NOANK, Conn. (WTNH) -- Die hard folks who love lobster were camping out outside of Abbott's in the Noank section of Groton for opening day of their dining season.
Some folks have been camping out since Wednesday to get their mouths around the lobsters.
So casual, they call it "lobster in the rough," so popular, folks rough it to be first in line. Ben and Ally Fernandez of Hartford braved two nights camping in the rain for pole position, opening day, at Abbott's Lobster in Groton.
"It's going to feel really good. A lot of people think it's really silly but we've got the bragging rights now," Fernandez said. "We put a lot in to it every year."
2012 marks Abbott's 66th season of legendary lobster. The camp out pilgrimage is a more recent development.
"One year a couple of customers showed up 24 hours early, and it's been a tradition for them ever since, and each year there's a new winner," said Deirdre Mears, the owner of Abbott's Lobster.
Lobster connoisseur and author of the book "Lobster Shacks," Mike Urban says it's the cooking method, these antique low-pressure steam ovens, that makes all the difference.
"A lot of places boil their lobsters in sea water, which makes sense, to give it a nice salty flavor," he says, "but when you steam them you get the essence of the flavor of the lobster meat, and I think that makes all the difference in the world."
David Kelsey drove 930 miles for a close second from Savannah, Georgia.
"Absolutely, I mean, take a look at 'em. You can't get New England lobster made any better here, than right here at Abbott's," he said. "Been coming here for years and still enjoy coming back."
"It's a lot of fun, that's what our customers tell us: It's just a lot of fun," Mears says.
"We've never had a bad meal here, and we never will," Fernandez said.
The popular spot officially opened at noon.
Learn why they are the top of many peoples' dining list at www.abbotts-lobster.com
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