September 6, 2014
Profiles of Maryland Restaurants
I wanted to find out if Mason’s Famous Lobster Rolls was out of place in Annapolis, Maryland, where crabmeat is king.
As my lunch companion and I were contemplating the possibilities in front of the chalkboard on Main Street, a woman leaving the restaurant caught my eye and said, “It’s really very good.” She recommended the signature “Maine Classic Lobstah Roll,” exactly what I planned to try.
We ordered at the counter, both selecting the Combo No. 1 — a lobster roll with a side of coleslaw (other choices are potato salad or chips) and a cold drink for $14.
The menu at Mason’s is concise; it fits on an 8.5-by-11-inch flyer. Diners can choose from lobster, shrimp and crab rolls. Or have it without the actual roll, served over mixed greens with tomato instead. Two soups are available: New England Clam “Chowda” and “Lobstah” bisque.
Mason’s offers a variety of soft drinks, including Moxie Maine Root Soda, a favorite in New England.
The menu lists a couple of options for kids, including grilled cheese or Nathan’s all-beef hot dog. However, a boy about 8 years old was very happily chowing down on a lobster roll when we visited.
Information posted on the wall notes Mason’s lobster meat is caught exclusively by two boats based in Portland, Maine, and is certified sustainable by the Monterey Bay Seafood Watch Program.
We headed to a window table to enjoy the activities on Main Street, but didn’t have to wait long for our orders to arrive. Our combos were delivered in red baskets with black and white checkered paper lining.
At first I thought the portions looked small, but we quickly discovered a generous amount of lobster packed into the toasted “hot dog” type roll, known as a New England roll. My companion grew up in Vermont and said this was the most lobster he had ever seen in this type of sandwich.
The chunks of meat tasted very fresh with a hint of lemon. If you prefer the lobster salad variety tossed with mayo and celery, that item is also on the menu.
Our lunch was delicious and filling, leaving no room to choose from several desserts or the special of the day: blueberry cobbler cupcakes ($2.50). Our consensus was yes, there is a place on Main Street for authentic lobster rolls.
188 Main St., Annapolis
Reprinted from Chesapeake Inspired, September 6, 2014, written by Lois Villemaire.