Sprague’s Lobster Shack. You’ve probably never heard of it. In the 80’s macho action film Top Gun, Tom Skerritt’s character Viper states to the latest aviators to enter the dog-fighting school, “There are no points for second place”, well Sprague’s takes second place to Red’s all summer. But why?
I stood in line, ordered, and was eating a delicious lobster roll at Sprague’s within 20 minutes. When compared to line at Red’s, I just saved and hour of my time. The lobster was fresh, moist, and with distinctly large pieces of lobster. The bread was grilled, and the foil the sandwich was wrapped in was, well, aluminium. It was a good lobster sandwich for $17. As I ate my first ever lobster roll in the great state of Maine and watched the crowd across the street, I wondered, what gave Red’s the edge over Sprague’s? I’m not the only one who didn’t want to wait in line. I’m probably not the first person to compare Sprague’s to Red’s. You stand in line, you order, you pay cash, you wait for your number to be called. Both shacks are buying local lobster, I doubt there is much variation in quality of lobster between Sprague’s and Red’s. The bread seems pretty standard, no artisan bakery bread mentioned at either place. Neither place is making their own mayonnaise or aioli. No prized local dairy butter for dunking. No green environmental edge with recycled cardboard napkins and biodegradable potato spoons; both places are institutions to disposability, no recyclable containers anywhere. So really, what’s the difference? Where’s the edge?
I can’t think of a single advantage that Red's has over Sprague's except that every food critic, lifestyle magazine, and internet food junkie has talked up Red’s as “the best lobster shack in the world”. And if enough people say, enough people will believe it. Sprague’s makes a good lobster roll and you should try one before you, like everyone else that comes to Wiscasset in summertime, walk over to Red’s and eat one of their lobster rolls.
Sprague’s doesn’t have the ‘cool factor’ of being written up in 100 publications, but it’s worth your time, your money, and the comparison to Red’s. The Cured Ham is proud to have written about and compared Sprague's Lobster Shack to Red's Eats!