‘Rock Lobstah’ in Cambridge offers an appetizing alternative to the Md. Blue Crab in our crustacean cousins to the north
I’m convinced Dr. Pepper pairs well with everything. So far I’ve been right. I sat at the gingham covered table with my husband at Rock Lobstah in downtown Cambridge, sipping my glass of preferred soda and perusing the menu. I’d been here once before with my kids. My son ordered their grilled cheese and it came out as slices of white bread coupled with a dipping cup of cheese. I thought it was unusual but I took a ‘mom’ bite (you know, the bite mom always takes from their kids’ food—just to make sure it’s not poisoned or anything). I was taken aback by the burst of flavor. And I had my mind set on that deconstructed grilled cheese when hubs and I pulled up to the gingham throne, our seats by the street-facing window.
Turns out the grilled cheese was a kids-only menu item. Oops! Quick change of plans. We’re in a place called ‘Rock Lobstah’ so why not try some lobster? I have actually never had lobster before. I’ve eaten my body weight in crabs five times over in the 16 years I’ve been with my husband. His weekly crabbing trips yield a bountiful summer of Maryland blue crab feasts, so the basic concept of eating shellfish was not foreign to me.
We decided to share their Wednesday special, the clawsom steam pot. It was an abundance of seafood and potential pairings; two Lobstah Claws, a pound of clams and mussels, half a pound of steamed shrimp, kielbasa, Old Bay butter corn, and potatoes.
I thought I should do the adult thing and order some alcohol. My mom drinks Chardonnay so that felt like the right adult choice.
The food was delivered to the table in a small, galvanized tub. Each food was separated into its own little pile. There was a tiny cup of cocktail sauce and a cup of butter. I grabbed for the lobster claw right away.
I dug in with the tiny fork. I took my first bite of lobster and it was delicious. I kept going back into the claw for more meat, and it felt like I was digging in the wardrobe to Narnia or Doctor Who’s Tardis because meat just kept coming out as though there was a portal to endless lobster in there.
My eye caught the butter cup. My mind flashed to commercials of a popular seafood chain where slow-motion lobster was violently dipped into melted butter, and I thought ‘Ooh, I want to do that.’ I dipped a bit of meat into the cup; lobster and butter, what a classic pair. But, I much preferred the lobster meat on its own. When I took to Twitter to share my observation, it was conveyed to me that well-cooked lobster doesn’t need to be dipped in anything.
I sipped my chardonnay. It was crisp and refreshing and tasted better with the lobster than the butter had.
I was stoked to dig into the Old Bay butter corn next. I’m not a native Marylander. Old Bay was a new thing to me when I moved here 17 years ago. I’m convinced there are Marylanders who’d bathe in Old Bay if it were socially acceptable. The corn was top-notch. It was sprinkled lightly with Old Bay but flavored wonderfully.
My husband requested horseradish. He dipped his steamed shrimp in and gave his seal of approval. He also used Texas Pete hot sauce the waitress provided. He reported that the Texas Pete was really good with everything, especially the clams.
The kielbasa and potato inclusion in the steam pot at first seemed an odd choice but I gave it a shot. While I know I was enjoying seafood in a seafood place, the kielbasa with the potato was the clear winner for me. I found that the kielbasa was so flavorful I didn’t need to add anything else to it.
Both the Chardonnay and Dr. Pepper worked with everything. (Although, they did not work together which probably surprises no one.)
With the mussels, clams, and shrimp, I alternated pulling them from their shells and popping them in my mouth. The steamed shrimp had a sprinkling of Old Bay which paired with the corn as well.
The best pairing of the evening, however, was my dinner date. Nothing beats a flavorful and well-cooked meal with a partner.
** Unfortunately, Rock Lobstah has recently closed its doors **