The Nauti Lobstah (https://www.thenautilobstah.com/) is a casual seafood restaurant in Apopka, specializing in New England-style seafood, particularly the iconic lobster roll sandwiches. It used to be known as The Catfish Place, a restaurant that had been around for 38 years, but I never made it there for that incarnation. Owners Christine, Cara and Mike took it over in December 2020, and Mike (the chef) added some seafood specialties from his native New England to the existing menu. They took a place that two generations of locals loved and added to it, while keeping everything that worked.
My wife and I both love lobstah rolls (or lobster rolls, if you must). These are classic New England sandwiches with lobster meat on a toasted New England-style split-top hot dog bun, but The Nauti Lobster serves their versions on brioche rolls. There are two kinds, and we each have a favorite. I prefer the classic (Maine?) lobstah roll, served cold with mayonnaise, like lobster salad. We decided to each get our favorite version and DARE… TO COMPARE!
This is the cool, refreshing version of the lobstah roll with mayo stirred into the decadent meat ($28). We got homemade potato chips as the side with this one. Schlepping back from Apopka to Casselberry, I thought fries would have been cold and pointless by the time I got home with our food.
Here’s a close-up of the lobstah roll. I had the best lobstah roll of my life at Neptune Oyster in Boston’s North End, but for the Orlando area, this was pretty delicious. There aren’t many lobstah rolls to choose from around here.
My wife ordered the warm Connecticut lobstah roll. The meat came immersed in melted butter in a separate container, so it wouldn’t completely soak through the roll and render it useless. She liked it a lot too. She chose sweet potato casserole as her side, rich and sweet with pecans, kind of like getting a dessert.
RING THE ALARM, because I also ordered an appetizer order of onion rings. Longtime readers know that I’ll try onion rings anywhere they’re on the menu. These had a nice, crispy, golden batter coating (which I always prefer to breaded onion rings), and they came with tangy “tiger horseradish sauce” (not pictured, but you can guess what it looks and tastes like). If there’s ever a thick orange or pink sauce that is described as tangy, zesty, spicy, and/or creamy, you can bet I’m going to try it. I am the Condiment King!
We also shared a lunch special platter of fried clam strips with hush puppies ($18) — a holdover from the Catfish Place era. These clams were not too chewy or rubbery, which is always a pleasant surprise.
You can choose a side, and I got creamed spinach, which was good and rich, but also made me feel pride for eating something green and healthy. Yeah, that’s the ticket!
While it’s a bit of a drive for us to make it to The Nauti Lobster, I’d definitely go back, ideally to eat on the premises. I liked the feeling of the large dining area. It felt like a friendly, comfortably, cozy, welcoming place to eat, especially since so many items on this menu are best consumed immediately, whether they are fried to perfection or drenched in butter. If Apopka is a haul for us, I can imagine what a schlep it is for my readers living in Orlando proper. But trust me, you won’t be disappointed if you make the trek. There are desserts on the menu that we didn’t try, but if you’re all the way out there, you could also consider stopping by my other better-late-than-never Apopka discovery of 2022, Aunt Gingibread’s Bakery, for some baked goods to go.