One of the neat things we did while in Maine was to visit a lobster pound, and have dinner there.
(shown at right my wife and I enjoy our lobsters at Thurston’s)
A lobster pound is an imPOUNDment of seawater near a harbor when lobsters are held until they are sold on the wholesale or retail markets. They came about as an after-thought – some of the pounds started to cook a lobster for customers on the side, and the idea took off. For those of us in the Midwest, it’s not terribly unlike the former stockyards for cattle or swine.
Mount Desert Island is the home to Thurston’s Lobster Pound, where we ate dinner the first night in Maine. Located on Bass Harbor, this charming locale features an authentic Maine experience.
Customers select their own lobster, right from large holding tanks at the order window. Your lobster is weighed, placed in a mesh sack and cooked while you wait. Your order is announced by yelling your name and then the fun begins. When we were there lobster was $11.75 for a chick, or $12 per pound if you wanted something bigger. For an extra $5 you get corn on the cob, coleslaw, a roll and blueberry cake, for the true Down East experience.
I opted for a nice two-pounder, and savored it until the last bite. Not only was it the finest lobster I’ve ever eaten, it was enjoyed overlooking Bass Harbor and the lobster boats anchored therein.
The furnishings are simple at Thurston’s – plastic patio furniture, paper napkins, (you’ll need plenty of them) crackers and a pick. But for anyone traveling to Maine, eating at a true lobster pound is an absolute necessity.
I added the word true, because lots of regular restaurants call themselves a “lobster pound,” but unless they are in the business of buying lobster from the lobstermen, and holding them until the market price is right, they’re not a real lobster pound.
- And it’s serious money, folks – lobster prices are dictated by market demand, and get extra high near the holidays. Even the movement of $1 per lobster adds up when you’re impounding thousands and thousands of them. Of course, the lobster pound takes some risk as well, and must feed and care for the lobsters until they are ready to sell.
In any regard, I’m delighted to give a perfect “10” to Thurston’s Lobster Pound. I’d go back in a heartbeat, and encourage anyone visiting the area to take advantage of this wonderful experience!