Here’s yet another new addition to the list of interesting cart food showing up on the streets of Portland: lobster cakes.

The cakes are served hamburger-style, in between whole wheat deli flats, with sauce and a little bit of lettuce.

The owners of Gordo’s Lobster Cakes, as the cart is called, hope to eventually sell their product to wholesalers, specialty stores and restaurants, so they are test driving it as street food this summer to see how it goes over with locals and tourists.

Carolyn and Gordon Smith of Cape Elizabeth decided to celebrate their anniversary a couple of years ago by attending the “Lobster College” sponsored by the Lobster Institute at the University of Maine. They dissected lobsters, pulled traps and generally learned everything they could about the creatures.

Part of their education included learning to cook lobster. They tried the college’s recipe for lobster cakes and liked it so much that when they came home, they started making them. Eventually, they developed their own version.

The Smiths’ 3 1/2-ounce lobster cakes are similar to crab cakes. They’re held together with cooked sweet potato and a little dried basil. Each cake has 170 calories.

The sauce they use is a grilling sauce mixed with mayonnaise. The cake definitely needed this seasoning to give it a little kick — it seemed a bit bland on its own. I confess I’d like to try the cake on a plate, with sauce on the side, to get a better sense of its flavor.

With crab cakes, if they’ve been made well, you definitely get a mouthful of crab flavor, no matter how many other ingredients have been stirred in. Pinching off pieces of the lobster cake with my fingers probably wasn’t the best way to assess how much lobster flavor came through after the meat was molded into a patty.

If you’re looking for a different way to eat lobster, this cake is lighter and less messy than other alternatives. It’s a good to-go food. I can see it becoming a novelty item for tourists. I’m not so sure how well locals will take to it.

The only other sandwich the cart sells is a lobster roll ($10), which I heartily enjoyed. It was held together with a little mayo, and contained some chopped celery and fresh basil. Carolyn Smith says she doesn’t measure the amount of lobster meat she puts in the roll, but she tries to be generous.

“I like to cook, so I love when people are happy with what they’re eating,” she said.

The cart also sells chips and drinks, including the Izze brand, bottled water and iced tea.


The Features staff of The Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram anonymously samples meals for about $7.


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