While most restaurants, bars, and other food places that are looked at on this site are located in the Greater Boston area, every now and then we look at spots elsewhere in the region if they are particularly special, and now with the introduction of a new "road trip feature" here, these eateries can have their own little section for those who like to find some memorable places away from the city. And it's tough to think of a better way to debut this feature than with a dining spot such as Five Islands Lobster Co., which really seems to have it all--it's about as hidden as they come, has spectacular views, is a local favorite, and features a regional food item that is one of the best of its kind in all of New England.
The phrase "getting there is half the fun" certainly applies to Five Islands Lobster Co., as it resides along a section of the Mid-Coast region of Maine that has one peninsula after another, with most of them being home to seafood shacks that are tucked away in such out-of-the-way locations that casual travelers may not ever know that they are even there. Five Islands is a fine example of this, as in order to get there you have to drive to Bath, go over the Kennebec River just east of the city, take a right on Route 127 (this is not the same Route 127 that goes through Rockport and Gloucester, MA, by the way), then continue on this winding, remote road for nearly 15 miles until it simply ends at a little fishing village on the water. The views from this point are among the best in Maine, with docks, boats, islands, and weathered old homes all making for a scene that looks like something out of a postcard, and right in the middle of it all is Five Islands Lobster Co., which consists of a lobster shack, an ice cream stand, and a restaurant, along with a few outdoor dining areas with jaw-dropping views.
Like many seafood shacks on the Maine coast, Five Islands has a rather small menu, but what it has is what seafood lovers tend to be looking for in this area including live and cooked lobsters, steamers and mussels, a delicious haddock chowder, fried clams that are among the best in the region, a fresh haddock sandwich, a huge plate of fish and chips, and yes, for those who don't like seafood, you can get burgers, hot dogs, chicken tenders, and a steak and cheese sandwich as well. The signature item here, however, may be the lobster roll, which comes in two sizes and includes fresh lobster meat with just a hint of mayo and is served on a buttered and grilled hot dog bun with lettuce for the smaller version and a homemade potato roll for the larger version. The lobster roll here may be the best chilled roll we've ever tried for the site (Arnold's in Eastham may take the prize for warm lobster rolls) and at under $20 for a small size as of this writing, is a pretty good bargain.
Five Islands Lobster Co. is one of those places where you never want to leave, thanks to the views, the food, the sense of adventure in even being able to find it, and the overall feel of its being almost like a public house of sorts where locals hang out and aren't really in a rush to go anywhere else. There are a handful of favorites in New England that we'll be looking at in the coming weeks and months (including the wonderful Worthy Burger in South Royalton, VT, which may top them all in some ways), and Five Islands is definitely among the cream of the crop.
Copyright © 2018, Boston's Hidden Restaurants (www.hiddenboston.com).