Friday, March 10, 2006

old port lobster shack

naked lobster roll at old port lobster shackMy friend James D. is a man of discerning taste and carefully chosen words, and his approval is hard to obtain. So, when I received an email from him this afternoon touting the lobster rolls at Old Port Lobster Shack (OPLS), it was clear where I would be having dinner this evening.

OPLS opened recently in a small strip mall off Veterans Blvd in Redwood City. For those familiar with the area, it is directly across the street from the Bay Area Bank building. Its décor is nautical and casual, and you order at the main counter. The relaxed atmosphere and menu items like a classic hot dog and the grilled cheese sandwich should make it a perfect place to satisfy kids while the adults indulge.

When Lisette and I arrived at OPLS it was 8:45. As it turns out, they close at 8p, but the amazingly friendly staff took our order anyway. We had a tough decision to make as OPLS offers both the classic lobster salad roll (with mayonnaise, lemon juice, chives, salt and pepper) and the naked lobster roll. To most accurately assess the quality of the lobster, we went naked.

Naked consists of a fresh, medium sized New England style bun, lightly toasted. A generous amount of large lobster chunks are added to the roll, and both drawn butter and mayo are served on the side. This lets you add just the right amount of your favorite fat to compliment the succulent lobster, and the result is fantastic. Their lobster approaches New England-coast-in-summer flavor.

The roll comes with chips and cole slaw that is quite authentic. And, to accompany the meal they offer a delightful choice of drinks. I tried Capt’n Eli’s Root Beer from Portland, Maine, but a number of other unique sodas caught my eye. The Capt’n came through for me with its wonderfully rooty flavor and a nice little kick on the finish.

It is rare that I am this enthusiastic about a place after only one visit, and I can’t wait to go back to sample more of their menu. I’m confident their “chowdah” is going to be a star, I have high hopes for the fish and chips, and I really want to try their bread pudding. But, mostly I just want more lobster roll.

When deciding whether to buy something do you sometimes look at the dollar amount and translate it into other units, like “it’s 20 CDs” or “it’s a trip to the French Laundry”? From now on my new price metric will be lobster rolls at the Old Port Lobster Shack .

Bonus link: The Undersea Adventures of Capt’n Eli

Old Port Lobster Shack: 851 Veterans Blvd, Redwood City, CA (650) 366-2400
Monday – Saturday 11-3 / Tuesday – Saturday 5-8


At 9:48 PM, Anonymous James said...

That's a good review, Paul. I'm glad you liked it.

FWIW, Julie and I went back tonight with the kids, and we've got some more information for your readers.

1) Once again, the lobster rolls were excellent.

2) The crab cakes are weak. They had too much breading mixed in. (Also, they were burned. But that turned out to be a customer service opportunity as OPLS stood tall and gave us a gift certificate...)

3) The clam chowder was great (as was the fish chowder I had the other night).

4) The place was mobbed at 6 on Saturday night. Last time we went later in the evening, and they were out of some items. Now I understand why.

So, after two visits, we heartily recommend OPLS, especially the lobstah and the chowdah. But we suggest you skip the crab cakes...


At 9:06 PM, Anonymous RD said...


Come back, come back....we have a better cake that will make your day. I promise.

Thanks for your kind comments...I'm tryin'


At 10:39 PM, Blogger paul said...


Don't worry. James has been back as have Joy, Mike and many of our friends. We really enjoy the Old Port Lobster Shack.


At 4:15 AM, Anonymous joy said...

Despite numerous visits, I still haven't managed to get past the lobster rolls to explore the rest of the menu: they are that good. I have to say that my first visit there was probably the worst, but based on the strength of Paul & James' recommendations, I went back again and was totally blown away. This has now become my favorite place to go for lobster rolls in the Bay Area. I'm personally partial to the Maine roll (though Naked is a fine choice as well): I think the chives are a nice touch, and all but once, the kitchen has used a light hand with the mayonnaise.

I like the bread pudding here as well. It's on the less creamy, custardy end of the spectrum due to a large surface area, but it's delicious nonetheless. The mud pie tasted like Trader Joe's and couldn't even compare...

At 5:05 PM, Anonymous Meg said...

Thanks again for the great suggestion. I passed on the info and your blog to my brother in law.
FYI: Good news for lobster lovers: OPLS just changed their hours. In addition to the hours you listed, they are now open Sundays from noon til 4:00.
Take Care,


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