79°Mostly Cloudy

Judging Restaurants – Luke’s Lobster

by Prince Of Petworth July 26, 2011 at 12:00 pm 48 Comments

Luke’s Lobster is located at 624 E St, NW. While they’ve been open a couple of months I finally had the chance to take a taste this past weekend. I’m not gonna mince words – this is the best lobster roll I’ve ever had in my life.

For those that know me, at times I can be a bit cheap frugal, so I take little pleasure in spending $20 (with soda, chips and tax) for lunch. It was worth every penny. While it’s a bit out of my price range for a regular lunch – whenever I’m absolutely craving a lobster roll this is where I’m gonna go.

You can see their full menu here. Has anyone tried some of the cheaper options like the crab or shrimp rolls? For other huge fans of lobster rolls – how do you rank theirs?

  • CornholioDC

    I’ve heard great things. Better than the Redhook Lobster Pound, huh?

    I actually like the shrimp roll at Red Hook, curious what folks have to say about that here.

    • Prince Of Petworth

      I thought it blew the lobster truck away.

      • rooty tooty

        disagree. lobster truck beat the pants off of luke’s tasetwise (and tail meat contentwise) in my book.

        • rooty tooty

          by tail meat i meant claw meat.

          • Anonymous

            Luke’s is wayyyyyyy better than the truck I thought. And I am from Maine. Actually, I thought it rivaled anything I’ve had in Maine

  • JMC

    “this is the best lobster roll I’ve ever had in my life. ”

    PoP has just revealed that he’s never been to New England — or Maine at least — or if he has, he didn’t have a lobster roll there. :)

    • Prince Of Petworth

      Hahaha – no I had one in Maine once! I was trying to remember which was better and I don’t know if I was just starving on Sat. but honestly it was the best tasting one I can remember.

    • victoria

      So every lobster roll in all of New England is made the exact same way?

  • Alli

    I tried Luke’s for the first time on Sunday, and while I liked it, I think Red Hook’s are better. BUT: I’ve never had a real lobster roll in New England, which for many people will invalidate my opinion anyway.

  • Terry Fuchs

    So did we ever find out if that Marvelous Market lobster roll is any good?

    • Sully

      I had the Marvelous roll today and it was good and the best price in town…$10. They actually make it to order and it’s on a toasted roll that is buttery like a croissant. Maybe not as good as Luke’s but it’s worth a taste. I’ll be back for my lobster fix in due time.

  • Liz

    Chiming in with a Mainer’s point of view, Luke’s Lobster makes the best lobster roll that I’ve had in DC. The lobster truck is good too, but I found Luke’s lobster roll to be a little more flavorful. There can be no real comparison to having a lobster roll on the Maine coast, but the guys at Luke’s definitely know what they are doing.

  • anti-mayo

    Does Luke’s do the Connecticut-style lobster roll in addition to the Maine-style?

  • Alan

    I have had both and Lukes is close to Red Hook but the favorite Food Truck in DC takes it for me. And I am a native New Englander who has had countless rolls throughout NE.

    Keep in mind that each place has ties to Maine and keep true to the proper Lobstah roll protocol.

  • the totten.

    Maine-ah he-ah, my .02: I also think that Luke’s is better than the truck, but the truck has decent whoopie pies and those were glaringly absent from Luke’s.

    And for those looking to travel, the best lobster rolls on the planet are at the Lobster Shack at Two Lights in Cape Elizabeth. I try to get there at least once per summer.

    • linda

      Don’t know what you mean. Luke’s has chocolate and red velvet whoopie pies.

      • the totten.

        red velvet whoopie pie?! sounds a travesty! there’s only one real whoopie pie… maybe they were out when i was there. i’ll check back.

    • Nikki

      Mmmmm, Lobster Shack…

    • Shaw Girl

      I will second your Lobster Shack recommendation….fantastic lobster roll and view!

  • Ryan

    OK, I grew up on the Cape (thats Southeaster Massachusetts for all you folks) and worked at the Lobster Pot while in HS. The Lobster Pot has been rated one of the best sea food places in all of New England.

    A true NE style lobster roll is just 4 things; Lobster (a chic size lobster 1-1.5lbs), lettuce, a hint (some say the essance) of Mayo and lastly a TOASTED hotdog bun! Thats it! Nothing else! No spices, no lemon nothing… And it costs about $17 up there so a $20 roll down here is not that bad.

    Im going to Luke Lobster today to try one and if its anything like that crap they serve in Gtown I will be very upset!

    BUT if its as good as you say it is, then THANK GOD!!!

    • Prince Of Petworth

      Uh oh, I think there were some spices…

      • Anonymous

        aaaaaaaaaaack! SPICES!!!!!!

        sound to me like a lobster roll needs some uncle brothers hot sauce.

    • SP

      Omg, the Lobster Pot! No, don’t get your hopes up. Luke’s will not rival New England, but was pretty decent for the Mid-Atlantic.

  • L

    I also thought Lukes was better than the truck. And I had the lobster bisque at Lukes and that was divine. Sure it’s pricey, but I’m not getting one every day…

  • Eli

    I’ve been twice and got the “Taste of Maine” both times (if you’re already shelling out $15, might as well go big!). I think it’s all very tasty and I probably prefer it to the truck. That said, I’m a southerner, so what do I know?

