How to Eat Well at the San Pedro Lobster Festival Sans Lobster

By Tsz on September 24, 2009

This year, prompted by the current recession, the San Pedro Lobster Festival offered their Lobsters at bargain prices circa 2007′s $17 for 1.25 pounds of genuine Maine goodness. This promotion worked well… so well then by the time my friends and I arrived on Sunday, they ran out of the festival’s namesake.

My fellow foodies and I were crushed—it’s a blur now, but tears were involved—ok, not really. But since we drove 30 minutes out to the harbor, we were determined to have a good meal, no matter what it takes.

We first stopped by the lemonade stand for some much needed refreshments. This was a tip-top specimen with the perfect ratio of sugar to water to lemons.

In the next booth over, a family hawked freshly roasted corn and potatoes. Perhaps we were all famished, but it was seriously one of the best corn on the cob I’ve had to date. The corn was first grilled with its husk fully intact. When it was ready, the server pulled back the charred husk and brushed the exposed golden kernels with melted butter (housed in a crock pot, genius!). Next comes the fun part: a serving bar full of miscellaneous seasonings all waiting to be chosen to dress the ears. I chose Parmesan, garlic salt, bacon *flavored bits* and chives. It was simply sublime.

By that time, the festival was winding down and the stands were getting packed up, so we ventured off to the pier for some much needed seafood. We found a lobster claw machine for lobsters, which was a clever, albeit sadistic idea. Right next to the lobster machine however was a griddle displaying a ravishing mix of shrimps, onions and peppers being transformed into shrimp fajitas, the specialty of San Pedro. We knew it was fate then and there and ordered immediately.

Our order of a pound of shrimp came bathe in a zesty Cajun sauce, mingled with red potatoes, onions, tomatoes and green peppers and piled high on a plastic tray lined with parchment. It’s a messy, yet extremely satisfying dish that required deft hands and high pain tolerance as it was scaldingly hot. The crispy garlic bread was a great tool in soaking up all the delectable sauce afterwards.

To temper with the spice of the fajita, we ordered a pitcher of Horchata, a Christmasy tasting concoction of grounded rice and cinnamon. As we looked out at the sea while rubbing our filled bellies, we all had the same thought, “mission accomplished.”

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