So, if you do decide to go the fancy feast route for your lobster dinner there are plenty of expensive looking restaurants in Bar Harbor to choose from. And I recommend a dish that doesn’t require you getting up to your elbows in lobster.
Lobster Alfredo is a nice way to get the cream and butter fix that is mandatory with any lobster meal. But this can be made easily enough in the comfort of your own camper. You don’t have to get dressed up, with the risk of your fine duds getting messed up. It is a lot cheaper – and much more fun – to pick up your fresh ingredients at a traditional lobster pound. And whether you you eat off fine china, plastic, or paper plates is up to you.
When I decided to make René some fresh lobster pasta for dinner we went out from Blackwoods Campground in search of some homemade pasta, French bread, and of course, lobster. One question soon came to mind. Where on earth do Bar Harbor locals shop for groceries? We did find the Morning Glory Bakery off a side street in Bar Harbor, only to discover you must have to get there early for a baguette. While staring at a rack full of fresh smelling loaves, I was told by a hungover looking girl that they were for an order. All of them? Whatever.
We continued our search at the Alternative Market organic health food store downtown. We did find some good looking granola, fresh produce, and some Brie, but no French bread. We got the cheese, in hopes that our search would soon be fulfilled.
Driving off island to also find some diesel, we drove by a restaurant with “Bakery” in bold letters on their sign. It appears that bakeries on Mt. Desert Island specialize only in baking desserts. Perhaps that’s why the locals pronounce it Mt. Dessert. Whatever.
Onward, we continued our search. The restaurant bakery did offer their dinner rolls, but no French bread was to be found. It must be the San Francisco blood in me that yearns for that crusty, doughy sweetness to slop up my cream sauce. But on the East Coast, apparently dinner rolls are the thing.
We finally came across an IGA grocery store in Ellsworth. After one walk through the store though, we asked ourselves once again, “Where do the locals shop”? We had seen better selections in truck stop mini marts. Forget about finding some fresh made pasta. This place didn’t even carry boxed fettucini. We decided that if they had French bread, we would settle for boxed linguini and move on to the more important task of procuring some fresh lobster. And sure enough they did, Parisian or Colombo it was definitely not. But it would do the trick. Big bugs here we come.
Having passed a number of lobster pounds with steaming pots outside on our way to find the mediocre bread, we had our choice on the way back to Mt. Desert Island, where it turns out we coul’ve found diesel in Somesville had we only tried. But then we wouldn’t have been able to pick out our live lobster and watch it get cooked.
Lunt’s Lobster Pound had and authentic look to it so we stopped and asked for a two pounder for take out. Ya gotta love a place where they show the lobster before sending it to it’s boiling grave. Perhaps to give you a chance to administer last rights, but more likely to give you the opportunity to upgrade. Or take a picture. They know their tourists in these parts.
Slight Aside: They call it a lobster pound because it is where you will find plenty of live lobsters waiting out their final days. Like a dog pound. Not because this is where you will easily add on the pounds. Though that may be true if you frequent them often.
Big lobsters like this take about fifteen minutes to boil. And no, you can’t hear them scream. Unless you listen very carefully. We waited outside with Jerry by the steaming lobster pots and waited for ours to get pulled so we could snap a picture. While I wanted to take them up on the side of clarified butter for dipping, we passed since I intended to sauté this one up. Though I could have easily just downed it straight and risked cardiac arrest.
With the steaming bug wrapped in newspaper we were off to get some diesel for the truck, since you can’t visit Bar Harbor without driving the one-way Park Loop Road around the island numerous times. And what did we find at the Exxon in Somesville? No, unfortunately it was not biodiesel. They had nothing other than the fresh locally baked French bread we were searching for all along! Oh well, too late for that.
Once back at camp, I wasted no time cracking into the lobster. It had cooled down just enough to do it right, by grabbing it and breaking it in two. Unlike restaurant fare lobster which comes pre-cracked, your on your own to get to the meat in a take-out bug fresh from the pot. Just review my how to eat lobster instructional video and try not to eat any! Be sure to bust deep into the body cavity and get every last bit you paid for! Just dress appropriately and be prepared to clean up the aftermath.
If you’re the type that needs a recipe to make dinner, check out this selection RV cookbooks. Though I’m not certain you’ll find Lobster Alfredo in any of these.
I say, just go for it! Boil your favorite pasta. Fettucini works well, but I like Rigatoni as it holds cream sauce well, and it’s fun when the peas get stuck in the tubes. Peas? You ask… Sure! They add a bit of color to the dish, and you can pretend it satisfies your vegetable requirement for the meal. Anyway…
- After cleaning all the meat from your lobster, cut it up into small chunks and add it to garlic and shallots sautéed in butter and olive oil.
- When the pasta is done, strain it and add to it: the lobster meat mixture, a half pint of heavy cream, some thawed frozen peas, a bit more butter and a good grating of fresh Parmesan cheese. No kraft please.
- Stir until well mixed and creamy.
If you can resist sampling this long enough to put it on plates you are ready to enjoy dinner! Don’t forget to soak every last drip of sauce up off your plate. Preferably with French bread. If you can find any.