Holy Rollers: Grace Church
I didn’t believe the hype.
My friend first brought the hype to my attention in early July: Yankee Magazine had christened the Friday night lobster rolls at Grace Church the best in New England. I was curious but skeptical: were the nice church people getting a charity vote? Was the editor’s great-auntie on the church lobster roll committee?
Off we headed to Vineyard Haven on a Friday night: my friend, her mother, my husband, and I. We expected a long line, but there was none. It felt strange approaching a church for a dinner several calibers above “spaghetti supper” or “pancake breakfast.”
For fifteen dollars, Grace Church will give you a lobster roll, chips, and a drink—iced tea or lemonade. Pie’ll cost you extra. Into the parish house you go…
The air was hot and stuffy in the dining room, so we crammed ourselves onto a bench outside. After we set down the tray, we sized up our supper. The lobster rolls were of a generous size, with fresh pink meat spilling over the top of the bun.
Could the quality match the quantity? We chewed. The lobster meat was sweet, firm, and fresh, perfectly seasoned with salt and white pepper. (Really—I wrote “firm, sweet” on my notes in three different places without realizing it.) A little mayo held the sandwich together. No fillers, simple hot dog bun. Grace Church had given us both incredible quality and generous quantity: This was the Holy Grail of lobster rolls, for the low price of fifteen dollars.
Everyone said “Alleluia.” Angels sang. My friend was converted. Formerly not a lobster roll eater, she went back to buy a second for the next day’s lunch.
After eating this glorious lobster roll, I believe the tee shirt one parishioner was wearing. Jesus was an Episcopalian.