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Lobster and Clams in Ogunquit, Maine

Last weekend, I drove a couple of hours north for dinner in Maine at an old family favorite — the Ogunquit Lobster Pound.

After a brief stop at a New Hampshire Liquor & Wine Outlet — which, by the way, carries no beer — my companion and I arrived at the OLP a bit before 5:00 and happily discovered that the casual restaurant had opened early.

The ordering process at the bare-bones OLP is a little funky. You’re seated in the rustic dining room and order drinks. Then if you want a whole lobster — and who doesn’t?? — you go back outside and place your order at the huge tank. You can pick out your own lobster, but I don’t like sentencing a specific one to death, so I just requested a two-pound, hard-shell male.

We also ordered a half-pound of steamed clams.

I’d forgotten how much I love steamers — soft and sweet and succulent!

Then came the lobster. Now, I can’t actually eat a two-pound lobster, but the meat is much more tender once they reach that size, so I just finish what I can and take the rest home to make lobster salad. Also, soft-shelled lobster appear to be priced cheaper, but the hard-shelled have more meat. And the males, of course, don’t have roe, which some people like but I don’t.

The OLP is popular with tourists, and the lobster comes pre-cracked. You just have to open the shell, pull out some meat, swirl it in the drawn butter, and enjoy. It was just the way I’d remembered — the slight sweetness of the al dente meat set off by the butter.

Fortunately or un-, I ate too much of the lobster to indulge in the OLP’s popular deep-dish blueberry pie, which I’d loved as a kid.

After dinner, we went for a walk in the cool September evening, popping in and out of the tourist shops with which beach-resorty Ogunquit is peppered. We saw a few things worth a laugh if not the price.

Now about that lobster salad …

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