lobster-shack-at-two-lights

The Lobster Shack at Two Lights

Lobster Shack on UrbanspoonThe Lobster Shack at Two Lights feels idyllic. As you ascend the stone steps, sided white buildings come into view, and picnic tables perched between lighthouses, metal sculptures spinning in the wind, and the ocean, wide and blue, spraying the driftwood rock. We went for the first time on the Fourth Whoosh! of Baroom! July. Oh Crash. It wasn’t very crowded and the weather was fine. What a day at the seashore we had.

It wasn’t long before we were inside the narrow shack ordering, then sliding down past dessert and soda machines to wait for our number to be called. There were plenty of tables inside but it was stuffy and outside the sea beckoned. Malcolm’s lobster roll was of the mix-the-blob-of-mayo-yourself variety, of which we had long been wary. As it turns out, it is not so taxing a process as we had imagined and the sandwich was buttery and delicious, filled with an appropriate amount of lobster meat. Not that one should complain of a surplus of such a sweet delicacy, but it can be alarming, getting poked in the nose by a flaccid claw while tail meat falls out the other end of your bun. Not so at The Lobster Shack.

The haddock boat was satisfying, though you can go ahead and skip the limp fries and cole slaw, which was far too saccharine for my taste. Tasty fish, though, firm and well-battered. Their tarter sauce was somewhat bland and lacking relish, but that didn’t at all stop me from scraping my drugstore fries in the dregs of the plastic cup. And, oh, the strawberry rhubarb pie. My sweet lord on a biscuit. Deeply candy-colored red filling, bursting with fruit, covered in fresh whipped cream on a toothsome crust, this was a hearty slice of pie damn good enough for Special Agent Dale Cooper. It tasted like America. Which tastes like freedom. And fruit. And the Continental Congress.

What more could you ask for? What else can I say? It all all that I hoped it would be. Go today, go right this second, if you can. Leave your home or office, flee swift to your car, and don’t look back. Roll down the windows, let your left hand skim the wind and sing out loud to radio songs as you drive East, toward the Atlantic. If you aren’t in Maine or near it, I’m sorry. The Lobster Shack at Two Lights on the rocky shores of Cape Elizabeth is liberty, with lobster for all.




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  1. JKG

    Overpriced. If it were a “real” restaurant, you’d say that it depends on its ambiance to make up for mediocre chow. No seafood shack on the east coast has better ambiance, however.

      • Malcolm

        I dunno…$3 bucks for a cup of clam chowder? $3.50 for a cheeseburger? $13 bucks for haddock and chips? $14 for a lobster roll? Maybe it’s a LITTLE overpriced, but it doesn’t feel like any more of a Summertime gouge than anywhere else. And I agree, it is amazing how much better a sunny day and a little spray from the Atlantic can make the food taste…

        • Ohforgotssakeeverydamnwestiewantsaname

          It’s not overpriced if you’re a tourist. If you’re a Mainer, then why are you having someone else cook your lobster for you? It’s bad enough you don’t have your own lobster trap.

  2. Erin

    Completely overpriced!!! Much better lobster rolls to be had! The last time I went there they charged me for a cup of tap water!!! You won’t get the ambiance at Susan’s on Forest Ave, but you’ll get one hell of a lobster roll at an excellent price that is heads and tails above The Lobster Shack!

    • Malcolm

      The idea that eating a lobster roll on Forest Avenue is anything at all like eating a lobster roll at Two Lights is a bit of a head-scratcher. A lobster roll at Susan’s is $11, last time I checked. So what we’re looking at, here, is a $3 scenic lighthouse surcharge. I’m happy to pay that.

      • Erin

        I’ll pay my $11 and drive over to Two Lights and eat it there – I got my ambiance and a better lobster roll – problem solved! LOL! Heck, I can eat a lobster roll in my jammies in my basement and it’s still going to taste fantastic. I don’t need the ocean in front of me to enjoy it…but that’s just me apparently!

  3. stu

    I live in virginia, own restaurants and can make a perfect lobster roll anytime I want. I plan on heading straight to TLSATL after we disembark at PWM with my family in a couple of weeks. One of the children has never been to Maine, so this is the perfect spot to take them for lunch. Great roll at Fisherman’s Grill too, but my favorite in the state is still Clam Shack in Kennebunk Port, in spite of it’s round roll.

    • jillian

      nice stu, will have to check out the clam shack. my home town has a clam castle…so, we shall see how the shack stacks up.

    • Buffy

      I make the best lobster roll in my own kitchen, as I come from a very foodie family and can make nearly everything better in my own kitchen. However, I ate at TLSATL on Fathers’ Day with my husband, sharing a fisherman’s platter (whatever their name of the full clam, scallop, shrimp and haddock dish is called) for $25, and then we went to Bob’s Clam Shack in Kennebunkport on the Fourth of July where we shared a Half and Half, a choice of two items (clams and scallops) for $25. I’m from Maine and have lived and eaten all over country. I don’t find either very touristy attraction to be overpriced, and we found the food to be very good (I’ve eaten at both places many times, but these were both my husband’s first experiences). My daughter loved her lobster roll there a few weeks earlier, and we found it in line with many other restaurants in the area, both in terms of quality and price. I’ve also eaten twice at the Naples Lobster Pound on Route 302 in Naples in the past week, and have spent a decent amount of money on their twin lobsters, and also on their lobster special ($28.99 each), and found both experiences to be well worth the money. I highly recommend it, but if you’re looking for ambiance to make up for the fact that you could have bought two lobsters for $13 at LaRochelle’s and cooked them at home, you’re not going to find it with their old wooden booths. I love to patronize local businesses, though, and I love to eat lobster. I’m looking forward to my next visit to the Red Barn in Augusta, too, and I’ll be happy to pay what they charge as well. They have the added benefit of deep fried veggies to go with my seafood, and I can’t get enough of them.

  4. tara.

    i lived in portland for about 2 years in the 90s, and two lights was one of our favorite places around (along with the good table in cape elizabeth…not sure if that’s still around). one of the most beautiful places on earth. one of the best memories i have is going there in early april when it first opened for the season while it was still dark and grey outside, sitting inside with the little lanterns burning, watching the waves and eating lobster :). heaven!

    and having eaten several $20+ lobster rolls on the cape in recent times, i think $14 for a lobster roll is damn near cheap. :)

    • Malcolm

      Hahahaha…agreed. One of the (many) privileges of living in Maine, is that you start to regard $14 as being way, way overpriced for a lobster roll. :)

  5. Nell

    Love TLSATL! I agree that the ambiance (even on a lousy day) is worth any extra cost. And don’t forget, you can BYOB if you’re so inclined! :)

  6. Kevin

    I gotta say, I was completely underwhelmed by their lobster roll and I am a tourist! The scenery was great until it began pissing rain on us. Anyway, after the hype of their lobster roll and then the accompanying disappointment with said roll makes me wonder if I’ll find a lobster roll I will like up there. Going back in August, so maybe I’ll try again…

    • jillian

      Kevin,

      When at Two Lights go for the haddock or clams. Next time you’re in Cape Elizabeth/South Portland check out the Bite Into Maine truck in Fort Williams Park.


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