Tag Archive: food truck

Lobstah v. Lobstah v. Lobstah

I’ve never been a big lobster eater.  I would never go to a restaurant and order a whole lobster, or even a lobster tail.  You order this crustacean that you have to pull apart with your hands like a savage, but then you have to wear a bib like a pre-schooler while doing so.  Not a good look and not worth the time and effort.

But lobster rolls are a different story.  Lobsters are already shelled, seasoned and are easy to eat in a cute little bun.  I remember the first lobster roll I ever had.  MrsJ2011 convinced that I had to try one back in 2005 when we went to Mary’s Fish Camp, known for their awesome lobster roll.  I was not too keen on the idea of lobster and mayo but I went along and it was very delicious.  Not something I would crave but very good.  I am not a big fan of mayo, and seafood and mayo just seems weird to me.

Over the last few years, it seems that lobster rolls have become quite popular.  Each year in the local magazines there are articles dissecting NYC’s lobster rolls to see which one is tops.  Like I said, I’d never really go out of my way to get one.

That is, until they starting serving them by my office!

Last summer, there was a giant lobster man handing out menus for a little place called the Urban Lobster Shack.  If you remember, I posted a photo of him here.  Intrigued to give any new place a whirl, we headed on over to the little window in the basement of a nearby office building to give it a try.  That’s right – it’s not a restaurant.  Literally a window.  They serve the traditional lobster roll, which was very good but they also have something called the Chef Special roll which is basically a lobster roll, scampi style.  And it’s only $11.  Definitely not traditional, but definitely a winner.  The lobster was good quality, there’s tons of delicious butter and garlic, and the bread is nice and toasty.  Absolute heaven, although a little small for the price.  I’ve probably had it ten times in the past year and every time it is wonderful.

Ubban Lobster Shack - so beautiful!

I was more than satisfied with Urban Lobster Shack and was definitely not looking to cheat on it.  But then the food trucks came to town, and considering my obsession with all things served on a truck, I just had to try.

First I took a short walk over to Luke’s Lobster Truck to give their lobster roll a try, hoping the whole time that it would be worth the $16 I was about to pay.  I walked there, stood on line, ordered, and was back at my desk in a half hour.  The roll itself was actually 5 inches long – so small!  However, I think that’s the standard size for lobster rolls.  There was a lot of chunky lobster.  Not too much mayo.  But for some reason, I did not taste any seasoning whatsoever.  The butter they schmear on the roll was not fully melted, so I had little chunks of butter between my lobster, which skeeved me out a little.  But I have to admit all in all it was a good lobster roll.  I’d have it again.

Luke's Lobster - by this time I decided to start measuring!

The following week, I spied the truck from the Red Hook Lobster Pound, which coincidently is right near one of my clients in Brooklyn.  I obviously had to try it for comparison’s sake!  The line was not as long as Luke’s truck and there were options – their traditional roll with mayo and celery, and something called the Connecticut Roll with just lobster and butter.  Also a whopping $16 and 5 inches long.  But I have to admit I was so disappointed.  The bread was very soggy and everything just fell apart as I tried to eat it, so in fact my lobster roll turned into an open faced lobster sandwich.  BOO!  The flavor was definitely not as good either.  I’m not going back there again.  Sorry.

Red Hook Lobster Pound - what a mess!

So in the end, Urban Lobster Shack wins the Spice title for Best Lobster Roll Accessible during Lunchtime in Midtown Manhattan.  For the size and the taste, it’s a much better bang for my buck.  I know I know . . . I did not talk much about the quality of the lobster itself, but like I said I’m not much of a lobster eater except for these rolls.  I may not be a lobster roll purist, but I know what I like.  Damn it, now I’m hungry for a lobster roll!


What’s for lunch?: Thursday, June 2nd

It’s no secret that we’re all about the food trucks!  Well, maybe it is . . . we have definitely not shown enough food truck love on this blog!!  Some people find it inconvenient to stand on a long line and wait for lunch, but that’s part of what makes it fun.  Hubbo sometimes gets his lunch from a Mexican truck downtown and he even admitted it’s fun hanging out at the truck.  The key is to know what you want and get there early to avoid the crowds.  Most trucks have a Twitter feed now so they’re easy to find.  You can plan out a whole week of lunches just by knowing the truck schedules.

