First Look at the Red Hook Lobster Pound Truck

Red Hook Lobster Pound Truck

As we pointed out last week, midtown went from zero lobster roll trucks to two lobster roll trucks in the blink of an eye- and just in time for summer. I missed out on Luke’s Lobster Truck last week, so when I saw that the Red Hook Lobster Pound Truck was a mere block from my office yesterday (and didn’t have a line!), I hurried to check it out.

Red Hook Lobster Menu

My family on my mom’s side are Mainers from way back, we’re talking pilgrim settlers who arrived in Massachusetts and headed straight up north. They’re a hearty and opinionated lot. Like the whole mayo vs. butter debate–my grandmother, a Mainer through and through (who eventually settled in CT) would have been miffed at the notion that a lobster roll with butter was a Connecticut thing. With that sort of influence, I grew up thinking that lobster rolls should be top split bun, butter only, no filler. That said, I’m a lover, not a hater, so there’s room in my heart and tummy for mayo and butter rolls alike.

When I arrived at the truck, there were only a couple people in front of me and the line moved quickly. I ordered both the Maine style (lobster, homemade mayo, minced celery and shredded lettuce) and Connecticut style (just lobster and butter, served warm). Both are served on a JJ Nissan top-split bun, a favored bun in Maine and a nice authentic touch.

Maine Lobster Roll
Maine style lobster roll

Back to the rolls. Let’s breakdown how what you get compares to Luke’s. Both charge $16 for a lobster roll. RHLP does full rolls only, so there’s no half price, half roll option. Luke’s does just one kind of roll with a touch of butter, a bit of mayo and lemon, no filler at all. The Maine-style roll at RHLP has a little bit of celery as well as a small amount of shredded lettuce and scallions on top. But, for mayo haters (hello, Mamacita!) RHLP has the benefit of offering a butter only roll.

Connecticut style lobster roll
Connecticut style lobster roll

Both rolls were well stuffed with plenty big meaty lobster pieces, and lots of sweet claw meat. Both were light on the fat binding agent–not overwhelminly buttery or mayo-y. Yes, $16 is hard to spend for lunch, but between here and Luke’s you’re not going to find better quality lobster rolls in the city for cheaper. Lobster rolls in Maine not quite of this caliber will run you north of $13 and lobster by the pound is way cheaper there (my family was horrified when lobster went past four bucks a pound).

If you like mayo and you hate any filler in your roll, Luke’s is probably your best bet and if you hate mayo and/or like your lobster roll warm, then RHLP is for you. If you’re an equal opportunity lobster eater, just check the Twitter Tracker to see who’s closer to you.  Speaking of Twitter Tracker, I spied an interesting convo going on between CoolhausNY and RHLP. That’s a potential lunch time double header I’m willing to splurge for.

According to their website, RHLP is scheduled to be on 52nd and Lex today.


  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    I had the Connecticut roll from there last week and I thought it was pretty good. I didn’t have any of those green things in mine though. I also had the chips and soda for $2 extra.

  • I had the Maine on their debut day, after I told myself I wouldn’t get it. When I passed by and saw 0 line, I thought it was a sign. I thought the lobster roll was kind of skimpy, and that from the photos I’ve seen here, Luke’s “looks” heartier. 16 bucks for 3 or 4 bites of food is not really a good lunch. It’s more of a VERY expensive snack. I thought it was fairly tasty, and I suppose I wouldn’t do much better elsewhere in the City from any commercial establishment, but I can’t see people eating this with any sort of regularity b/c it’s so damn pricey and small.

  • To be fair, i avoided the chips and soda, opting only for the lobster roll. Had i indulged in both, I would have been fine for lunch. I just didn’t want chips or soda at the time b/c I was walking my dog and could barely hold the lobster roll as it was since she was jumping up trying to snack on it….

    • Yea, totally be pissed if Max ate my lob roll.

      It really doesn’t look too filling by itself. The soda and chips might be needed.

      I am curious to know if Luke’s quality is better?!

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    They are 47th and lex today.

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    How’s the Shrimp Roll? $11 with chips and a drink isn’t too much out of midtown lunch territory…

  • Does RHLP use both tail and claw meat? I think Luke’s would get the edge since they use 100% claw meat which is much more tender and tasty, as well as more expensive than tail meat.

  • I tried the Maine lobster roll a couple weeks ago. It was OK. I don’t think it was packed with flavor, and at $16 it’s kind of a splurge. I could go to Katsuhama for around the same price and have an enjoyable lunch.

Leave a Reply

You must log in or register to post a comment.