If you had asked me years ago what kind of foods I would expect to never see glute free; the list would be long and consist of popular items such as fried chicken, tempura sushi, cheesesteaks, etc. But a lobster roll? That wouldn’t have even come to mind but would have been up there. That isn’t the case though. I recently found out through a deep internet spiral (you know, the kind where you might google something absurd like why do elephant’s exist?) that Luke’s Lobster has gluten free rolls! I was in shock and awe reading it and then confirmed it through glutenfreefollowme.com. Thanks Jackie! Luke’s Lobster has become a famous chain in the U.S. serving classic Maine style lobster rolls if you didn’t know. I found one near where I work in NYC and tried it out.
I can’t believe I was eating a lobster roll on a gluten free sub. Gluten free sub rolls are very hard to find, even in restaurants that cater to gluten free eating really well. But it makes perfect sense to have them here. This offering opens up their small menu to an entire community of eaters.
Anyway, back to the food rating. I ordered a lobster roll and a crab roll. Both were seasoned, buttered and mayo’d up very well. I don’t typically like mayo but I wanted the full experience. There was zero disappointment in every bite. In fact, I was all smiles. The food was delicious and the roll didn’t come apart whatsoever. It didn’t hold the food in that well but didn’t crumble at all which was great. I’m sure a normal gluten filled roll would have held up fine but I was very happy nonetheless.
The only reason this is below a 9 is because I don’t usually like cold meat. I know a traditional lobster and crab roll doesn’t have warmed up meat but I would have greatly preferred that. Take this food taste rating with a grain of salt if you don’t agree with me on this small part. I expect most won’t but either way, the food was delicious.
I typically don’t give a service rating to fast casual restaurants such as this, but I have to in this case. I am ALWAYS very skeptical of fast casual restaurants in terms of allergy handling. Most workers at fast casual chain spots don’t undergo any training in this department or have much experience with it. They aren’t working off of tips either. Remember, good allergy friendly sit down restaurants employ servers that are typically trained (from experience or at the restaurant) and then have to work for their tips. Exercising their knowledge and training can make or break their tip if they are handling an allergy. At fast casual places that isn’t usually the case but I’ve been happily surprised before. Luke’s Lobster was a happy surprise.
Maybe I got lucky at Luke’s Lobster, but I don’t think that was the case. They appeared to be very well trained. There was even a note on the wall telling customers to inform them of any allergies, which is usually a good indicator that allergy training has taken place. The counter order clerk took my order and then went to the kitchen cook (small and visible kitchen right behind the counter) and instructed her to wash down the bread grill, change gloves and wash all the utensils. I watched them carefully go through these steps to ensure my food was safe and I couldn’t have been happier or more impressed. I hope this is the case at all Luke’s Lobsters but this is the only one I’ve tried so I can’t be certain.
I’m very confused by their menu. It mentions nothing of having a gf sub roll or that their soups are gluten free (which I’ve read but can’t confirm). That is the only reason this score isn’t in the high 9’s. The menu is small but the lobster, shrimp and crab rolls can all be made gluten free by simply subbing out a regular roll for a gluten free one.
Did I Get Sick (NO)
I did not get glutened in anyway. I watched them safely take care of my food order and I came away feeling delightfully full. No issues. I brought my Nima device but didn’t even bother testing the food – goes to show just how confident I was in the safety of my food here after watching them.
This is a well deserved score. I never thought I would ever be rating a Luke’s Lobster, let alone be rating them this highly. I’m not sure if gluten free sub rolls are always available at all locations, but if they are then do yourself a favor and go splurge on a few delicious seafood rolls. Make sure you inform them of your allergy and question their prep practices if you need to.