Lobster rolls are coming to Disneyland
Written by Robert Niles
Disney announced yesterday that it has added lobster rolls to menu at the Harbour Galley in Disneyland Park. Disney's been serving lobster rolls in the Columbia Harbor House at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom for some time now, but this marks the first time lobster has appeared on a counter-service menu at Disneyland. (If anyone remembers counter-service lobster at Disneyland before now, please let us know in the comments.)Tweet
The reason for lobster's appearance in Anaheim, ultimately, is the current low price of lobster, as low as $2.50 a pound wholesale. The New Yorker's James Surowiecki recently dove into the world of lobster pricing, if you'd like way more detail about what's happening in that market. Even if low wholesale lobster prices don't lead to bargains on lobster dinners at seafood restaurants, they do allow more restaurants to add lobster to their menus profitably.
So now Disney's taking advantage. We reviewed the lobster roll at the Columbia Harbor House last spring. At $9.99, Disney's lobster roll lacks the buttered-and-grilled buns usually found surrounding New England-style lobster rolls. And Disney extended the lobster with a overly generous amount of lettuce and mayonnaise.
But there's plenty of sweet lobster to be found on this roll, too, and I would expect to see something very similar from Disney in Anaheim. For my money, the gold standard in lobster rolls is Red's Eats in Wiscasset, Maine, a roadside stand where you get more than a pound of chopped, buttered lobster meat on a freshly grilled roll for $17.99. No mayo. No lettuce. No celery. Nothing cutting the taste of the sweet, sweet lobster.
Obviously, Disney's not going to be able to compete with lobster shacks on the Maine coast for freshness, quality and price, given that Disney needs to get its lobster shipped to Orlando, and now to Anaheim. But the west coast has its own lobsters, too. They're not the big-clawed Maine lobsters, but the coast of Baja California is littered with lobster shacks serving the spiny Baja lobster.
A New England-style lobster roll's a good thematic fit for Disneyland's Harbour Galley, located next to the Sailing Ship Columbia's harbor in the park. But what about a Baja lobster-themed counter-service seafood restaurant in Disney California Adventure? Maybe one that served fish tacos, too?
Seafood's long been a part of Southern California's culinary culture. Of course, the relative high cost of seafood's kept it off theme park menus in the past. But if low lobster prices are helping Disney bring New England-style lobster rolls to Disneyland, maybe there's hope for California-style lobster across the esplanade some day?
Let's take it from there. What other speciality food items would you like to see Disney add it to its theme parks, in Anaheim or in Orlando? Let us know in the comments.
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