Luke’s Lobster Truck is Awesome (As Much as It Pains Us to Pay Over $10 For Truck Food)
As I waited in line at Luke’s Lobster Truck Monday on 52nd and Lexington, I heard constant chatter of people walking by saying things like, “Luke’s Lobster has a truck here??” “Oh, I love this place!” ”I wish I hadn’t already gotten my lunch!” Excitement was in the air and not just from those of us who decided to brave the line on Luke’s first day out.
I too have been a fan of Luke’s since they opened their first location in the East Village about two years ago. Before that, the only time I really had lobster rolls in New York was at a restaurant and it would cost me between 20 and 30 bucks. Luke’s changed the game when they started selling lobster rolls for a measly $14. That was unheard of for a delicacy like this in an expensive city like NYC! And amazingly, Luke’s lobster wasn’t some finely chopped, mayo drenched monstrosity. This was the real thing!
But how would it work in Midtown, the neighborhood where 10 dollar lunches are king? Considering I’ve never seen any single menu item at a food cart or truck costing above 10 bones, I was hoping for a markdown. But when I arrived and saw that the full lobster roll costs $16 (a dollar more than their current store menu!), I was worried this would be the tipping point, opening up the gate for more expensive mobile menus.
In order to keep this a true Midtown Lunch, there are only four options: order a half lobster roll for $8 (which wouldn’t even fill up a minnow), stick to the crab or shrimp roll, or get lunch somewhere else. I decided to splurge a little bit and ordered a half lobster and a half crab roll. And I couldn’t resist a bottle of Sarsaprilla root beer (even though I still have trouble pronouncing it). The guy on the truck then asked me if I would like a free bag of Salt and Vinegar chips, which I thought was rather a silly question. Evidently, they’ll throw in a bag of chips with the purchase of a full roll and a drink. So the damage was $14, which wasn’t too bad considering I got to practically taste their entire menu.
The two rolls were side by side – both stuffed into a toasted and buttered hot dog roll. Lengthwise, they were pretty small. Yet fresh, beautiful crustacean meat overflowed from the top. It took some finessing to hold all the meat in the sandwich. But I love that even after I licked my fingers clean, there were still some lobster segments at the bottom of the container left for me to savor.
Not surprisingly, these rolls are just as good as the ones at their brick and mortar locations . The lobster and crab are practically untouched. There’s just enough added (a slather of mayo, squeeze of lemon butter, and a dusting of secret spices and herbs) to intensify and complement the natural deliciousness of the shellfish. I prefer the meaty richness of the lobster to the flaky sweetness of the crab, although I would eat both every day if I could afford it and cholesterol wasn’t an issue.
So, it’s possible to maintain the Midtown Lunch price point and get a delicious taste of Luke’s serious lobster rolls. The only problem is it probably won’t be enough to fill you up and the sandwiches are so fresh and tasty, that it will most likely have you clawing for more. And based on the literal talk on the street, the lines will only get longer. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
The + (What somebody who likes this would say)
- The food is as good as at Luke’s Lobster locations throughout the city
- The sandwiches are loaded with rich, buttery real lobster meat
- They offer half rolls at cheaper prices
- Free bag of chips with a roll and a drink
- 16 bucks for REAL LOBSTER MEAT
The – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)
- 16 BUCKS for lunch?!? From a Truck?!
- The lines moved slowly (although it was their first day. It’ll probably get better.)
- Even with lots of meat, the sandwich isn’t terribly filling
- The truck exterior is drab and easy to miss