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Society Bites: Linda Bean’s Perfect Maine Mainly Lobsters – Now in Delray Beach

October 29th, 2009 · 11 Comments


Linda Bean's Perfect Maine, Delray Beach

By Thom Smith, columnist

Thom Smith

Thom Smith

You won’t find a commercial fishing boat within five miles. No barnacles cemented to pilings on the docks, alternately exposed and hidden by the daily tides. Nevertheless, a new aroma on Atlantic Avenue in Delray suggests a little bit of coastal New England.

In recent weeks, the air has become filled with the smell, quite appropriately, of lobster, dispensed from an airy hut reminiscent of the shacks in Kennebunk and Wicasset.

Welcome Linda Bean’s Perfect Maine Lobster Roll, the second outside of Maine. Its creator, Linda Bean, hopes to do with lobster what her grandfather L.L. Bean did with the outfitting business – make it a national phenomenon. By the looks of business at the grand opening last Thursday (Oct. 22), the housewife-turned-lobsterwoman is on the right course.

Starring: the Lobster Roll!

Linda Bean's 1/4 pound lobster roll

Linda Bean's 1/4 pound lobster roll

The showcase dish is a lobster roll: a quarter pound of claw meat (no tails, no fillers) on a soft bun, with a secret herb topping, a little mayo, bread and butter pickles (no dills please!) and crunchy chips on the side. The price is $15.50, but Bean notes, none is fresher. She flies it in daily from her docks on the Maine coast. “You get what you pay for, all fresh claw, no celery or onion, just lobster.”

Also on the menu: shrimp, crab, stew and chowder, hot dogs, salads, smoked turkey club or chicken salad panini, grilled cheese, salads, Maine-made beer and sodas, wine and desserts, including Maine Wee Whoopie Pie.

For Ex-Patriated Downeasters

Why Delray? Well, she found a lot of New Englanders who made the area home, and she already knew something about the place since grandpa spent his golden years in Deerfield Beach.

“I’m really on a mission for lobster,” Bean said, explaining that she’s trying to develop new markets for lobstermen and new tastes for consumers. “Lobster is considered a luxury food. It doesn’t show up on weekly menus. I want to change that. It’s a great source of protein; it’s not fried.”

Amato’s bread the “real Italian” thing

John Amato and Linda Bean

John Amato and Linda Bean

And a special tip for die-hard Downeasters: The bread comes from Amato’s the oldest bakery in Maine. More than a century ago in Portland, the Amato family began making “real Italian” sandwiches. Now the business includes 12 company stores and a growing franchise operation. Don’t be surprised if Amato’s, too, gives the area a try.

“I’m impressed by the area,” said the bakery’s General Manager John Amato, who flew down for the grand opening. “I’m amazed at how many people came up and said they remembered us from up home.”

Linda Bean’s Perfect Maine Lobster Roll

  • 200 E. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach
  • 561-276-2502; www.lindabeansperfectmaine.com
  • Open daily. Hours: Sunday to Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p..m., Friday and Saturdays, 11 a.m.-midnight.

Tags: The Eat Beat: Restaurant News · Thom Smith's Society Bites · Uncategorized

11 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Ben Starling // Oct 30, 2009 at 11:05 pm

    I am thrilled to see Thom Smith writing again!

    Linda’s Lobster Roll looks wonderful. I have yet to find another establishment in this area that serves anything as fresh as what this appears. Cannot wait to dash down to Delray for one.

  • 2 Taylor // Nov 3, 2009 at 10:21 am

    Ben – PLEASE post your review. I’m dying to know what others think.

    Thom…did you actually taste it? HORRIBLE. She should be ashamed. It’s not “fresh”! Is that what she told you? It’s previously frozen…you can tell the moment you taste it!! Why no tail meat? If it was fresh, why just claw meat??? What are they doing with the tail? Throwing it out??? It’s not in any of their other dishes either. Come on, Linda.

    Herbed mayo is squirted on the roll. BLECH. Previously frozen claw meat added, and sprinkled with dill. HUH? Salt & Vinegar chips. No choice of chips. Best part were the sad little pickles. $19.35 for lobster roll and iced tea in a plastic cup and I had to ask for a slice of lemon.
    I’ve paid up to $24 for a lobster roll in New England that were worth every penny.

    New Englanders will come, and then they will not return. People who don’t “know” lobster rolls will come and think that $15.50 is too much for this sandwich….and they won’t return either. I give them a year.

