You can’t miss the Red Hook Lobster Pound food truck. First, you catch the scent. Then, you hear the speakers blasting the B-52’s “Rock Lobster” (naturally). Then, you see the line — which has recently stretched to more than 250 people long. Once you get closer, you might begin to wonder whether Parliament Funkadelic has a new stage prop, because this mobile eatery looks out of this world. A sign on its side proclaims “Spreading Lobstah Love,” while red neon lights on the undercarriage give it a spaceship glow.
There’s also no mistaking the man behind this wheeled wonderland: Leland Morris is decked out in a Red Hook Lobster Pound baseball cap and a lobster-print shirt. (He claimed to be wearing similarly themed boxer shorts, as well.) He and his partner, Doug Povich, have a straightforward formula for success. “We call ourselves the Five Guys of lobster rolls,” Morris said. “We do one thing, and we do it really well.”
Their lobster roll is no-frills: Maine lobster is brought down to D.C. several times a week and prepared simply with a homemade lemon mayo, finely diced celery, sea salt and white pepper. “It’s an easy recipe,” admitted Morris. “We want people to taste the lobster first and foremost.” A heaping mound of this seafood salad is served on a buttered and griddled potato roll from J. J. Nissen in Massachusetts to complete the New England experience.
The truck also sells shrimp rolls and whoopie pies, while the back boasts a one-of-a-kind Maine Root soda dispenser with eight options, including Root Beer, Black Cherry and Mexi-Vanilla Cola. “Everything we serve is nostalgia food for people,” Morris says. “We deal in the classics.”
Behind the counter or in the street, people are excitedly munching away and everyone looks happy. “The foundation for this idea was to go out and have a good time,” Morris said. “We hope that people who come to the truck feel the same way.”
» Redhooklobsterdc.com; 202-341-6263.
Written by Express contributor Nevin Martell
Photo by Xiaomei Chen