The Shelter Islander: Join Me for Lobster at the Lobster Grille?

“The time has come the Walrus said to speak of many things…”

On January 28, 2012, in David Lion Rattiner’s Dan’s Daily blog, I read a sentence. Just a simple sentence, composed of a few words. But some of those short little sentences can be so life changing; like “Kennedy shot in Dallas.” “Man lands on the moon.” “Obama elected first black President.” And this one… “The Lobster Inn* might close.”

Now, over a year later, I’m happy to report that my knee-jerk, devastated reaction seemed to have been a bit premature. But I still remember how I felt that fateful day.

The Lobster Inn might close.” I clutched my heart with one hand as the paper crumbled in the other. I forced myself to concentrate, take a few slow deep breaths. Slowly I regained my composure, smoothed out the paper and read the whole brief blurb that would change my life forever. I’ve eaten there since I was a teenager, they can’t close till after I die. There are hundreds of East Enders who will lay their bodies down in front of the door to keep them from closing. Although dollars on the tables would be more effective, the latter would have more dramatic impact.

We need our fantastic fresh local food at good prices. Mother and I have to go there for lunch using any excuse to justify eating lobster. Although for me, it’s their softshell crab sandwiches. Oh…whole crabs lightly floured, fried in real butter on white toast. The wonderful look of crispy crab legs sticking out of the sides of the sandwich as it arrived on the plate. I recall the horrified look on my young husband’s face as he saw that same sandwich coming my way. He was raised Seventh Day Adventist. They are vegetarians, and I was guiding him into a whole new world of epicurean sin. He was so new to Long Island fare that when his toasted bagel was served face-down with his coffee, he buttered the rounded crust so the butter was dripping everywhere. I had to teach him to turn a toasted bagel over, then butter it. Some people just don’t know how to live.

Like speed dial on a phone, The Lobster Inn was speed-dialed from my brain whenever a man asked, “Where would you like to go for dinner?” The crab sandwiches, the lobster, and oh, the seafood bisque…and the homey atmosphere. A little overcrowded, but everyone is always chattering happily. If there was a spot in the world blessed by Poseidon, it is The Lobster Inn.

We need the simple red building, the landmark letting us know home isn’t far away. I am always tempted to turn around and pick up something to go. Giving into that temptation and arriving home with a Lobster Inn bag that I have to hide in an IGA bag so that no other family member would see it and steal it. It never seemed to work, though—–—my mother and daughter both have some kind of genetic lobster roll detection ability and no matter how many times I put a whole roll in the fridge, there was only a half roll in the bag when I snuck it out at night.

The rumor was that condos may replace combos. I say, Oh, nay, nay! For nothing is more certainly written in the book of Crusteceous, Chapter Four, Verse 19, “…and having caught them from the waters fair and square by the man, the woman shall bring forth the melted butter, and the feasties on the beasties shall ensue with wild abandon.”


*The Lobster Inn in Southampton is now known as the Lobster Grille Inn and is open year-round.

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