  • wats

    I was just on the cape for vacation…the best lobster rolls can be found at either the Chatham Bars Inn, or the Pier in chatham, as far as i can tell. both will set you back $20 – $25 but both are loaded with lobster meat, a touch of mayo, no seasoning (as noted above), and a toasted hotdog bun (again, as noted above). if you really love them, as i do, they are so simple to make at home. have your fishmonger (or grocer) steam them for you (b/c who really wants to murder his supper at home?) and take the 3 minutes to crack the shells and pull out the meat. viola! you can be eating a lobster roll for around $10 – $12!

    • Anon

      That’s a different “Cape.” I am a New Englander and have spent summers in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and also Chatham specifically. The Chatham Bars Inn is a great place to get a cocktail; it’s lobster roll is above-average, but not the best. And not as good as the ones you can get at BJ’s on the New Hampshire coast. Or in southeastern Maine. Meanwhile, I’ve had fresh seafood from the Pier, but never one of their rolls…

  • DC

    #1 Luke’s
    #2 Truck
    #2 (tie) BGR (really good but not authentic; also too much sauce)

    Marvelous Market version is cheap but terrible..

    • amethystdeceiver

      what about the Panera one? i bet it’s the best of the bunch!

      • Anonymous

        does potbellies have lobsters rolls?

        • Anonymous

          well, does they?

  • Richko

    Had my 1st-ever lobster roll a few weeks ago at Hank’s Oyster Bar on Q St. (which I loved, BTW) How does that compare with the real thing, whether f/Maine, Luke’s, or the truck?

  • jimmycrackcorn

    This real Mainah who is lucky enough to go to Maine at least once a year if not 2 or 3 times NEVER has lobster outside of Maine. All of these examples in DC cannot be as fresh as right off the boat, and it never costs more than $10. So just on principle alone i will never pay $20!! for a day or two or older one here. I can wait.

    • Anonymous

      that’s why i never ever ever suggest mexican food for visiting so. californians or pizza for new yorkers.

      • elcal

        Um, we northern californians also have Mexican food. In fact, when you get a “burrito” pretty much anywhere that’s a chain, you’re getting a bastardized SF Burrito.

        • Anonymous

          usually ya’ll don’t bitch about it though. should i reconsider?

          • elcal

            Really? We don’t bitch!? We’re bitchier than the south! I have been bitching about no real taquerias (among other things) for every day of the 8 years I’ve been on the East Coast. Are these out of towners from Norcal really from Norcal?

          • Anonymous

            hahaha. i’ve been misled.
            i’ve edited my black list to not inviting ANY californians ( or texans) out for mexican.

            no mainers out for lobster

            and no one thats from anywhere to go out for bbq.

            ; )

  • Kustie the Klown

    I can’t really do the lobster truck. I usually don’t have a free hour to stand there looking like an idiot, waiting in a line.

  • mrinonymous

    Just had the crab roll this afternoon. Def a good sandwich, just doesn’t fill me up, which at 5-10, 170, is another way of saying its somewhere between a snack and a meal. At least they included the pickle, instead of charging separately for it, which is apparently more than 6th & Rye can say.

    Not cheap, but a nice addition to the neighborhood.


  • New London Boy

    OK, here’s my vote. I’m from southeastern Connecticut and the truck gets my vote for its Connecticut-style lobster roll (warm lobster with butter). That said, I tried Luke’s lobster roll today and it was very good, but the real star of the show was the clam chowder – excellent! Now if Luke’s will only start selling regular Coca-Cola I’ll have my perfect lunch of chowder and a Coke.

    • Anonymous

      When you’re home: Ford’s or Abbott’s?

      • Early Times

        I too am from CT…Abbott’s is bomb!

  • Sully

    I really wanted to like BGR’s lobster roll (11 bucks)but the lobster meat tasted not so fresh. I also am untraditional because I like celery salt or chunks in my lobster roll and that’s where you get into lobster salad territory which I prefer.

  • Dcd

    I am in Maine right now (sadly, at the airport to return from my annual lobster gorge-fest). Eating a lobster roll without being able to see the water is just wrong. As the Mainah said, I can wait. It’s worth it.

    Re some of the other posts: the CT version is an affront to God and man. And to the Mass. poster – there is no freaking’ lettuce on a lobster roll. Ever. You’ve described a sandwich. Why not have some ketchup on it as well?

  • Qzie

    Ok, so here’s the deal from a RI girl. I ate 5 rolls over 4th of July weekend, so I speak from recent memory:

    Lobster roll:

    Buttered and grilled NE hot dog bun (crusts cut off–had never seen one before I moved to Boston)

    Note: The buttering and grilling is VERY important

    Lobster salad should be about a 1 1/4 lobster worth of meat lightly, every so lightly held together with mayo.

    No odd spices, no DILL, no LETTUCE!, no brioche, no messing around—a perfect lobster roll = nirvana.

    Honestly, I don’t think you can get a really good one here–a good one consists of a lobster fresh out of the ocean, and well guys…that’s a little hard to achieve.

  • Tres

    Frugal = a survival skill when you’re not working a day job. There’s always that paranoia that the next season/year is when everything falls apart.

    But spoiling yourself occasionally is a must. Lobster!

  • Ryan

    last weekend my wife and I went here after we read the posts and it was probably the best roll in the area. But you can tell the meat wasn’t as fresh as the ones back home but oh well. I don’t understand why these restaurants that sell lobster dont invest a few hundred buck on a tank!

    And there is lettice in a lobster roll! it keeps the meat from sogging up the bun! It shouldnt be cut up though, just a nice sized leaf acting like a membrane keeping the meat in place and the bun in tact. Maybe its a Cape thing but it works like a charm and the crunch always helps.


Subscribe to our mailing list