A warm spring weekend welcomed the film crew of the Steve Harvey Show to The Clam Shack in Kennebunkport, Maine. Locals piled in to taste the prize-winning lobster rolls and to support the owners in their continued success. Film crews interviewed long-term customers who shared their traditions: Their remarks sounded resoundingly similar; “It’s the food! The view! The quality!”
The Clam Shack is no stranger to nationwide coverage: Its food has garnered attention on the Travel Channel’s Food Wars, Tasting Table’s Lobster Roll Rumble and The Food Network’s Will Work for Food.
Owners Steve and Jeni Kingston have upheld the long-standing traditions of The Clam Shack. The lobster roll recipe dates back to the restaurant’s inception in 1968. The rolls are made a Reilly’s bakery to the Kingston’s specifications. They are split, toasted and topped with piles of lobster tail, claw and knuckles. Customers choose the topping: butter, mayonnaise or both (referred to as “competition-style”), along with a wedge of lemon. It’s the dual combination that has won the roll the title of “People’s Choice” two-years-running.
“We keep it simple and really fresh,” states Steve Kingston. The family works exclusively with local lobstermen and prepares the meat on-site at the neighboring, Clam Shack Fish Market.
Lobster rolls elicit a passionate response from Mainers, who exhibit a sense of ownership over the iconic snack. Purists like the roll, meat and a simple topping such as butter, mayonnaise or lemon juice. Anything green, e.g. lettuce, celery and herbs of any kind is frowned upon. The Clam Shack’s lobster roll has a decidedly good chew, sweetness from the meat, richness from the butter and mayonnaise, and brightness from the squeeze of lemon.
The Clam Shack’s lobster roll is worth the visit. Don’t be dissuaded by the lines at this popular bridge-side haunt: they move quickly and the view of the river is incomparable in Kennebunkport. (The people watching is well-worth the wait too.)
The Clam Shack is open seasonally, from May to October. Call 207.967.3321 for details or visit them online.
We would love to know what you think makes a good lobster roll. Please share it below!