At first, Lobstah on a Roll seems like a fairly simple, if straight to the point, description of Joe Marcus and Dave Spinney’s new spot in the South End — especially considering the degree to which they push the limits of the New England delicacy.
But when Marcus mentions the vast majority of their orders are to-go, the name’s second meaning becomes clear.
Located at 537 Columbus Ave., Lobstah on a Roll officially opened Sunday across the intersection from Five Horses Tavern. It combines the characteristics of a lunchtime, takeout sandwich shop with that of a shoreside seafood shack. The menu features everything from soups and chowder to artisan sandwiches to baked, decadently stuffed lobster dinners.
And, of course, there are the lobster rolls.
Their namesake offering includes “nothing but lobster” on a bed of lettuce on a sweet-ish roll, the details of which Marcus refused to divulge. Sizes range from your standard six-inch roll to a one, two, three, four, or even five-foot-long monstrosity that feeds 50 to 60 people and goes for more than $700.
“We’ll do it in installments,” Marcus said jokingly of the price.
The five-footers include roughly 80 lobsters and come served on a 10-inch-by-five-foot scali roll. Marcus said they served two during their opening weekend and a third Tuesday.
However, plenty of customers are also apparently interested in the corner shop’s normal-sized offerings as well. Marcus said the weekend, which included a soft opening Saturday, was “insane.”
“One after another,” he said Sunday. “We’re flying by the seat of our pants.”
Marcus and Spinney, two old friends, opened the South End spot with chef Kenny Dupree and have plans to open a cozy sit-down restaurant in Arlington Center called 478 Mass. Ave. (also its address), which the owners say will have craft beer and oysters.
As for their more casual South End spot, Marcus also plugs their “to die for” baked sea salt fries and their lobster stuffing, the most extravagant version of which includes crab, shrimp, scallops and topped with caviar.
“And I don’t even really like caviar,” he said.
There is one requirement however for visitors of their newly opened location.
“You can’t eat here unless you’ve been ‘chowderized,'” said Marcus, who explains it means one must sample their array of chowders, which seems a small price to pay — especially compared to that of the five-foot lobster roll.