Friday, August 20, 2010

Keep on Lobster Truckin' - First Bite and Guest Post

Philly has its cheese steaks. Buffalo has its wings. Chicago has its deep dish pizza. And Boston has its chowdah and baked beans. Maine has its lobster. Since DC is a melting pot of transients and transplants, it comes with great anticipation when a close replication of a geographic favorite finds its way to DC. Especially a food that reminds us of summers on the beach with family and friends.

Enter Red Hook Lobster Truck, driving on to the mobile food truck scene with vigor.

Rejoice, New Englanders: the search for a local authentic lobster roll is over.

The perfect lobster roll is elusive and difficult to replicate because of its simplicity. It should feature a tender and non-chewey lobster (which means it must be cooked perfectly), and shouldn't require more that a bit of mayo, lemon juice, and salt and pepper.

With that in mind, I ventured on Thursday to Farragut Square to check out the scene. And wow. The turnout was intense. With a line of more than a hundred people wrapped around the corner eager to get a taste of summer (check out the picture from inside the truck), The Lobster Truck DC certainly has a good thing going.

With a crew of just four people inside the truck (one to take orders and the rest to prep), the menu is very straightforward. For $15 you can get an ample-sized lobster roll made with whole knuckle n' claw meat served on a buttered and toasted bun. Presented on a red-checkered paper in an an aluminum tin, the presentation is classic and transports you momentarily to the coast of New England.

Pick up the roll with two hands, shut your eyes, ignore the surrounding street noise, and inhale deeply. The smell alone can take you away to a shack on the side of the road in Cape Cod. Best of all, the taste is very well balanced. It's creamy, but not overwhelming. Meaty, but not tough. Salty, but in a complementary way. Delicate, but hearty enough to eat with two hands and big smile on your face.

For those who think that the $15 for a roll may be a bit pricey or have an aversion to lobster, you can save some coin with an $8 shrimp roll seasoned with paprika and scallions, which is tasty, but not as much as its big brother. It has a bit of a crunch, but I'd stick with the lobster roll if I were you.

And don't fret, if you're in the market for a more complete meal, drop an extra $3 to get your hands on a bag of Cape Cod kettle-cooked chips and a Maine Root fountain drink, built in to the side of the truck. White cream frosted whoopie pies are also available for those of you who are in need of a sweet-tooth fix to compliment the savory saltiness of the rolls.

On the downside, the line may be a bit daunting and takes some time to get through. And yes, $20 may be a little bit pricey when it comes to a food truck lunch, but sometimes it's ok to pay for quality.

To find out where (and when) you can get your lobster or shrimp roll fix, follow the Red Hook Lobster Truck on Twitter via @LobsterTruckDC
A DC-area native, Adam Zuckerman is entrepreneurial attorney, MBA and blogger who is inspired by social media, tech, food, witty conversation and all things outdoors. You can follow him on Twitter via @apzuckerman or his blog,


  1. Do they have a non-mayo option?

  2. Jamie- we also have a Connecticut Roll which is our delicious Maine Lobster meat lightly sauteed in butter. (No Mayo) By the way, the mayo is homemade and very light)