Boston, MA– Being from New York I’ve always witnessed the rivalry between New York and Boston, mostly when it comes to sports and I’ve just never been able to relate. But when it comes to food, that’s something I can weigh in on and I have to say, I think Boston wins when it comes to the lobster roll and trendy ice cream sandwiches. I’m sorry New York but I’ve just never been a fan of how expensive you can be (Boston is expensive too, I know). But New York can’t always be the BEST at everything, it just can’t, it’s not possible and sometimes honestly it’s just not worth it (i.e. trendy noodle bars with sub-par ramen, over-priced under-sized tacos, NYC tacos and apartments seem to work the same way, and I’ll just stop myself now before I get a bunch of proud New Yorkers all rowdy). I will give NYC this, in my opinion, it has the best halal food scene, an incredible Chinatown, and a blossoming barbecue community that I’m enjoying watch unfold.
Anyway, back to the lobster rolls. In NYC, the cheapest lobster roll I’ve seen is about $16 but the average is closer to $19. Don’t get me wrong, they’re all pretty tasty (some have more mayo/butter vs. lobster meat than others of course) but I just can’t bring myself to justify that cost for the amount of lobster you’re really getting in a hotdog bun. You can get a whole lobster for a bit more of an investment. 1-3 lb lobsters go for maybe $8.99 to 9.99 per pound and let’s be honest they don’t put a pound of lobster on your roll. We all know we’re over-paying for a lobster roll, or at least I hope we do, or maybe some just don’t care, which is fine. There is a luxury to eating a lobster roll in Manhattan. Like wow I’ve made it, I’ve arrived, I’m eating tender, succulent lobster in a bun in the streets of New York City. While some lobster fisherman is chilling at home like “the joke’s on you guys, look at my new house!” as we realize we have just enough cash left for a subway ride after our delicious lobster roll. The only thing that changes that feeling for me is I don’t give a damn and I’d rather be the lobster fisherman chillin’ in his new house so I usually pass the lobster roll stand and grab a box of chicken & lamb over rice at a halal food cart for $6.
But Sullivan’s in Boston changed that for me. At $10.95 (plus tax) and loaded with quality lobster meat and a little mayo/dressing their lobster roll felt fair. Although I was probably still paying a decent mark up in price, it felt worth it and I could eat it guilt free. Pair that lobster roll with their Raspberry Lime Rickey and some fried shrimp (jumbo AND perfectly cooked) and eat down by the water. On the way back into downtown Boston stop for some ice cream at The Cookie Monstah truck by the harbor. They have some killer combinations already on the menu but you can also combine any cookies with all their ice cream flavors. For $4.50 you get 2 huge cookies and ice cream sandwiched in between. This is definitely the best value as the cookies are already $2 each so you might as well get some ice cream in there.
So next time you’re in the Boston area, have an open mind, try their lobster rolls, eat their ice cream, walk their clean streets, get lost on their confusing roads, and who knows maybe you’ll like some of it as much as I did. If you’re from New York, maybe just keep that part to yourself unless you want to make it interesting and get into a brawl.