MrsJ and I tried a new food truck this past week by our office – a pizza truck!  I’ve seen this truck several times but was hesitant to try it.  I was expecting reheated old pizza.  What we got was anything but!

Restaurant Name Eddie’s Pizza Truck
Website  http://www.eddiespizzany.com/
Location See Twitter feed for daily locations
Cuisine Pizza – I refuse to call it Italian, since it’s become so American over the years
Order  Two 10″ pizzas.  I had sausage and peppers on a whole wheat crust, and MrsJ had what is known as Eddie’s Special (Sausage, Meatballs, Pepperoni, Peppers, Mushrooms, Onions) on a regular crust.
Culinary Experience(hot/cold, wet/dry, hands/fork) Hot/Dry/Hands
Service We arrived at the truck a few minutes after 12pm and waited a good half hour, maybe more.  We were told upfront that the whole wheat crust takes an additional 15 – 20 minutes.  Luckily we were not swamped with work and it was not mega hot out, otherwise it would have been awful.
Cost  $20.50 for both pizzas.
Satisfaction Oh my lord it was awesome!  It was worth the wait because it was FRESH, not reheated.  The crust was thin and crispy, the cheese was delicious (they have fat free cheese but I stuck with the part-skim), and the toppings were yummy.  I will admit I was expecting roasted red peppers and these were chopped fresh green peppers.  I ate six of the eight slices (trying to be a lady you know) and gave Bigz the other two.  Mrs J ate her whole pizza.  Not a surprise!  We may put Eddies in our weekly rotation!

Sausage and peppers on whole wheat crust

Eddie's Special

Louisiana in Chinatown

This past Saturday was a perfect spring day:  sunny, my kind of optimal temperature, not too hot with a nice breeze, and full of POLLEN.  The allergies are striking me hard this year and the medicine did not help.  I didn’t let my dripping nose, incessant sneezing stop me from taking my bike out for the first ride of the year.  I am not the bright tights, hunched over, speeding through central park or through the very hilly the Hudson Valley kind of bicyclist.  I am more of the leisurely, meander through the city, looking for new city bike lanes, with a helmet that looks to be too small for my head, kind of a bicylist.

Now that you have the proper image of me, allergy stricken and on a bike in Manhattan, lets get to the objective of this post.  While meandering this past Saturday, I stumbled upon an unexpected truck nestled in Chinatown.  It was an unpainted truck, without any fancy logo plastered.  The truck had a fold out picnic section, attached to the truck and seated maximum of 8 guests.  The American flag was up and country rock was heard.  Parking our bikes and walking up closer, we find it was  Jen N Outlaw’s Fish Fry Truck.  The simple menu and the long lines screamed out, must stop for lunch!

The Simple Menu

Perhaps we were hungry but probably more so intrigued by the Louisiana in Chinatown that compelled us to order almost everything on the menu:

The Catfish Po Boy was a good heaping size.  The catfish was fried perfectly but I didn’t wholeheartedly love the bread.  I am not sure what kind of bread a tradition po-boy calls for, but I thought this sourdough like bun was too tough for the delicately crispy fried fish.  Plus, it was kind of hard to take a full bite!  Otherwise, I thoroughly enjoyed the sandwich.

Catfish Po Boy

The Crawfish was a popular choice and we had to wait patiently for the next boil…

Mr. Paul Outlaw pouring steaming crawfish right out of the pot

I don’t think I ever had crawfish simply boiled and ready for picking, so I was very excited to try them.  Personally, I thought it was a lot of work for very little meat, but I guess it was fun picking and gnawing at them little suckers. My eating buddy who has had more experience with these tiny lobsters said they were one of the largest ones he ever had!  There was a generous amount of cayenne on the crawfish so those who can’t take the heat, be warned.

Crawfish or Crayfish or Crawdads or Mini Lobsters

And for sides, some fried pickles!

Hot from the fryer

We washed down our meal with some of their sweet teas.

This was my highlight for this past Saturday and I am so happy that allergies did not deter me.  Have some of your own crawfish, look for them on Twitter!