5120 Queen Mary
Bus: STM 17, 51, 124, 166
Visit: September 24, 2011
As some of you might remember, recently, I went on a search for a fast food version of a lobster roll. After searching more than half a dozen locations and keeping my eyes out in recent weeks, I came up short handed. Luckily, I also keep my attention focused on the Twitter universe where it came to my attention that I could find a lobster roll at other establishment. That’s where Java U came into play. At first, they only mentioned the fact that they had lobster rolls, which didn’t really peak my attention until I found out that they had something more than just the main ingredient. They had bacon and I had to make this priority #1.
Before I get into the actual location that I visited, I should discuss my thoughts on coffee shops. I should make it very clear off the bat, I don’t ever go to them. The closest I get to them is when I accompany my colleagues to Tim Horton’s. I don’t ever really buy anything there, I just sit there and listen. I also don’t ever feel the need to take my work with me on the road. I don’t sit there for hours on end, sipping on drinks while I get little work done. That brings me to the most shocking point of this paragraph, I don’t drink coffee whatsoever. I actually haven’t had any coffee since 2003 and that cup wasn’t even my choice at all. I do not need coffee to function. I get up at insanely early hours on weekday mornings and go for long days without the need for what I’ll call an addiction. You may not call me normal, but that’s what I like about myself.
Now that I got my non-coffee rant out of the way, it’s about time that I get to the actual location that I visited. I entered the Queen Mary location in the middle of the afternoon. Right outside, there was one employee taking a short break, so when I walked in, I was greeted by what I’ll call the manager. It wasn’t until after I took a look at the counter and didn’t see what I wanted. I tried, in vain, to tell him what I wanted, but it didn’t seem to register. I asked about the specific item I wanted and he looked at me like I was on something. Luckily, before I was going to have to get to plan B, I noticed, out of the corner of my eye, the sandwich I came for.
GBS Picture of 2011
Having just avoided an even more awkward situation, it was time to go to the cash to pay for my meal choice. I decided to add an iced tea to the selection. The interesting thing is the monitor that showed you, in a clear and large enough font, what your total bill would be. I sat across it for the duration of the consumption period and noticed that it took a while for it to reset to zero.
One of the most unique things I’ve ever noticed in the last 2 years of going to restaurants regularly was sitting next to the screen. There were 2 coffee cups with the word ‘tips’ on them. Sitting in them were 2 caricatures of Seinfeld characters. Now, anyone who knows anything personal about me knows how much I thoroughly enjoy anything done by Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David. Seeing this particular sight just added an exclamation point to this unique situation.
After I waited for my order to come to the table, it was time to eat and drink. I took the time to do what I don’t ever have patience for in my life. I sat and I sat. All I did was sit down and spend the minutes being bored. I guess that’s what normal people do when they have nothing better else to do. I would much rather be moving forward and doing something more constructive.
As I was nearing the end of the meal, I started to think about something that was bothering me. Where was I going to put the cup and plate when I was finished? I didn’t see any kind of area where dishes were put. I wasn’t about to leave them on the table. I’m the kind of person who’ll stack there dishes at the end of a restaurant meal just to give the servers a hand, so me leaving anything here was unacceptable. Just as I was about to get up and do the thing I didn’t want to do, I watched as another customer placed their dishes on the same counter where we paid. I decided to do the same as I walked about, wishing the other non-managerial employee a nice day.
When I ordered the iced tea, I wasn’t sure about what I was going to get. I’ve had some strange iced teas in the past. Since this was a coffee shop, I was pretty sure that this was going to be one of those cases. Point in case, the manager, as I ordered the iced tea, was confused once again by what I wanted and proceeded to list my options that I wouldn’t get in my iced tea. It wasn’t until he mentioned lemon that I landed on something reasonable.
When I got the cup, I saw some interesting things. The first thing I saw was the tea bag. I never had an iced tea with a tea bag before, but it didn’t bother me because it was the taste that mattered. The tea bag never really got in the way at all. The second thing I noticed was the amount of ice that there was in the drink. It was nothing major, but something that just caught my eye.
Upon picking up the cup, for some reason or another, I remember feeling it was hot, which I now think I was being absurd. I’m saying that because as I went for a second pick-up, the cup was cold and the drink was cold. So, my being in a coffee shop kind of psyched me out a bit.
The taste of the drink was nothing really out of the ordinary. The faint taste of lemon was decent enough as each sip of iced tea went down without issue. The drink even served as the perfect accompaniment to my sandwich. Even if I doubted my choice to begin with, I didn’t by the end of it.
Bacon Lobster Roll - Complete Sandwich
Bacon Lobster Roll - Closer View
After weeks of thinking about the lobster roll, it was with utmost pleasure that I finally had this sandwich sitting in front of me. For the purpose of my meal, I decided to have it toasted. I normally don’t like to get stuff reheated or toasted in this fashion, but I didn’t really want to do cold lobster or bacon. I didn’t get enough time to read the label, so I didn’t know when it was made, so that was another reason to get the roll toasted.
Now, I had little or no expectations going into eating this sandwich. I have never had any kind of lobster roll before and this was going to be my initial attempt into this particular genre of food. So, I have nothing to compare this to. It’s like trying your first ever pizza or burger and having no reference point.
With the first bite, you definitely get the toasted quality of the bread and the taste of lukewarm lobster. Even though the roll was toasted, it wasn’t tremendously hot. The lobster had a faint taste, but with the inclusion of so many other various ingredients, it sometimes takes a back seat. As a matter of fact, if it wasn’t for the label, I wouldn’t even know it there was bacon in the roll at all. I think I spotted tiny little diced pieces of bacon, but I can’t be quoted on that.
The thing that really stayed with me was the spicy nature of what ate. It didn’t hit me initially during eating, but when I left the establishment. As I boarded the bus to leave and as I was riding, I started to feel the spicy elements of the roll quite well. Now, it wasn’t a tremendous amount of spiciness, but something that would make you remember what you just had. I’m not really a person who will go all out to get spicy foods, but I won’t turn around and leave if confronted with something like that. So, in the end, the spice was a welcomed addition.
It being my first lobster roll experience, I can’t really make judgement on what I ate. I would probably have to try others before really being able to know what I ate. The only comparison I can really make is the fact that it taste similar to a really good supermarket sandwich that you have to warm up for lunch or something. The big disappointment here is that the bacon didn’t really play much of a role in the roll and that’s the reason that I came to try this sandwich. Did I like the lobster roll? Yes. Would I try it again? Probably not, but I’m glad that I can say that I did.