Last week we were first on the scene to chat with TJ’s Seafood Market owner, Jon Alexis. He gave us a grand your and we met his new staff. Read about that here if you missed that conversation. Yesterday we stopped by during TJ’s soft opening for further inspection and to taste what Mr. Alexis has been discussing with us for many months now, the lobster roll.
As far as lobster rolls go, Dallas has some fine examples and at good price points. Rex’s Seafood has a great lobster roll with plenty of claw and knuckle meat. This roll is only available on Friday. Sea Breeze in Plano has a nice example as well. The most recent roll to hit the scene was just weeks ago at East Hampton Sandwich Company. There we found a pretty terrific roll that caused plenty of scuttlebutt.
That was then.
TJ’s has conjured up the best lobster the city has ever witnessed. Huge words, right? Allow for explanation. The roll is custom, soft, eggy and buttery. Chef Hoffner griddles the bun on the outside to golden and crispy perfection. Then the lobster is added. A whole one and a half pound deconstructed lobster. This leaves the discussion of which parts are being used, because it’s the whole thing. Add to the roll is a tantalizing lemon thyme compound butter.
This is the Connecticut roll that Alexis has been dreaming about in his sleep since he first learned about this version of a lobster roll. He gives credit to Neighborhood Service’s owner Nick Badovinus for the roll. Seems Nick was on a short sabbatical this summer and had a similar roll. This was conveyed to Jon Alexis and that is how it found its way to the new menu at the just opened TJ’s Market on Oak Lawn.
The roll is one of the pricier versions in Dallas at $22, but you do get two fresh made sides. And there is the whole lobster thing. Alexis said even at that price it is a loss leader. He figures if you come for the lobster roll, you will stay for the Chardonnay, and probably take home a few pounds of shrimp.
This is one battle we would like to see continue.