Lobster, fresh lemon juice, and the taste of clarified butter: foods for me that conjure up summertime memories of when I was 7 or 8, and our family used to make yearly car-ride pilgrimages to Arcadia, Maine, for a taste of the outdoors that suburban New Jersey couldn’t provide. Rather then playing the “Am I There Yet” game with my brother, I spent the 8-10 hour drive to Maine sleeping. But I always knew when we were getting close to our destination when my dad pulled into the nearest, decent open-air, roadside seafood joint advertising LOBSTERS in capital letters.
Our whole family would sit down to a fresh lunch (or dinner) of a few, simply steamed lobsters with sides of lemon and melted butter, as we dug into their nooks and crannies, seeking out the fresh, sweet meat. My dad was always the best and fastest at digging, always offering us the choicest, largest morsels, something he still does today whenever we eat shellfish. I was always amazed when he could crack a lobster claw, and remove the entire thing intact, like extracting a puzzle piece.
Coming to Mary’s Fish Camp, made me feel like I wasn’t on Charles Street anymore, but exiting onto the highway off a family trip from Maine into one of those roadside seafood joints. Perched on the corner, Mary’s Fish Camp is a small open-window corner restaurant with walls lined with faded old-time nautical ads and ’70s rock playing overhead (when I was there, it seemed like the entire Virgin Suicides Soundtrack was on rotation). One of their famed Lobster Rolls can be seen on practically every one of their ten tables and along the smooth metal counter. READ MORE