Until very recently, the McLobster ($6.50) was served only in the Maritimes, and was one of those regional curiosities, like McSpicy Paneer in India, or the Bulgogi Burger in South Korea. But the price of lobster has been declining fairly steadily in the last couple of years, so I guess McDonald's Canada decided it was as good a time as any to expand the McLobster to Ontario.
Lobster from McDonald's? Sounds like an oxymoron, doesn't it? When I tweeted my enthusiasm about trying the McLobster, a friend sarcastically replied that I must have a death wish. And I'll admit it: I was skeptical.
So imagine my surprise when I encountered real chunks of lobster in there, without any crab or other substitutes to fill it out—unlike, say, Quiznos, which promised that their "Lobster & Seafood" sandwich contained a whopping 51 percent lobster (and, disturbingly, didn't bother to advertise what was in the other 49 percent). Credit indeed must go to the golden arches for not skimping on the lobster.
McDonald's describes the McLobster as containing "succulent lobster meat combined with celery, green onions, and light mayonnaise-style sauce with a hint of lemon, on top of a bed of shredded lettuce." And let me tell you, they are definitely not kidding around about the lettuce—I'd say it makes up about half of the sandwich, which makes it feel disconcertingly like a salad on a bun.
Speaking of buns, the bread is probably the weakest element here. It's unbuttered, for one thing, which goes against traditional lobster roll logic. Then again, anyone expecting anything even remotely resembling an authentic lobster roll from McDonald's is pretty much just asking to be disappointed. Aside from the lack of butter, the bun is surprisingly dense and bready, constantly threatening to overwhelm the rest of the sandwich.
But I know what you're thinking: Shut up and talk about the lobster, already.
It's surprisingly okay! Really, I swear. It's a bit stringy, and its taste is overwhelmed by the bread and the celery and the mysterious "mayonnaise-style sauce," but it's not bad. There are no off flavors. It's legitimate lobster, not some kind of lobster-shaped mystery meat.
Yup, that's right. Credible lobster at McDonald's. And for a relatively cheap $6.50, no less. It's nothing all that great—I wish there were less of the lettuce and the overly sweet, somewhat off-putting mayonnaise-like substance—but it's not terrible. And considering that it's a lobster roll from McDonald's, "not terrible" is actually pretty good, all things considered.
If you want to try this (and you could do worse at a fast food joint, I suppose), you probably shouldn't dilly-dally; it's only available until August 23rd.
About the author: Michael Nusair is a Toronto-area writer / podcaster / cool dude who likes eating good food and watching Arnold Schwarzenegger movies. Sometimes at the same time! You can read about his various eating exploits here and here, and follow him on Twitter at MichaelKN.