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« 23rd Annual Chocolates, Galore, and More | Main | Barrel Aging Whiskey At Home (Because You Have Too Much Time On Your Hands) »

Wed, Feb 16 2011 at 08:17 AM

Must Haves: Red Hook Lobster Pound's Lobster Rolls (but you knew that already)

Posted by Drew Long, Feb 16, 2011

IMG_0981 Must Haves focuses on some of D.C.'s best dishes.

It wasn't supposed to be like this. Last year, I sat down and put together a list of favorite dishes for this Must Haves series.

There was the burger, the pork sandwich and the french fries covered in gravy. There was also a lobster roll. It's served at a great little restaurant in Dupont. Having grown up in Florida, I wasn't exposed to this New England staple until I moved to the area, so the one in Dupont was my first. I've had others since, but this one remained the favorite.

And then a new lobster roll rolled into town, literally.

If you know anything about the recent food truck trend, you know about its brightest star: the Red Hook Lobster Pound truck. These guys need more publicity like I need a hole in the head.

The Washington Post, the City Paper and The Washingtonian have all praised the four-wheeled seafood shack. So why am I focusing on it? I'm late to the game and the big boys have already filled you in on how wonderful the food is, in particular the $15 lobster roll.

The thing is, they're right. In fact, they might not be stressing the point enough: for $15, you can buy the best damn four bite sandwich in Washington, D.C. (unless lobster's not your thing, in which case they're selling fondue in Penn Quarter).

Every time I order one of Red Hook's lobster rolls, I'm disappointed in how small they are. We're talking about a $15 sandwich that's served on a hotdog bun that's probably not six inches long. But man, do they stuff that tiny bun. Try as I might (and I try), I can't wrap my mouth around the lobster roll. There's just too much lobster meat. It's a buttery cornucopia of lobster plenty. 

The rolls come in two styles: Maine and Connecticut. The lobster meat in the Maine-style roll is lightly dressed with mayo, celery and seasoning (I guess Maine invented mayonnaise). The Connecticut is nothing more than lobster and warm butter in a bun.

Both versions are outstanding, but the Connecticut is absolutely amazing. It's just you, butter and a pile of sweet lobster meat (which is how I'd like to be buried one day). Quite simply, it's the very embodiment of the lobster roll. It makes the long lines worth it and the price perfectly acceptable.

It is the best lobster roll in D.C.

IMG_0971 Now, there is one other reason I wanted to feature Red Hook Lobster Pound's lobster rolls. I have a feeling this food truck thing might be more fleeting than the great cupcake craze of 2010. I hope I'm wrong. I do. But I like sitting down when I eat and maybe having an adult beverage. And when you're eating off a food truck, those options aren't available.

Besides, D.C. can be a fickle town and once the novelty of the trucks wears off, I'm afraid their legions of supporters will head back to traditional sit-down restaurants and turn their attention to the next big thing (I hear it's pie).

If that happens, it'll be a shame. Good food is good food, regardless of whether you buy it in a restaurant or from a food truck. And when it comes to lobster rolls, the best you can buy may be rolling through a neighborhood near you.

Categories: Buzz, DC, Food Carts, Lobster, Must Haves, Outdoor Dining, Sandwiches, Seafood, Washington, DC
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sean

I have to agree on the CT rolls as being the best. I tried to make these myself and couldn't do it for less than $15 with how much meat they put on there.

Things must be doing well as last I heard they still planned on launching a second lobstah truck in the spring.

chris

what is the dupoknt circle spot that started you on the path? Hanks Oyster Bar?

Drew

Hanks does serve a good lobster roll, Chris.

rohan

somehow I've never been able to get into these lunch trucks. This one sounds interesting though, I must admit.

Drakeel

You aren't the only one who is late to the game. I'm looking forward to trying the lobster roll. Thanks for the heads up.

teener

I had the Maine yesterday. It's safe to say those few bites changed my life. The best.

Food as passion

Great posting. Thanks for share. Keep it up.

Jessica

I loved the Lobster Truck, but now I've been converted to the new lobster place in chinatown- Luke's. It's much more convenient than chasing the truck around. Maybe a compare and contrast article so I can know where I can truly get best lobster roll outside of Maine.

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