It’s true, for the better part of my 27 years on this earth, I’ve lived in what many would call the “South” (Virginia), but no matter where I might be geographically located, I’ll always be a “Northerner” in my heart.
My Northern roots stem back to my childhood. I was born in Bangor, Maine, and if you look on a map, there isn’t much further North one can go and still be in the United States.
My hometown has a 31-foot tall statue of folklore legend Paul Bunyan, who many believe was also born in Bangor. If you ask me, there are few things more Northern than a giant lumberjack (and his blue ox) and I feel this only helps solidify my “Northerner” status. That and I occasionally drop the word “wicked” into a sentence without even realizing it…but on to the lobsters…
My Dad and Stepmom still live in Maine and one of their favorite things to do is watch my “Southern” friends eat lobsters. It’s a tradition my Dad and I started when I was in college. Of course, some of my friends have had lobster before …but no Red Lobster visit compares to a proper Maine Lobster Fest.
The temptation of a home-cooked lobster dinner complete with fancy beers (bud light instead of beast light) and homemade whoopie pies for dessert (my Stepmom makes the World’s best!) was something my broke college friends simply couldn’t resist. My friends still can’t…although most of them can now afford their own bud light.
At every lobster fest, looks of excitement, shock, confusion, and even terror overcome my friends as they find themselves face to face with the red crustacean only previously seen swimming around at their local grocery store.
This year, the mere opening of the box that contained our dinner caused one of my friends to scream and run away. But one by one my Dad convinced each of my friends to drop their dinner into the boiling water while I showed them how to put the lobster to “sleep” before putting them in…just in case anyone felt bad about the lobsters still being alive.
Watching as my friends carefully dissected and attempted to dismember the body that sat before them was quite a show! People ended up wearing other peoples’ lobster, splashes of sea water, shells and lobster tamale painted the walls of my condo and the phrase “is this ok to eat?!,” was asked over and over again. During all of this, my Dad, Step mom and I sat back, laughed and enjoyed.
While some struggled with their lobsters, others quickly mastered the challenge plated before them. Scott won the award for not only being the fastest to consume a lobster, but also for consuming nearly two whole 1.5 lb. lobsters all by himself. Raha was given the “looked most like she was going to pass out but rallied to eat a whoopie pie” award, and my roomie was dubbed “the World’s slowest lobster eater,” but he did tell my family it was the “best day of his life”… so we all patiently waited for him while he happily finished…well almost finished his lobster. The night was complete and Lobster Fest 2010 was deemed an overwhelming success by all!
My family finally got the chance to meet my wonderful DC friends and share a part of our Northern traditions with them and my friends got to meet my amazing parents and left my house with full bellies…and clothes covered with a lovely “lobster” aroma.
I love being from Maine, it’s wicked awesome…
Want to have your own Maine Lobster Fest experience in DC?
Red Hook Lobster Pound provides metro DC with the most authentic Maine Lobster rolls I’ve seen in the South. However, you won’t be able to make reservations for this feast, instead you’ll have to track down one of their trucks (stopping at various mobile locations) on the streets of Washington D.C.! How will you find them? Follow Red Hook (LobstertruckDC) on Twitter to find out where they’ll be for the week then just look for the line… My roommate tells me he’s seen people wait for over an hour just to get a taste of the Northern delicacy. Whoopie pie seekers be warned – we’ve conducted our own taste test and while Red Hook’s are good, they’ve got nothing on my Stepmom’s recipe!
Want to go even MORE authentic with your Maine Lobster Fest?
Trenton Bridge Lobster Pound is our family’s favorite place to buy Maine lobster and they will ship anywhere in the country. Your lobsters will arrive via overnight mail packed on icepacks in fresh Maine seaweed and still alive. Bibs & directions are included but I recommend buying a few lobster picks and crackers of your own to help break into your dinner. I highly recommend you give it a try, and if you do, be sure to let me know and share your story!
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