Every summer a plethora of places run lobster specials. Nobody loves tearing apart a lobster like I do! I get every scrap of meat out of one. So I thought why not try out the Mermaid Inn’s famous Sunday Lobsterpaloosa over the 4th of July weekend. What better time to have a lobster bake? But I was dying so bad for a lobster that I wound up ordering one a week earlier at City Crab. I know everyone refers to it as ‘Shitty Crab’ and it is part of the restaurant group that owns Duke’s, one of my least favorite bars in New York. BUT, our friends turned us onto their daily happy hour (similar to Mermaid Inn’s) of 1/2 price apps and drinks at the bar. We love seafood, so we order up some steamers, oysters and beer and have always enjoyed it. So, here it goes. Mermaid Inn seems like the default winner, right? DEAD WRONG.
Much to my disappointment, the Mermaid Inn let me down. And I’m not saying City Crab had the best lobster I’ve ever had, but for the price I’d go back to City Crab any day. And it can be any day, not just Sunday. Here’s the breakdown:
City Crab 1 1/4 lb Maine Lobster Bake $28
mussels, clams, corn & steamed new potatoes
We started with oysters which were shucked horribly. Every one was somehow stuck in the shell. That gets on my nerves. Steve’s steamers were sub-par as well. They were disintegrating when picked up and fell apart in the butter. Very odd, perhaps overdone or something. Gross. So far it was looking grim for my lobster. It is priced slightly higher than Lobsterpaloosa, so I was worried I had made a mistake. But it had a couple of mussels and clams thrown in to make up the extra $4. So when it arrived, the disturbing part was it came in a plastic mesh bag. The bag is pre-packed with lobster, clams, mussels and new potatoes. They throw it in a pot, then on your plate. I was not too happy. So imagine my surprise when the lobster was nicely done and filled with sweet, dense meat. The shell was a bit soft, but as I am finding out, that is the bargain lobster of choice these days. http://www.citycrabnyc.com/index.php
Mermaid Inn Lobsterpaloosa $24
1 1/4 lb lobster, grilled corn on the cob, red bliss potatoes & cole slaw
We started with Oysters of 3 varieties from the East Coast. All were shucked perfectly, as we expect from Mermaid! So far it was looking good. Then my lobster arrived. No mesh bag. Great! The lobster was the same size as City Crab, so I thought I’d get a good comparison. So I started with the little legs. I always do. Tail last, little stuff first. There was no meat in even one, which was a big contrast to City Crab. Then I moved to the body. No meat there either. At City Crab I filled up my whole butter dish with a big pile twice. Uh oh. Now for the claws. The shells were so soft I tore them open with my bare hands to find a limp, watery and soggy little piece of meat. Noooooo. It could not be. The other claw was the same way. So finally I opened up my tail and ate the only meat in the lobster. It was OK, but I was disappointed. It was the equivalent of a 3 shrimp cocktail and I was a mess from all the work.
By the way, we went to Lure Fishbar directly afterwards and I ordered a shrimp cocktail to finish off my desire for shellfish. They serve an incredible shrimp cocktail. It’s a favorite spot of ours for Bloody Marys with oyster shooters/shrimp, shrimp cocktail, shrimp tempura, and martinis. I digress.
Sorry Mermaid, no more Lobsterpaloosa for me :(. But we will continue to come for happy hour and also order from your regular menu.
Tonight 7/17 we tried yet another lobsterfest at Dylan Prime. Wow!! Forget about the other two comparisons. Here it goes…
Dylan Prime Lobsterfest $39.95/person +10 to share
2 1/12 lbs lobster, steamed cherrystones, steamed littlenecks, steamed mussels, steamed corn on the cob
OMG this was the bomb! We got TWO 1 1/14 lb lobsters WITH HARD SHELLS and filled with meat for $49.95. Essentially the same price as the other deals but out of the ball park. Not much to say except go to the lame and totally empty Dylan Prime Lobsterfest on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 5pm-11pm all summer long. Perfect. I was up to my elbows in delicious meat and used up two napkins. The entire ordeal took a couple of hours. Awesome. Thanks Dylan Prime…we will be back!
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