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Real People. Real Advice.

The Best Lobster Roll in Maine
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On scenic coastal Route 1, there is a rather famous red shack that serves lobster rolls from a window overlooking the bridge and sparkling Atlantic waters. That lobster roll is good. Like, very good. Like drive across the country just to have one on a perfect sunny August afternoon in Maine. But I have a secret. There's one that's better. In this Insider's humble opinion, the lobster roll at Patty's Seafood Takeout is the very best in the state.

You need to exercise patience and the ability to delay gratification to keep driving past Wiscasset and into Newcastle/Edgecomb. But once you reach Patty's you won't have to wait in a long line. It's a scenic, green and gorgeous spot. It's a little white trailer with a few picnic tables on a lawn by the side of the road. There are the usual fried attractions, but I exhort you to stick to the plan.

Order the lobster roll, which comes with a little bag of plain potato chips and a pickle spear. I like to get a can of root beer. But you don't have to. Second thought, order root beer; it is the best accompaniment to lobster meat. Seriously. And Patty's lobster roll is overflowing with meat. Like an entire 1 ΒΌ lobster. Some will inevitably fall from the roll and you can eat that with your fingers or a fork. It's a simple mayonnaise-and-lobster salad filling on a butter-toasted, split-top bun. Quintessential Maine food.

So it's the quantity, the simplicity, and the quality. Every time I've been to Patty's the lobster meat is sweet, incredibly fresh, and cooked to toothsome perfection. It's pure and subtle and tastes like the ocean. The interplay of textures and temperatures – cold salad on warm bun- also contributes to this being the ideal Maine lobster roll. But then, there's something more. Something extra and ineffable that I can't quite articulate but will attempt to explain.

Patty's is about a mile from the ocean, so you can't see the water but you can feel it, smell it. The landscape is shaped by coastal temperatures, tides, and wildlife. It seems a slight breeze is always blowing. The white steeple of an old New England church is visible, as are wildflowers and beyond that nothing but trees. When I envision Patty's with my mind's eye, all I see is green. I feel the wind and taste the sea.

It has taken on mythic proportion in my imagination. Even though I am now lucky enough to live within an hour of the humble food cart, I always worry it will disappear. But Patty's is always there, reassuring, in spite of occasional protestations about selling. I still can't believe I get to live in a place brimming with natural beauty, a place that is tranquil and slowed down. It's outside of time but I get to be here now. And I eat amazing lobster rolls whenever I want. Get to Patty's Seafood Takeout as soon as you possibly can. Trust me.

Quintessential Maine Foodies

Jillian & Malcolm Bedell

Their fascination with food and cooking has helped them to become experts in traveling off the beaten path to find Maine’s many hidden treasures. We’re talking quirky restaurants, shops and all sorts of oddities. This young couple has a knack for being carefree, outgoing, and genuinely likeable. Keep up with Jillian and Malcolm at fromaway.com.

Editor's Notes:

Route 1 is a major north-south U.S. Highway on the East Coast, from Florida to the northern tip of Maine, in Fort Kent on the Canadian border. The Maine portion of the highway wraps along the smooth southern coastline, the rocky coast and mountains, up to the green farmlands of Arookstook County. Along the way there are historic towns and seaports, state parks, Acadia National Park, antique shops, notable forts and lighthouses, and of course many seafood restaurants and lobster shacks.

Patty's Seafood Takeout is located on Route 1 in Edgecomb. With outdoor dining and healthy sized portions, this is a genuine Maine experience. Hours may be seasonal and weather dependent, so call ahead. If you wish to try the other famous lobster shack, go to Red's Eats in Wiscasset, which is famous for its antiques and considered the prettiest village in Maine.

Newcastle/Edgecomb is located in the Mid-Coast region of the state. The area is a true representation of classic Maine, with rugged beauty, tasty seafood and restored historic architecture.

Edgecomb Potters gallery and studio is located in Edgecomb, with shops in Portland and Freeport. Using native Maine products and materials, everything is hand made and unique, so you can bring a piece of Maine home. While they specialize in pottery, they also work with glass, metal and wood.