Cheap Dates: An entire lobster dinner for 10 bucks!
SPRUCE HEAD - Remember that scene in Splash when Daryl Hannah chomped into the entire shell of the lobster at dinner? I saw a woman do that about 10 years ago at what used to be the old Bayview Restaurant in Camden before it was renovated. In a distinct New York accent, she announced to everyone inside the tiny restaurant, "I've come all the way here to have a lobster and I'm finally gonna have MY lobster!" Then, crunch, she took a chunk right out of its red exoskeleton, chewing happily. There were...no words after this.
Good news Cheapsters! Miller's Lobster Co. down in Spruce Head, a truly authentic lobster shack, is offering a special $9.99 lobster dinner from July 1-7. For 10 bucks (a Cheap Dates prerogative) this gets you a one-pound soft shell lobster with butter and potato chips and a choice of corn, potato salad or cole slaw with an ocean view. Seriously. People come to Maine for this experience alone, and if you're a tourist on a mission for lobster, you're going to be paying top dollar at a restaurant, which basically serves the exact same thing for twice the price. And locals, this eliminates the work of cooking it yourself and dealing with all the shells and mess afterward.
Plus, I just like the fact that that generations of Millers have lobstered around here and this is their humble, but smart solution to marketing to customers directly. Note: this is not fancy dining, but it's the proper way to eat a lobster, outside, at a picnic table, overlooking the ocean. Getting messy. You may even get to see boats tie up at the wharf and unload the catch directly.
A little chat with Gail Miller, co-owner of Miller's Lobster Co:
Q: Why are you guys putting this special on this week?
A: We've only been open for two weeks since Father's Day Weekend, and it just kind of falls in with the 4th of July, getting foot traffic over here and letting folks know we're around for a reasonable dinner.
Q: Do you mostly get local or tourist traffic?
A: We do both. We have a lot of local regulars and a lot of people we call summer locals, who have summer homes who are here for the whole summer. And they'll bring friends and family from out of town here all summer to give them that little piece of Maine they're looking for.
Q: Have you ever seen someone bite into the entire shell of a lobster before?
A: We haven't seen that, exactly, but we have had people who ask if soft shell lobsters are edible like soft shell crabs in the South. The funnier thing to watch is clams. Because we have the steamers, and don't do fried clams, there is a layer of skin on the neck that needs to be peeled off (see how to do that here). Occasionally, people who don't know to pull that off, will eat the entire thing whole.
This is the ultimate summer Cheap Date — and you will love the drive that goes with it. Check out their website for more information and driving directions or call 207-594-7406.
For more Cheap Dates, check out our Pinterest category of other fun things to do in Midcoast Maine.
Kay Stephens can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org