There is no table anywhere with as dramatic a view for lobster-eating as the bare wooden picnic benches at the Lobster Shack. They are at the water’s edge, on a flat patch of sandy land between the take-out counter and huge rocks where the ocean splashes in, framed by a pair of lighthouses at the entrance to Casco Bay. When the sea is rough and wind is gusting, a fog horn sounds nearby and a fine mist of salty air blows across your meal, causing hot lobster meat to exude puffs of aromatic steam as you crack claws, vent the tail, and unhinge the back.
Beyond very good whole lobsters, the menu includes some pretty fair fried clams and onion rings, a lovely lobster roll dolloped with a dab of mayonnaise, lobster stew, and clam cakes. For dessert there are Yankee puddings and pies and the unique Downeast chocolate-crème sandwich known as a whoopee pie (but here spelled whoopy pie).
Indoor seating is available, but as far as we’re concerned there is no point in coming to the Lobster Shack unless you plan to eat outdoors.
The food at The Lobster Shack is good, in fact very good, but you can find better along the Maine coast. It’s not an undiscovered gem. In fact, there always seems to be a long line at the order counter. And the prices are a little higher than what you’ll find further up the coast, more in line with the nearby city of Portland. So why do we think The Lobster Shack is required eating for the visiting Roadfooder?
The Lobster Shack, in Two Lights State Park, has the most stunning setting of any place we’ve eaten in the state. Outdoor picnic tables sit next to the craggy, rocky shore. The sound of crashing waves is always present. A lighthouse is visible just over the restaurant, and the foghorn periodically sounds. Gulls are perched on the roof of the shack. You’ll likely encounter a very brisk seaside breeze. We’d probably visit the Shack if it served McLobster and Mrs. Paul’s. But it’s much, much better than that.
The whole-bellied clams are crunchy and saline, accompanied by serviceable fries and nice slaw. Lobster stew is always dependable, and a couple of the strange local clam cakes might go well with it. These chewy round discs are a little like clammy pre-fab hash browns. There’s a nice selection of pies, cookies, and puddings with which to finish your meal, but we can’t resist the chocolate cake sandwich filled with white creme-oid called whoopy pie.
Crunchy clams, whoopie pies, and the crashing surf: how great it is to be back in Maine!