Trying to enjoy seafood in our beautiful-but-VERY-landlocked state can be a bit of a fool’s errand. The options can be sketchy, and far-from-fresh; and the preparations sadly often range from disappointing to just plain destroyed.
Which is what makes Big Mac and Little Lu’s oh so very special, indeed.
When the sun-drenched, welcoming space opened in February of 2013, I confess it was a run-don’t-walk situation for me. It all came down to the lobster roll. Much as I had steam-rolled Steuben’s for the same reason the week it opened when we lived in the city, I NEEDED a lobster roll.
That first day I was chatting excitedly with the bartender while waiting for my roll, and a very friendly young woman started telling me the story behind the restaurant. I was in the presence of “Big Mac,” one of the two daughters of owners Paul and Ashley Brock who lend their names to the restaurant and market.
Did you see that “and market” part? That is an important detail, don’t just run by it.
When Paul and Ashley moved the family here from a previous living situation that included Florida and the Caribbean, the lack of fresh seafood was a such an issue for the family, that they eventually decided to remedy the situation themselves and open a seafood market. Personal relationships with the captains and fishermen help the family assure fresh, quality product. So you can pop in and check the mouth-watering display case and take home the freshest seafood around. Blessedly, they decided to expand the idea from just the market, and add a restaurant in for good measure. (And it is such very, VERY good measure.)
The preparation here is as important as the product – these folks know what they are doing, and you taste that knowledge in each bite. The lobster bisque reminds me of Alioto’s at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco – hot and rich and silky and full lobstery goodness. The ceviche created an “incident” that almost ended in a hand-stabbing with a fork when a friend and I both went for the last chunk (ordered another one – clearly we needed it.) Junior is a HUGE fan of the fish bites (and mommy sneaks some when he is watching the lobster tank, shhh.) Or pick from the list of fish flown in this morning and have the Brock’s Fish Entree – they will cook whatever you pick however you like. Not sure? The staff is warm, friendly, and knowledgable, so just ask and they will guide your Colorado self straight to seafood greatness. If you aren’t feeling the seafood – they have added some great locally raised beef to the menu as well (and because HELLO – surf and turf!)
All of that being said – get the lobster roll (don’t worry, you’ll be back and you can mix it up with each visit.) It is INSANELY tasty and stuffed to uber-overflowing with huge, perfectly-dressed chunks of sweet, firm, perfect lobster. Dip the fresh, crispy “whale chips” into the housemade pepper jelly that is on each table. Trust Keri.
The Brocks have built something special out here in the north ‘burbs – as unique and genuine as the family itself is. We are so lucky to have them here.
Big Mac and Little Lu’s
2851 W 120th Street
Westminster, CO 80234