Going (and Staying) Viral: Market’s Lobster Roll is the Hottest Sandwich Sensation in Town

The Edmonds Fishmonger and Eatery just opened an outpost in the Seattle Art Museum. 

Last October, amid the pandemic and the election swirl, Market, Edmond’s revered Fishmonger and Eatery, introduced their warm Lobster Roll (Connecticut Style). At $29 per sandwich, it seemed destined to be a niche item behind mainstays like their more modestly priced Fish & Chips, Market Fish Tacos, or Crab in a Bag. Then people began lining up—by the hundreds.

What’s maybe craziest about the sensation is that nearly a year later the craze hasn’t abated. The hole-in-the-wall fishmonger still sells hundreds of lobster and crab rolls every week.

Chef Hans Korompis, raised in Singapore and trained at several fine restaurants, including TanakaSan, a Tom Douglas restaurant, says, “We caught wind when we introduced the warm lobster roll. That’s when it got crazy.”

With lobster being flown in daily by Inland Lobster, located in Portland, Maine, it wasn’t easy keeping up with demand. “We would run out in the beginning, and we had to eighty-six the sandwich,” says Hans. “But now we know about how much we need for each day.”

Having consistent demand on both weekends and weekdays makes that much easier. There are fluctuations, like the Tik-Tok video last March that amassed over 200,000 views, or the post to Seattle Foodies on Facebook with its 26,000 members. But for the most part, demand spiked and never subsided.

Market’s lobster rolls are served two ways, cold (Maine) or warm (Connecticut). The essential ingredient, in both cases, is a healthy portion of really fresh lobster, including both claw and tail meat. The roll is Macrina’s Brioche Roll, brushed with house aioli and crisped. The warm version features lobster warmed in garlic butter, Old Bay Seasoning, and fresh chives. The cold version has a cold lobster salad with brown butter topped with chopped celery, gherkins, and Old Bay Seasoning. Both are served with fries and housemade tartar sauce.

The Dungeness Crab Roll, also $29, is nearly as popular as the lobster rolls. Local Dungeness crab meat is tossed in brown butter and served on a crisped Macrina Brioche Roll and sprinkled Old Bay Seasoning and chives.

Market’s Fish & Chips may not be the item everyone is talking about right now, but they’re worth seeking out. Local rockfish is beer-battered and served perfectly crisped and not at all soggy with oil. They’re served with fries, lemon, housemade tartar and minty mushy peas. “We make them the traditional British way on that fish,” says Hans. “They’ve been doing it for a long time. We respect that, and it makes sense.”

Seattle-based seafood lovers can now skip the drive north and head to their new outpost in the Seattle Art Museum. Located in the space formerly occupied by Taste, Market Seattle serves a very similar menu but has added banh mi served on Macrina’s Bui Buns, and Macrina pastries, among a few other new offerings. There is also a full bar featuring both draft beer and wine. The restaurant seats approximately 60 people.

Market is part of the Feedme Hospitality and Restaurant Group that includes, among others, the celebrated Edmonds restaurants Salt & Iron, Fire & the Feast, Bar Dojo, and SanKai Sushi. In addition to the restaurant, Market Seattle provides catering services at the downtown museum, the Olympic Sculpture Park and the Asian Art Museum.