All lobster rolls delivered to your door are not created equal.

No, I have never been on a lobster boat. But, I did love living on the coast of Maine. The people. The ocean. Acadia National Park. The pace of living. And the lobster. You could literally see the Atlantic Ocean from the window of the hospital where my youngest son was born. Maine still remains my most favorite place to have lived and that’s saying something, having resided in “America’s favorite city,” Charleston, South Carolina, for almost two decades. And lobster is still my food of choice.

Yes, I have owned my own restaurants and have spent many years consulting for others. Having helped develop the menu for one of the Charleston area’s most popular seafood restaurants, I understand quality, freshness, appeal and value. 

Add those two facts to my love of food, particularly lobster, and you see why  I felt the need to set you straight on buying lobster online. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not difficult to find a decent lobster roll online. But if you’re like me, when you’re splurging for a lobster roll feast, your taste buds are thinking exceptional, not decent. Getting the best lobster and related treats delivered to your door takes a little bit of knowledge, so here you go.

There’s lobster and then there’s Maine lobster. If it’s not from the Pine Tree State, take a pass. If you’re not sure, do the work necessary to find out. Need some science? The best lobsters come from cold water explaining why Maine is famous for these crustaceans. Many online purveyors choose Canadian lobsters because the colder water makes for a harder shell lobster. That’s good for them from a sales and cost standpoint. But the meat is not nearly as sweet. For me, it’s a Maine lobster roll or I’m opting for takeout Chinese.

The best lobster rolls are made from fresh, not frozen, lobster meat. Of course, that’s more expensive, but when you are homing in on a treat meal, cutting quality won’t cut it. At least, for me. The best online lobster sellers offer fresh lobster meat, whenever it is available. That is also true if you are buying lobster meat by the pound from the convenience of your computer. 

Don’t get fooled by the number of lobster rolls offered in a pack. If you're thinking traditional New England-style split-top bun, you want a full quarter pound of lobster meat to make it worthy of your mouth. Don’t be fooled by those guys selling 6 lobster roll packs with the same one pound of lobster meat. You’ll have paid a lot of extra cash for essentially a few more buns.  

Don’t be fooled by a lobster salad roll. As a proud former Mainer, I know one thing, A lobster roll has just lobster meat and the condiments you choose. I’m a mayo guy. You might be a butter person. Just don’t get fooled. paying for some celery-infused lobster mix. If you like celery and onion or lemon, add it yourself…    to the 100% lobster meat you got delivered.

If you’re stepping up to the plate for a lobster roll feast, add some more “New England” to your meal. The meal has got to start with a spoon. I’m a ‘chowda’ guy; my wife insists on lobster bisque. Truth, be told, I could start with a cup of each. And we both love lobster mac and cheese. And yeah, small batch potato chips are a weakness of mine. I’m getting excited just writing about a Maine lobster roll meal.

Of course, no online lobster roll meal is complete without something sweet. Fortunately, I’ve had my share of whoopie pies, but that was way too long ago. If your go-to online lobster guy isn’t offering you that choice and saving you money in the process, you’re learning a hard lesson as you read this.

Is it worth a few extra dollars to step up to a lobster company that offers everything you’ve just learned? Absolutely. There’s premium steak and then there’s the “steak” that used to be offered at one of those pre-pandemic buffet houses that also often offered their version of lobster on Friday nights. Don’t be fooled. Fresh Maine lobster roll packs, including all the fixins, is the ticket. Go real, go quality or put a hot dog on that bun. That said, you know what I’ll be eating.