Now is the time to hit this tiny sandwich shop, before winter returns and owner Dan Beck is forced to rely on frozen lobster. Until then, he’s sourcing much of his titular product from a small outfit in Maine that claims to be able to trace every large-clawed crustacean back to the boat where it was harvested. In a stew made with a dozen ingredients, that dedication to freshness of course counts, but it’s also less obvious. In a lobster roll, where the star is made to stand alone—just a buttered, griddled roll and a little mayo (not too much!) to keep the tail meat moist—Beck’s mania for sourcing matters more. Anything fresher and you’d have to move to Maine. Would it be nice to have more on the menu than just a chowder and a bisque and some chips to go with your lobster roll? Yes, it would. But we’ll take Beck’s singular focus and pursuit of the highest quality possible over a halfhearted attempt to be more things for more people.

Also good: Connecticut-style lobster roll (with butter, not mayo).

Reprinted from Washingtonian Magazine, May 2016.

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