I am embarrassed to say that I lived within a 15-minute walk from this place for ten years and never once tried it.
Oh sure, I had intended to visit Alive and Kicking Lobster, a small seafood shack tucked away in a residential part of Cambridgeport. I'd heard great things about it, and I even knew a local (and respected) restaurant that sourced seafood from the place.
Oddly enough, it wouldn't be until I actually moved away from the neighborhood that I would visit. And that is all because of my food-obsessed coworkers at my new job, who invited me to walk over on an unseasonably warm day in the middle of November.
I was thrilled to find out that our offices are only a two-minute walk away.
Alive and Kicking is really a tiny "restaurant" that consists of a simple seafood counter (you can see people lining up and out the door in the photo above) and a couple of outdoor picnic benches.
Their specialty is lobster (live, steamed, or made into a sandwich), but they also have raw oysters, fresh fish, scallops, steamers, and a soup of the day (clam chowder on the day we went).
For me, it's an amazing new source for picking up fresh seafood to take home. Honestly, out here in this residential area of Cambridgeport, there aren't that many options!
But the fresh seafood is not the main reason to visit.
Their signature dish is the Lobster Sandwich ($16.95).
Keep in mind, it's not a lobster roll. Owner Louis Mastrangelo believes that lobster deserves a better "vehicle" than the thick bread rolls that are ubiquitous in these parts. The lobster sandwiches at Alive and Kicking are made using thin slices of buttered and toasted Scali bread.
Inside, it's just fresh, sweet lobster meat with a touch of mayo and nothing else. There's no celery, no other vegetables, nothing.
The result is delicious. The ratio of lobster meat to bread is just right, and the lobster is allowed to shine. The flavor is simple and pure, yet perfect at the same time.
The sandwich comes with a side of chips. You can also get a combo meal by adding a drink and a side of soup (e.g., clam chowder).
On a warm day, grab a seat at the outdoor patio area.
Sit on some picnic benches, and enjoy a phenomenal sandwich with like-minded food-loving coworkers.
Alive and Kicking Lobster
269 Putnam Ave
Note: Alive and Kicking Lobster is currently facing a zoning challenge after a neighboring bed & breakfast complained that the space was not properly zoned to be a restaurant. The business began in the late 1980's with owner Louis selling lobster out of the side of a truck. It has since grown to become more restaurant-like, though the area is technically not zoned for a restaurant. Proponents argue he should be grandfathered in, having run his business here successfully for 20 years. Challengers argue that the residential space is not proper for a restaurant, and the business is causing problems to the neighbors. For more details on the news story, check out this article. To sign the petition in support, go here.
Owner Louis Mastrangelo
[…] from Row 34, the best New England IPA in the world from Trillium, my favorite lobster sandwich from Alive and Kicking in Cambridge, New Haven pizza from Frank Pepe, and the one-and-only vanilla loaf from Hi Rise Bread […]