One of the pleasures of P.E.I. cuisine in the summer is a nice fresh lobster roll. Do you prefer them smothered in homemade mayonnaise on a buttered, toasted roll, or just naked chunks with a squeeze of lemon? Fries on the side, or chips, or salad?
We asked some Islanders for their top lobster roll picks.
Goin' back to Rustico
Musician Lennie Gallant splits his time between Halifax, N.S., and P.E.I., but Rustico will always be home. So it's no surprise his favourite place to dig in to this Island favourite is not far from where he grew up.
"If you want a lobster roll that's crammed full of the best and freshest North Shore lobster, head on down to the By The Bay restaurant in the heart of North Rustico," he said.
"This is a mainstay Rustico restaurant that's been around since I was a kid, though it used to be called Pete's Restaurant back then. They have always had great seafood there and you certainly get your money's worth these days, especially when you order a lobster roll. Don't know how you could do better!"
So that's how he fuels up for his show, Searching for Abegweit, Mondays through Wednesdays at the P.E.I. Brewing Company this summer.
Is anything more delectable?
She's more than just an aficionado of ice cream! Island-born Jessica Gallant is enjoying her second year playing Anne of Green Gables in the iconic musical at the Confederation Centre, as well as a supporting role in Mamma Mia!.
"I love the lobster roll at Richard's Fish and Chips in Covehead Harbour! It's cold style, super fresh, and you're overlooking the beautiful beach in the National Park! Definitely one of my favourite spots on P.E.I.!" she told CBC.
Gallant — no relation to Lennie — is having a really, really good year — the 24-year-old just got engaged, and in June she released her debut CD, a self-titled EP, and played on stage at the Cavendish Beach Music Festival.
The tech types at Charlottetown's TechnoMedia like to eat — so the web designers combined work and play to create a webpage called PEI Foodies, with the tagline , "A community of foodies sharing Prince Edward Island foodiness." It also has a Facebook presence.
"I love seafood. I could eat lobster every day," said the site's social media editor Curt Duckworth.
The best lobster roll Duckworth said he's ever had — and he admits to having had it it a couple times a week — was at the Peter Pan in Charlottetown, a well-known drive-up burger joint which closed several years ago.
"Dave's is pretty good, it's a little on the pricier side," said Duckworth, noting Dave's Lobster rolls come in different flavours — The Local, Some Fancy, Lobster Taco and sometimes a special feature. They're served with a dill pickle and a bag of potato chips and the lobster is fresh from the shell, not frozen. It's now in four locations: Charlottetown, Halifax, Saint John and Cavendish, P.E.I..
Duckworth also recommends the lobster roll right next to Dave's Charlottetown location, at The Chip Shack on the waterfront, run by the self-appointed Queen of Fries, Caron Prins. For just $11 including tax you get big chunks of lobster tossed with mayo on a hot dog bun and a giant helping of Prins's famous fries. "A bargain!" enthused Duckworth.
Duckworth also points out there's a promotional campaign in Summerside, P.E.I., currently called Go Lobster, and several of the restaurants have cooked up special lobster roll recipes that look appetizing to him. "Probably going to take a trip up there this weekend to try a couple," he said.
PEI Foodies photographer Heather Ogg recently snapped some shots of chef Ilona Daniel making lobster rolls aboard Northumberland Ferries for their Seaside Experiences program — Ogg voted these mouth-watering creations as her favourite, so far!
What you said
Islanders on Facebook responded en masse when asked to nominate their favourite lobster rolls: Chef Ross Munro at the Charlottetown Farmers' Market, Scapes in Borden, Mel's in Georgetown and Terry's Berries — the pink food truck parked near Peake's on the Charlottetown waterfront.
P.E.I. comedian Patrick Ledwell described one of his favourite things to do on an Island weekend is make his own lobster sandwich on the go.
"What we like to do is head out with rolls, mayonnaise and lettuce in a cooler. We buy unshelled lobster at Doiron's Fisheries or Gallant's in South Rustico, and then after some time on the beach, have our lobster rolls right there. Unbeatable," he said.