Martha’s Vineyard has no shortage of places to buy lobster rolls, but none of them are quite like The Grace Church. Starting in May and running through September, the church opens its doors between 4:30pm and 7:30pm every Friday, selling lobster rolls, hot dogs and slices of pie.
The lobster rolls are the main attraction, and people often start lining up for them as early as 4:00 pm. The rolls have been voted “Best of the Vineyard” for the past four years, and are well deserving of their accolades.
A lobster roll costs $15 and includes a bag of chips and a drink. At first, this may seem expensive, but most restaurants on Martha’s Vineyard charge at least as much (and often much more) for what’s usually referred to as a “lobster salad” roll. “Lobster salad” is simply a euphemism for “full of things other than lobster”.
The Grace church serves up an actual “lobster roll”, a simple white bun topped with a mixture of lobster meat, a touch of mayonnaise and a hint of white pepper. That’s it, and it’s perfect.
With huge chunks of both claw and tail meat, and just enough mayo to hold everything together, the flavor of the lobster is accentuated rather than hidden. The serving size is also huge. Its almost as if the ladies behind the counter delight in seeing just how much lobster they can pile on without completely decimating the fresh baked rolls.
If you crave dessert, a slice of pie can be added to your meal for $4. The hot dog dinner also includes chips and a drink, and costs only $3. There is community seating inside the parish hall and picnic tables outside, where we found a couple of men in funny lobster hats selling raffle tickets with a chance to win up to 100 lbs. of seafood. You can also request your food packaged for take-out and construct your own rolls at home.
On any given Friday afternoon, you will find an eclectic crowd lined up at the Grace Church, all waiting for what might be the best lobster roll you’ll ever find. There couldn’t be a better way to start your weekend.
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