Wednesday, March 11, 2009

fish tale

South Florida may be a long way from New England but my son and I found a place for Maine lobster without even trying. The sign for The Lobster House caught our eye as we drove along Federal Highway in Tequesta. Once inside, we saw a flyer for a Two for Tuesday special that was exactly what we wanted: two lobsters for the price of one. I was surprised when they told me that the two lobster meal was intended for only one person. Despite their intentions, we ordered it and each had our own crustacean.

If not for the special, we could have tried to win our dinners by each putting $2 in the Love Maine Lobster Claw machine. I had read about these machines over the years but didn't realize that any were still in operation. The price card next to the joystick shows that a determined player can get 14 chances for $20. The lobster at the front of the tank was enormous. I wonder if the machine's claw is even strong enough to lift him.

The talk of the gigantic lobster led the restaurant host to tell us about a huge great white shark that his boss once caught off Montauk. Lobster House owner Tony Gambino was fishing with his uncle and some others when they saw a dead whale being eaten by sharks. They stood on the whale's floating carcass and hooked a behemoth using rod and reel.

Before long Tony himself had come out to meet us and to tell us that his uncle was famed shark hunter Frank Mundus. His autographed photo hangs in the kitchen near a model of the big shark. Next thing we knew, Tony was leading us through the kitchen to see his live lobster tanks and other mounted fish heads.

I told Tony that I had been to Montauk and that my grandmother used to have a place in Noyac. He said we should try to visit his family's other restaurant, Southside Fish and Clam, next time we're up that way.

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Anonymous Amber said...

I have never seen a lobster claw machine. That was cool. I ate lobster once at Red Lobster and it tasted rubbery. Maybe it wasn't cooked right for me.


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