Lobster roll

By Terry Economy | Aug 04, 2016
Courtesy of: Terry Economy The old Sim's Lunch is on the right, next to Oxton's.

I have been doing research on the creation of the first lobster roll in Rockland. This is what I have discovered.

I remember, as a 10-year-old boy, when I started working or hanging around our family store, Economy Fruit, in the summer of 1945, I visited Sim's Lunch with Earl Cook, who was managing Economy's while my three older brothers were in the service. Carl Simmons was the owner of Sim's Lunch then, and was also the owner of Thorndike and Hix lobster company.

Charles Swett was the chief cook at Sim's at that time. He used to have his daily paper saved at Economy's and picked up a pack of Phillies cheroot cigars. Earl used to send me to Sim's Lunch on occasion to pick up our lunch, as he would call Charles Swett with our luncheon order. I always opted for a bag of French fries and have a milkshake at the store. Earl would have one of the luncheon specials.

This is how I remember the lobster roll. One day, Carl Simmons brought in a container with fresh lobster meat and asked Charles Swett to make up a lobster stew for a luncheon special. Well, the natives at that time, lobster was not one of their favorites, and lobster stew did not sell very well. Charles said to Carl, "We have quite a bit of lobster meat we haven't used. What do you want me to do with it?"

Carl said, "Mix up the lobster meat with mayonaise and make sandwiches out of it." Charles looked around and discovered he was out of white sandwich bread and Carl said to use hamburger rolls. Thus, the lobster roll was born.

The lobster roll at that time was not too popular, and I think Sim's dropped it from their sandwich board. However, unless someone else steps forward and says they were the creator of the first lobster roll, I think the award should go to Sim's Lunch.

Remember, Rockland was once called the lobster capital. Well, perhaps it should include that the lobster roll was born here.

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Comments (1)
Posted by: Lionel W. Heal | Aug 06, 2016 13:26

I can't believe anyone not liking lobster.  Lionel and I used to go to Humpty Dumpty in the late 40's and we could get two lobster rolls and two chocolate milks for $1.00.


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