The Cape Elizabeth Lighthouse is a popular roadside stop along the Atlantic Coast. Besides offering postcard views, it is home to the original location of Bite Into Maine, one of the state’s highest-rated purveyors of lobster rolls. Bite Into Maine is a handsome little silver food cart on a windswept hill (don’t let your napkins blow away). It’s just around the corner from the Lighthouse and a collection of some lesser lunch trucks.
Bite Into Maine offers a small menu of lobster rolls and lobster based sandwiches. Since a lobster roll is a simple sandwich filled with a rich, expensive protein, it seems like an easy thing to get right, but it’s not. Many manage to flub it.
Bite Into Maine’s rolls are more expensive than some other coastal shacks, but they’re generous with the lobster, and we think that the quality of the rolls is worth a few extra dollars. The lobster is juicier than normal and the locally-baked bun is toasted perfectly buttery (using Cabot Creamery butter).
The Maine-style roll has just enough mayo to hold the lobster together but not enough to get on your lips. Fresh chives are a subtle but well-appreciated addition on top. Those wanting more dressing can get it picnic-style which includes coleslaw. We like our lobster as simple as possible. The wasabi and curry mayo rolls may be popular, but we wouldn’t dare.
For purists like us, the Connecticut-style roll is the only other acceptable option. Typically these are served with hot lobster, but given the limitations of the stand, the lobster comes chilled and topped with drawn butter to finish. This doesn’t hinder enjoyment at all. Chilled lobster and warm butter is a great combo. You just have to eat it quickly before the butter sets and becomes sludge.
Both versions are scrumptious. For us, Maine-style rolls are more comfortable to eat, but we love the flavor of butter on lobster. The correct choice may depend on your willingness to get a bit of butter on your chin.
Why not make it a full Maine-course with a bottle of Moxie soda pop and some Cape Cod potato chips?
If Cape Elizabeth isn’t on the itinerary, there are other locations of the truck at the highly recommended Allagash Brewery in Portland, and at its commissary in Scarborough. The commissary location is open year round should you have trouble finding a lobster roll in stormy weather.