  • 3 Terri // Nov 3, 2009 at 3:32 pm

    So, Linda Bean’s lobster is fresh……..NOT!!!! I’m no authority, being from Philly, but, I know frozen lobster when I taste it. “BLECH”! So far, for my money, go to Reef Rd. on Clematis, check out their lobster roll, yummo! The roll is way authentic and the contents awesome!

  • 4 Michelle // Nov 3, 2009 at 7:12 pm

    I live in Delray Beach, but I’m afraid I won’t be able to support Linda Bean’s lobster roll restaurant even if the food is really good, not after I read this NYT story: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/07/dining/07lobs.html

  • 5 SONDRA SKOLNIK // Nov 8, 2009 at 7:12 pm

    I wish I had read these blogs before we went there today. It was by far the worst lobster roll I have ever eaten. It’s suppossed to be chopped lobster with minced onion and celery in a light mayo, stuffed in a hot dog roll, and that’s the only thing they got right…the hot dog bun that was toasted on both sides. Comming from R.I. I know a good lobster roll and believe me, I’m going across the street to City Oyster where they make it the way it’s suppossed to be made. Linda Bean can use her grandfather’s name for credability but she should go into the family business and leave the lobster rolls to anyone else. I certainly won’t be back and will advise all of my friends that they will also be disappointed.

  • 6 sondra skolnik // Nov 8, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    I wish I had read these blogs before we ate there today. Comming from R.I. , I know lobster rolls and this one was horrible. The lobster was not fresh, infact it tasted like it was soaking in salt water, whatever spice they put on top of it was nothing I had ever tasted on a lobster roll before. The only thing they got right was the toasted hot dog bun. A lobster roll is suppossed to consist of chopped lobster from claws and tails and have diced onion and celery, tossed in a light mayo and then stuffed into the toasted hot dog roll. This lobster roll was disgusting and salty and the pathetic pickles, well I don’t even know what to say about that. I looked around and didn’t see anyone eat the chips (that were much saltier than the lobster..vinegar and salt chips) or the pickles. I didn’t want to cause a scene but I feel badly that I had to waste so much money to eat something that was so bad.

  • 7 Harvey Mattel // Nov 16, 2009 at 6:08 pm

    The Linda Bean naysayers are sour losers. I have eaten there twice and it was great both times. The palates of those who are lining for the tasty treats dispel the few so called “experts” who enjoy trashing places. Linda Bean’s perfect Maine Lobster Roll is a welcome addition to Delray.

  • 8 Taylor // Nov 16, 2009 at 6:21 pm

    Dear Mr. Mattel,

    I am wondering…are you from New England? I’m not being smart here, I just wonder if you have ever had a Lobster Roll in New England. If you like Linda Bean’s Lobster Roll, then that’s great! But honestly, without any lobster tail and using frozen lobster meat and charging $15.50 is far from “perfect”!

    It’s not about trashing restaurants. It’s about being passionate for Lobster Rolls done right. Just like people from Philly are extremely passionate about their Philly Cheesesteaks done with the right cut of meat and on the authentic Amoroso Roll, we New Englanders are the same when it comes to our Lobster Rolls.


    Taylor Morgan
    Host, South Florida Dines Radio Show

  • 9 Terri Turner // Nov 16, 2009 at 8:00 pm

    Mr. Mattel, not being from New England, and only ever having one lobster roll in my life, I am, by no means, an expert on lobster rolls. However, I know frozen lobster meat when I taste it, and for my money, and a place like L. Beans, I’d expect more….

  • 10 Chef Rod // Nov 20, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    PERFECT IS VERY PERSONAL. According to the Block Island cookbook circa 1951:
    Block Island Loster Roll
    fresh diced lobster meat(tail included)
    minced celery
    hellmans mayo
    salt and pepper
    Squeeze of lemon(optional)

    Tosss in bowl (lightly coated with mayo)
    Place on top-crusted hot dog roll that has benn buttered and grilled on BOTH sides
    Garnish with salt-brined Rhode Island Pickle wedge(preferably bought from a garage out of a huge plastic bucket) and some potato chips, served in a cardboard boat with a waxed deli paper underliner all while listening to the fog horn from a Point Judithlight and wash it all down with a Narragansett beer!!

    VERY SIMPLE Believe me as a chef simplicity can be very difficult to acheive

  • 11 David Hurvitz // Feb 23, 2017 at 8:19 am

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