After a charming day in Rockport, a picturesque sea town in Massachusetts, I was naturally hungry for some good ol’ New England fare: a lobster roll. Taking the advice of my freshman year roommate, a Rockport native, Will and I headed to The Lobster Pool for some seafood. It was a quick, but pretty drive outside downtown, and when we pulled up, seemed like the right decision from the outside. But that’s always been a problem of mine: I tend to judge books by their covers, meaning I set my expectations high for this one.
The menu, hung above the cashier, was straightforward. Fried, fried and more fried seafood. Plenty of lobster, calamari, oysters, clams, shrimp, haddock, sole, scallops and more prepared any way you want, that is, if you want them fried. We chose to get our seafood fried, and settled on the “Mini Fisherman,” a plate full of assorted fried seafood, and a lobster roll. After ordering at the counter and paying, we waited patiently for our food to arrive.
It looks great, doesn’t it? We thought so, too, so we eagerly dug in. And that’s when it all slowly went downhill. The seafood would have been great, had it had flavor. The fried food wasn’t even salted, making it as bland as could be. And though the seafood tasted as fresh as could be, the thick batter masked those fresh flavors. The lobster roll, while impressively made of mostly lobster meat and no fillers, lacked sweet, lobster flavor. The meal’s only saving grace rested in its tangy, sweet tartar sauce. After dousing the seafood in it, everything seemed to taste better. Except that’s not how it should be.
Maybe The Lobster Pool is better in high season. Or maybe we were there on an off night. Or maybe my expectations were too high, and I set myself up for disaster. Or maybe, as much as I don’t want it to be, The Lobster Pool just isn’t that good. I’d be willing to go back, because I want to love it. That is, if I’m ever in Rockport again.
The Lobster Pool, www.lobsterpoolrestaurant.com, 329 Granite St., Rockport, MA, 978-546-7808