A lot of us here in DC have been enjoying the new surge in adventurous food carts this summer but it seems like the truck making the biggest headlines has been the new Red Hook Lobster Truck which we originally got word about back in June. Sauca‘s worldly options and Pedro & Vinny’s huge burritos are delicious but it’s a whole different concept to have a truck serving fresh Maine lobster on the streets of DC daily.
Red Hook Lobster Pound, the truck’s parent company, is based in Red Hook, NY and quickly became a hit selling over 15,000 lobster rolls and 15,000 pounds of lobster in 2009. They saw the boom in DC’s food truck industry and decided to take the trip down rt 95 and bring the fresh meat to our streets. Fast forward a few months and several speedbumps and we now officially have fresh Maine lobster rolls (and cheaper shrimp rolls) being served from a truck in our wonderful city, beginning last week. I finally got my chance to experience the greatness today at lunch when they conveniently parked directly outside my office. They have had several technical difficulties getting started so this has been my first opportunity to catch them in this area of town (McPherson Square).
They were here on Tuesday but because of some mechanical problems they had to pack up and head to the shop to fix up the truck. They announced however that they would be returning to this area on Thursday (today) so I was ready. I watched on Twitter (they make announcements via their Twitter and Facebook) this morning to double check they were coming here. This morning they made an announcement that they would be in the area serving starting at 11:30 AM. As 11 rolls around I am glued to my Twitter feed. Slightly before 11:30 they message the exact location of the truck – I St. between 14th & 15th – and that they will be serving in 15 min. Expecting some sort of wait I grabbed my ipod and phone and ran out of my office. I thought I was getting a head start. Nope, there’s already a line with about 50+ people. I suppose they were just wondering around until the truck actually showed up. I’ll remember that for next time. So I got my place in line and jammed out to the new Skream album.
The wait ended up being about 45 minutes and by then I was getting more and more excited. I got to the cashier and the options were the original style roll – heaps of fresh lobster, minimal celery, some spices, and a small amount of mayo – or Connecticut style with just lobster and butter. They of course come on the traditional top-split Maine rolls and you can grab Cape Cod Potato Chips and Maine soda for $2 extra.
The roll itself is a bit pricey at $15 but there are some things you just have to make sacrifices for. You can go with the cheaper shrimp roll for $8 and apparently Whoopie Pies but they were out of them. So I get the original style with chips and a soda because you gotta go with the basics that everyone loves.
I filled my tiny soda cup with black cherry soda and I was headed toward my office to devour it all. By this time the line had wrapped around the block and most of the way down the next. It was intense.
It was worth every penny and every second of wait time. The lobster was incredibly fresh and cooked perfectly. There were such slight amounts of mayo that you didn’t even notice it. It was pretty much all meat and bun and I devoured it in about 2 minutes. After eating the smile on my face could not disappear and I felt like my body had melted. No, really. I already can’t wait to get one next week when they come back to this area. That said, there are a ton of restaurants in DC that serve lobster rolls but for some reason the truck has us all flipping out.