Welcome to Ask Eater, a monthly column where Eater Dallas editor Courtney E. Smith answers specific or baffling restaurant questions from readers. Want to know which places have the breeziest patios and the best margaritas on steamy summer days? Want to know where to get the best front row seat for people watching in Bishop Arts and Deep Ellum? Looking for some hard to find dish and want a little help locating it?
Have a question? Send them via the tipline, and Eater will feature the answer to one or more each month. No question is too difficult or silly to be considered. The names of the people who write in with questions will remain anonymous on the site.
Dear Eater Dallas,
Who’s got the best lobster roll?
Dear Lobster Lover,
So here’s the thing about your Eater Dallas editor: though I was born and raised (and matriculated!) in Texas, I lived in NYC for some 11 years. It left me with strong opinions about lobster rolls and oysters (please, someone ask me about where to get oysters in Dallas).
In my opinion, there are not a lot of good lobster rolls in DFW. Most of them lack enough butter to get the savory flavor quite to my taste when done in Connecticut style and go way overboard on the mayo or whatever oil-based sauce they’re using in New England style. Also, with the cost of seafood soaring, a simple lobster roll is incredibly expensive in Texas, so it isn’t easy to find options that feel like they’re worth the money.
The best value for what you’re getting is the Lobster Grinder at Dock Local, down at the Exchange Hall and up in Legacy West, two great food halls, plus a brick-and-mortar location on McKinney in Uptown. This one is New England style and hot dog sized. It’s not a huge portion. At $18, it’s a good entry point if you’re not sure you love lobster rolls but would like to try one. It also has Connecticut and Maine rolls that are both $25.
Rex’s Seafood has Connecticut and New England rolls on its lunch menu for $26 and dinner for $32. This place is one of our Essential 38 Restaurants in Dallas, so if you haven’t been yet, then here’s as good a reason as anyone could give you to finally get over to the locations in Highland Park or the Farmer’s Market and try it out.
For the best lobster roll at any price, head to TJ’s Seafood Market and Grill in Oak Lawn or Preston Royal. You’ll find a hot Connecticut lobster roll that’s delightfully buttery on the lunch and dinner menus. This roll is marked at market prices which, when ordered this month, meant around $40. The serving is large, on a big brioche roll. That photo up at the top is TJ’s lobster roll in all its glory.