but the right type for a lobster shack. There was another little cup of melted butter if more was needed. And a little cup of mayo just in case you were from the parts of New England that required that. A few slivers of lemon garnished the plate.
The clam chowder was ok, a potato based puree with shredded clams and a few larger potato pieces. Not the traditional sort. Im not really sure if there were some pieces of white fish in there too. I was thinking of it more of a fish stew than clam chowder.
I must be imagining things, but I thought a previous post had a description of the restaurant so I didnt pay much attention. Orders are placed at the counter like a real lobster shack and a delivered to the table. There are nice wooden picnic tables. It is very comfortable. There is plenty of parking and large windows in front.
It is really an easy access from the freeway, but not really visible from the street. Take the Redwood City Whipple exit and continue straight. That is Veterans Boulevard. Signs are clearly marked. It is on the same side if the street as Kmart in a little strip mall. They have a big white truck with Old Port Lobster Shack painted on the side that was parked on the street. Still I passed right by the first time. I meant to note more markers, but I was in lobster roll bliss after lunch and forgot.
If I wasnt going on a diet, Id organize a chowdown. Maybe some of you will get together and slurp a cherrystone clam for me.
I hope this will get some of you to give this place a try. Cant vouch for everything, but it really looks promising.
The manager said they were filled last Friday night and doing pretty good business. On the drive home I was having lobster roll dreams that if Fish in Sausalito doesn't make it, the first branch of the Old port Lobster Shack would locate there. The perfect food in the picture perfect location.
As for the diet thing. I really have no willpower. Reading Chowhound and trying to diet has resulted in numerous failed attempts last year. Really wish I could say Chowhounding and dieting worked for me. Theres always some interesting post that tempts me. Need to go boring for a while and regroup.
So please dont respond to my leaving in this thread. I wont read it anyway. Going cold turkey, so to speak and turkey WILL be involved, and oatmeal and salmon and produce and sardines. As good as it will get is Teance tea.
If you havent bought your Chowhound guides yet, be sure to get one. If you dont subscribe to Chow News do it now !!! If I ever lose this weight, I want a Chowhound to come back to. If not, I know youll all be eating deliciously.
If you see someone in the Bay Area that looks like Julia Roberts a year from now that will be me.
Anyway, Ill be happy if this generates some chat about the chow rather than the hound.
Old Port Lobster Shack
851 Veterans Blvd
Redwood City, CA
Hours (it's a new place so call to be sure)
Closed Sunday and Monday
Tuesday - Saturday: 11 - 3 and 5-8