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October 14, 2010

Maine Taste Goes Mobile

Food trucks are one of the year’s biggest food trends, rolling from neighborhood to neighborhood in cities across the country, laden with everything from Red Velvet cupcakes, saucy poutine and Korean bulgogi to spicy breakfast tacos, goat curries and organic soups. Driver/chefs use Twitter to update eaters on their ever-changing locations as well as to request help with parking spaces — in exchange for grub, of course.

mobile lobster truck

Since late-August in Washington D.C., the lines have stretched 50 eaters deep for Maine lobster rolls at the Lobster Truck.  Customers bring folding chairs. They talk incessantly about their devotion to “Maine-style” (with mayo, versus Connecticut-style, which is drizzled with butter) and buy t-shirts that say “Your Maine Hook up.”

This is the real deal.  The folks from NY-based parent company Red Hook Lobster (co-owner Susan Povich — daughter of Maury – once lived in Bath) pick up fresh meat several times a week from Maine lobster-folk. The lobstermobile (which has more than 8,00 followers on Twitter) also offers native shrimp on Nissen rolls (I do know a thing of two about Maine shrimp), Maine Root soda and whoopie pies, heavy with fluff. And for $15, customers get a Maine summer experience that, from all of the pictures I have seen and stories I have heard, appears packed with fresh claw and knuckle meat – if maybe a bit small. Well, ever lobster roll seems small compared to Red’s.

So, what is a Maine girl to do? People have been talking about this mobile venture for months and I want to support the industry and local fishermen, but I have to laugh when I hear stories about people waiting for up to 2 hours for something that is so easy to make. But I’m a spoiled lobster brat. I’ll get there eventually – maybe on a Saturday night when I hear the lines aren’t as bad. Until then, I’ll wait. And make my own damned whoopie pies.

Jessica Strelitz is a contributing writer to Maine Food & Lifestyle magazine.

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