Real Lobster Rolls For Philly?


Yup. That’s how things are looking right now, with the scheduled May 16 opening of Luke’s Lobster at 130 South 17th Street. And everything that’s got me excited about this place is plain in that picture right there.

Thing 1) They got the roll right–a flat-grilled and buttery, squared-off New England hot dog bun.

Thing 2) A lobster roll is supposed to be filled with lobster. Not lobster salad. Not lobster gunked up with a bunch of celery chunks and other filler. Just a little mayo on the bun, maybe–maybe–a little butter drizzled over the top and NOTHING ELSE. Anyone who does it different is doing it wrong, and Luke’s (apparently) is doing it right.

Thing 3) That lobster roll is sitting on a plank table with no tablecloth. As the lobster god intended.

Stuff that isn’t in the picture? A $15 price point (no, really). The sustainable lobsters (they’re coming from Luke’s own seafood company in Maine) and the fact that, when I told a couple of my New York friends that Philly was getting a Luke’s of its own (it’s a small chain, with locations in New York and Washington D.C. and a truck, which is my next wish for Philly), they all made that “Awwwww…” sound in the backs of their throats and told me how lucky I was that I wasn’t going to have to schlep all the way to Amsterdam Avenue for a fix.

Luke’s Lobster [Official]

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  • Scotty

    I had the roll at Pennsylvania 6 last night….it was pretty outstanding…neck and neck with Oyster House

  • Wow, $15 isn’t that bad. They’re between $8 and $13 in Maine depending on where ya go.

  • Fact Checker

    You’re a fuckin’ idiot, Sheehan. There are many different incarnations of the lobster roll in Maine, some with mayo, some with nothing but butter, etc. How about you stop trying to pass off your idiotic opinions as fact before someone starts to believe your ill-informed self.

  • Zoogz Rift

    To go along with Fact Checker… there are very distinct regional styles of lobster roll throughout New England. I’ve has lobster rolls straight off the dock in a few New England ports and most are very different.

  • Sheehan Sucks

    So all the old school places in Maine that mix in celery are serving ‘false lobster rolls’? bullshit. Sheehan blows

  • Alimentarian

    The best kind of lobster role uses Friday clams instead.

    • Alimentarian

      Fried clams

  • They’re really good.

    As for the rest of you get a sense of humor and pull the rod out of your butt.

  • DARN! I JUST threw away my Luke’s Lobster Frequent Diner card because I figured I’d never fill it up if it meant going to New York to do it.

  • Supashoppa

    Philly has recently gotten a lobster truck roll and its pretty good and reasonable prices ( I haven’t had Luke’s, so I can’t compare) @surfturftruck

  • Try the rolls at GlenMorgan Grille at the Radnor Hotel. They are very similiar, including the toasted roll, as you describe above.

  • Robin

    I live in central Maine where yes indeed, you can get a lobster roll for under $15 and double the size of the typical ‘hot dog roll’. I agree with Jason that the real and best Maine lobster roll is made with mayo only, on a buttered and toasted hot dog bun. No lettuce, no celery, no butter. It is often served naked with butter only on the same type bun at various restaurants. This is not considered typical.

    I also agree that the Oyster House has a great lobster roll and I have given my compliments to the chef on more than one occasion. They know how to prepare and serve seafood!
    All that being said, lobster should be enjoyed as you like it…with additional condiments or not, just eat lots of it!

  • There is a seafood truck in Philly that does various incarnations of the lobster roll called Surf & Turf. I actually had it for the first time today. I went nontraditional and it was pretty good but kind of small for what you pay for. But then again, it is lobster.