Thursday, March 31, 2011

Barking Crab

We were in Boston recently and met up for dinner with the Haws family who were also visiting there from Redlands. They suggested we meet at the Barking Crab, 
located at 88 Sleeper Street, a restaurant they'd spied on the waterfront of Boston Harbor on their way into town. 
One of my food desires in visiting New England was to have some good clam chowder and some lobster. I'd had some good clam chowder and this was my opportunity to have some lobster.  My experience with restaurants and lobster is that they overcook it, particularly when it is grilled. Judy and several others opted for the grilled lobster. 
She confessed to me later that hers was not very good, it was dry (as I look on Yelp, I see others also complaining about their lobster being overdone). I opted for a 1.25 pound boiled lobster which meant that I needed to open up the lobster on my own. I told our waiter my concern about the lobster being overcooked and asked him to cook mine so that it was just beyond the point of translucence. 
The result was the best lobster I've ever eaten. If all lobster tasted that good, I would sit up nights drooling, just thinking about it. I first started with a claw and the nutcracker like device they gave me to open it up with (they give instructions where they talk about using a rock to smash it open, but there was no rock at our table - but I see on youtube where they actually do use rocks). When I crunched open the claw, a spray of beautiful lobster juice went flying in all directions, including a little in my face. I knew then that this was not going to be dry. The lobster claws were so nice and moist and limp, they just melted in my mouth with a tender sweetness. 
After eating both claws, I ate the rest of the large legs, then went for the tail. After twisting the tail off the body, it took time and effort to pull away portions of the shell and then the underside membrane. It would be so much easier with kitchen shears, you could just cut right down through the center of the shell. Finally, after freeing up the tail, I dipped it into the melted better and experienced nirvana. 
I still don't think it is as good as Alaskan king crab, but this lobster was close. With Andrew Zimmern of Bizarre Foods and his Maine lobster adventure running through my mind, I opened up the main shell of the body in search of edible bits. I found some nice morsels I would not have normally ventured to find, but was well short of a Zimmern experience, I'm sure. I should have put the lobster shell up to my lips and drunk the sweet liquid down, in true Zimmern style, but I could not get past the green color and let that sweet nectar go to waste. We also had some other food. I had some potatoes and vegetables. 
The vegetables were particularly good, especially the red pepper which was moist and sweet. We had crab cakes 
that were moist and seemed much healthier than most, less fried. We also had some sort of crab dip 
which I got a little of. I came away satisfied that I'd had a great New England lobster experience. In doing this post, I see that Adam Richman of  Man vs. Food, a Travel Channel show, did part of an episode at the Barking Crab. 

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