Home Kitchen Cafe: Home of the Clawed Father Lobster Sandwich
650 Main St, Rockland, Maine
I grew up watching teen drama shows set in New England. As a 15-year-old, my Wednesday nights were devoted to Gilmore Girls and Friday nights were spent watching the growing love triangle between Dawson, Joey and Jen on Dawson’s Creek. Needless to say, Paula Cole was playing in my head as we wandered the charming little streets of downtown, Rockland, Maine. As if lifted straight from an episode, the Home Kitchen Cafe is a cozy all-day breakfast restaurant in a big converted house with a backdrop of Maine’s endless oceanfront coast and sailboats in the sun. With a giant banner hanging from the patio that touts Home Kitchen Cafe as having the best breakfast as named by Yankee Magazine, we had to pay this place a visit. Granted, we have never actually heard of Yankee Magazine but we all loved breakfast so we were game.
As we looked over the menu while waiting for our table, we were disappointed not to see any lobster on the regular daily menu. Needless to say, we intended to eat lobster on every day of this trip.
But as soon as we were seated on the sunny and breezy patio, we saw a big chalkboard advertising all of Home Kitchen Cafe’s lobster dishes, everything from lobster benedicts to tacos and club sandwiches. All three of us ordered a lobster dish, our server chuckled as she was taking down our order and asked us if we were from out of town. I guess locals never eat lobster even though I can’t imagine ever getting sick of the delicious shellfish.
At first I had picked the lobster benedict but upon closer inspection of the menu, I discovered the amazing sandwich on the bottom of the list, titled the “Clawed Father,” a whole lobster stuffed into a sandwich along with bacon and mayo. I couldn’t believe I had overlooked this on the menu when I placed my order. We quickly called our server back over so I could change my order. Thankfully, she made the change in time. When the sandwich was brought to our table, it was everything the menu promised and it was massive! The patrons at the next table even commented that I looked like I was way too petite to be able to tackle such a giant sandwich. It was windy on the patio and everything was blowing off the table, napkins, menus, our sunglasses, the only thing that stayed in place was the gargantuan lobster sandwich on my plate.
The Clawed Father sandwich was made up of three slices of soft and fluffy homemade bread, each layer of the sandwich was crammed full of big, juicy chunks of lobster. The lobster was only dressed with very little mayo, so the sweet and tender flavours of the shellfish really took center stage. I also loved the crispy, smoked bacon and juicy tomato. My husband ate half of the sandwich because obviously it was much too big for me to eat all by myself. I am still amazed that they managed to jam an entire lobster into sandwich form, no wonder it took three slices of bread to do it.
My husband ordered the lobster tacos which were once featured in the Boston Globe. Just like the Clawed Father sandwich, the tacos were huge. The corn tortilla taco shells were homemade; we haven’t had such soft and flavourful taco shells since we visited Mexico last Christmas. I loved how the taco shells were soft and slightly chewy but they did not get soggy and definitely did not rip even though each taco was stuffed full of lots of lobster and filling. I couldn’t take a bite of the taco without getting a bit of lobster, that’s how much lobster meat was filled into the taco. I can see why this dish was featured in the Boston Globe.
My brother ordered the lobster omelet which was fluffy and spilling full of succulent lobster.
We left Home Kitchen Cafe with our bellies full and with a slight tan from the sunny patio. Onwards with our New England lobster tour!