Sunday, September 27, 2009

Food Network to Feature Wellfleet Lobster Roll

On Friday, the Food Network filmed a show here on Cape Cod. The fortunate restaurant was PJ’s, down on Route 6. The dish: lobster roll. Now since it’s Cape Land & Sea Harvest (CLASH) weekend, I thought it might be a good day to mosey on down and have lobster for lunch. Service was quick and easy at the take-out window. My order arrived on a plastic tray, in a five-inch white cardboard container. There were no frills, nothing special. I retreated to the side terrace to savor my $15 purchase, while reading the Banner: “Last summer celebrity chef Duff Goldman was visiting the Outer Cape when he stopped by PJ’s Family Restaurant in Wellfleet for a lobster roll. According to Denise Reeves who owns the restaurant along with her husband, Don, Goldman was so impressed with the lobster roll that he wanted to feature it on an episode of ‘The Best Thing I Ever Ate,’ shown on the Food Network.”

I looked down at my cardboard container and wondered for a moment if Mr. Goldman might have chosen jumbo size, then read on: “When asked what makes their lobster roll get high marks, Reeves said they only use meat from the tail, claw and knuckle, and just a little bit of mayonnaise. ‘We also toast the bun.’”

Time to taste The-Best-Thing-a-Food-Network star ever ate. I took a bite and swallowed. One third of my roll was gone. I let the second bite roll around on my tongue for a bit longer, remembering the lobster roll I had eaten at The Juice this summer. How had it been described? “Succulent Maine lobster meat, tossed in a lemon herb aioli, on a grilled brioche roll”? I was already missing that lemon herb aioli. And, PJs bun was definitely not a brioche. What’s more, if my memory is correct, the lobster roll from The Juice was about twice the size and came with a bag of Cape Cod potato chips. The price was the same, but in my book, the lobster roll from The Juice rated far superior. Far superior? Nah. No comparison. It tasted yummy, with its hint of Provence.

I guess Mr. Goldman must have been really hungry when he pulled up at PJs … Now, had he spent the night at Chez Sven and asked where he could find the very best lobster roll in Wellfleet, I would have told him straight away. I knew The Juice made an extra effort this year because we had a guest who returned ecstatic, saying he had just eaten, and I quote, “the best lobster roll of my life.” Innkeepers do possess tidbits of local information like this one. All a Food Network star needs to do is ask the right person ...