Location: 12 E Cedar
Cost: About $17 per person
Grasping on to the remaining few straws of the freedom between fourth year of medical school and intern year, I decided to take advantage of a nice day and grab some lunch with Arif and Jeremy. We were up for a little walk and headed north into the Viagra Triangle. There's this new lobster roll spot that replaced the Ashkenaz Deli that we wanted to check out... Da Lobsta.
What used to be a Jewish deli with hanging meats and little nick nacks everywhere has now cleaned up into a polished lobster roll dispensary. They have the same tiny patio out front, which is where we sat. The service was quick and the other diners were ridiculously high maintenance as is to be expected of that part of town. The cost is up there for lunch in general but not necessarily for lobster rolls. With a drink and a bag of chips, you're looking at upwards of $15. I'm not suggesting you go to Quizno's for your lobster rolls or anything, but don't come looking for a cheap bite.
Jeremy and Arif both ordered the Traditional Lobster Roll and I went with the daily special, the Lobster BLT. The traditional roll came on a soft buttery brioche bun with large lobster chunks in plenty of butter. By no means was this a mayo heavy lobster roll. The bun had a subtle sweetness as well that went great with the butter off the lobster. The BLT was delicious (and gone from my plate in like 10 seconds). The toasted bun was extra buttery, and the bacon played well off of the lobster. I felt like for the few bucks more, I got way more sandwich. All of the sandwiches came with coleslaw which was by far the worst part of the meal. It was soggy and way too acidic. I just had this picture of some giant vat of slaw in the back of the restaurant.
The Traditional Lobster Roll
The Lobster BLT
If you have proper cost expectations, Da Lobsta serves a solid lunch and a good variety of lobster rolls. I want to go back and try some of the crab or shrimp options on the menu. I was just in Maine for a wedding, and those rolls trump Da Lobsta by quite a bit, but this was pretty impressive for what I've had in Chicago. I'm giving them 3.5 out of 5 Pearls.