Look, I was never a lobster fan. Sure, I occasionally enjoyed steamed lobster dunked in melted butter, but being from Oregon, I was partial to Dungeness Crab. And then it happened. It was summer on Martha's Vineyard and we pulled into the parking lot of Larsen’s Fish Market to buy some items for dinner and, on a whim, I ordered a lobster roll. I proceeded to devour it in its entirety and then march right back in and order another one declaring that THIS would be my dinner for the evening. And as they say, the rest is history. That moment was nearly 20 years ago and since then, I’ve scoured high and low to find what I deem the world’s best. So as NY Mag released their summer issue this week, it thrilled me to see this article:
How a Lobster Glut in Maine Has Democratized, and Energized, Crustacean Cuisine in New York.
By Benjamin Wallace
When Ben Sargent was 6 years old, he devoured a two-pound lobster, so impressing his parents that they let him eat a second. He polished it off with a glass of milk. That night, he projectile-vomited on his 4-year-old cousin, with whom he was sharing a bed. “It was like a bad horror movie,” Sargent, now 32, recalls. “He was running down the hall screaming, just coated in pink lobster. I swore I’d never eat lobster again, and look at me now.”
We’re in his tiny, low-ceilinged basement studio apartment in Greenpoint, surrounded by lobsters and other watery memorabilia: surfboards, fishing rods, and water skis; signs from a neighborhood chowder shack he used to own; pictures in frames he made out of lobster claws; a fish tank aswim with tailless mutants the local pet store gives him.
Sargent was to the water born. His father is a Woods Hole science writer and former director of the Baltimore Aquarium, and his grandfather was head of fisheries in Massachusetts. Though Ben came to New York eleven years ago intending to be a sculptor, after surfing in the Rockaways and finding the urban-ocean incongruity thrilling, he gave in to his birthright. He launched Hurricane Hopeful (his former chowder joint), an Internet radio show called “Catch It, Cook It & Eat It,” and, last year, the Brooklyn Fishing Derby. And since the beginning of the year, inspired after interviewing the owners of the Red Hook Lobster Pound on his radio show, he has been running a self-consciously underground lobster-roll business out of his apartment.
Tonight, as we talk, he periodically glances at his BlackBerry and reads incoming texts. This is how orders are placed. Sargent only gives out his number after screening a new customer through his Brooklyn Urban Anglers Association page on Facebook. A text comes in from Yana, a regular who drives from Brighton Beach for her fix: “I want to satisfy my lobster-roll craving.”
Read the rest of the article here
And for the record, my favorite lobster roll in NYC is this beauty from Pearl Oyster Bar.