Good Taste: Luke's Lobster

Lobster roll at Luke's Lobster, 130 S. 17th Street.
Lobster roll at Luke's Lobster, 130 S. 17th Street. (DAVID SWANSON / Staff Photographer)
Posted: June 14, 2013

Lunchable lobster rolls

The lobster roll is not indigenous to Philadelphia, whose signature aquatic specialty has long run to shelled critters of a different breed - the oyster and the snapping turtle. Local cooks tried to replicate the New England classic, often with comic result. In one instance, lobster salad appeared wrapped in a hoagie roll with its crust sawed off. Then in 2010, the Oyster House nailed it - succulent, poached lobster (tail meat and all) overflowing a toasty, buttered, top-split hot-dog roll. It set the pace, and a high price, $26. (Some competitors charged more!) This season, the 10-store Luke's Lobster crew has arrived with good news: a bargain-basement (it's steps down from 17th Street) model for $15. Our roll had been grilled ahead, its warmth gone. And the lobster - a smaller portion of wetter claw and knuckle meat - was cooked in Saco, Maine, and shipped fresh in bags of brine. Still, offered with a slick of mayo, lemon butter and celery salt, it's an honest, tasty lunch, a welcome newcomer among the city's gold-plated lobster-roll rolls.

  - Rick Nichols

Lobster roll, $15, Luke's Lobster, 130 S. 17th St. (near Sansom), 215-564-1415, lukeslobster.com.

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