CAPE ELIZABETH – Tourists who come to Maine aren't about to head home without having eaten lobster -- and they're not going to be deterred by high prices.
High prices? When low prices have sparked a border war with Canada?
By the time that bright-red lobster lands in front of a customer in a Maine restaurant, those low dock prices of $2 or $2.50 a pound are more like a distant murmur than the issue that's causing all that shouting by lobstermen up in Canada, who are worried that their livelihood is threatened by the cheap Maine lobster flowing to processing plants north of the border.
A case in point is the Lobster Shack at Two Lights in Cape Elizabeth, where diners can savor their seafood on picnic tables overlooking waves crashing on, yes, the rocky coast of Maine. On Thursday, the lobster rolls and lobster dinner were going for "market price" on the big menu board posted where diners line up to place their orders.
A smaller board just inside the door offered the detail that the market price was $14.99 for a lobster roll and $18.99 for the dinner.
Cynthia Geary, a Portland native who now lives in California, had no idea how much she had just paid for two lobster rolls -- one for her and another for son Collin -- and three sodas, until she dug out the receipt showing $37. Husband Kevin Geary, also a Portland native, hates seafood but was looking forward to eating later. He planned on having a real Maine Italian sandwich, which he says he can't find in California because the bread out west doesn't taste as good as it does in Maine.
Cynthia Geary confessed that she hadn't really paid attention to the lobster roll cost, because the trip to the Lobster Shack is a regular feature of the family's Maine vacations, and also because someone had been standing in front of the sign noting the prices when she went in to order.