When one thinks of all the food carts that line the streets of Manhattan, the first thoughts come to mind of old school Sabrett Hot Dog Vendors, roasted cashews, pretzel stands, and of of course all the ethnic food carts that sell halal. The halal carts have actually come to dominate many of the streets of Manhattan. We also can’t leave out the numerous fruit stands selling grapes, apples, bananas and other various fruits and vegetables ripe for a quick sale. Over the past ten years, there have also been deluxe food trucks that sell gourmet renditions of waffles, Korean Barbecue, grilled cheese, and donuts from another world. Today, I ran into a food truck that I had never seen before. It was also possibly one of the best food trucks that I have ever eaten from on the streets of Manhattan. And I have eaten from a lot of trucks and stands over the past fifty years.
As I walked out of one of New York’s finest hospitals on York Ave and 67th street, standing in front of me was a large black truck with the words Cousins Main Lobster. I had originally intended on stopping for a slice of pizza, but with this massive food truck flaunting the words “Main Lobster,” standing right in front of me, my plans instantly changed.
As I approached the truck, I noticed a long line of hospital workers waiting to order food. If there’s anyone that deserves to have some good food during their breaks, it’s these New York Hospital workers who have fought a war during this pandemic. I glanced at the menu and saw a few options that looked pretty good. The main seller on the truck was the Lobster Rolls. You could get the “MAINE,” which was a Maine lobster roll that is served chilled with mayo on a New England style roll. The other choice was the “CONNECTICUT,”which was a Maine lobster roll served warmed with butter and lemon on a New England style roll. Both rolls were priced at $18.50. Now that’s a much higher price than a slice of pizza or a New York hot dog, but hey! I have this website I have to write for so I figured this was a good investment. And they looked so good!
Lobster Rolls were not the only items on the menu. The Cousins Maine Lobster truck also served New England Clam Chowder, Lobster Bisque, Lobster Grilled Cheese, Lobster Tots (Tater tots served with warmed Maine lobster, cilantro lime sauce, pico de gallo) Lobster Tacos and even a Lobster Quesadilla. They also had a combo deal in which you could get a soda and a bag of chips or a Cousins Maine Lobster Whoopie Pie for a few dollars extra with your Lobster Roll. Now with so many great choices, this was tough to pick. However, I do love combos so I went with The Connecticut Lobster Role with a soda and a Whoopie Pie. I also can never turn down trying a restaurant’s clam chowder. I once spent an entire week searching for the best cup of clam chowder in Boston. So I also ordered a cup of the New England Clam Chowder. As I was with my son, I ordered the exact same thing for him. The bill came to sixty dollars. Never in my life have I ever spent sixty dollars at a street food stand of truck. However, this was no ordinary food truck.
We took our food and sat down against one of the hospital buildings on the sidewalk. That’s the way most people who work in the city do it who buy from the food tucks on their breaks. It’s not something tourists do, it’s what real New Yorkers do. You walk with a slice of pizza or hot dog, you lean or sit against a building when you need to use a fork or a spoon. So were the Lobster Rolls worth the prices? ABSOLUTELY! It was probably the best Lobster Roll I have ever eaten.
The Lobster Roll was filled with very fresh tasting Lobster cooked perfectly with just the right amount of butter. The roll was also toasted and very buttery itself. The Clam Chowder was excellent, filled with plenty of clams and just the right amount of cream. It was not too salty or peppery to kill the clam flavor. I have never been a fan of Whoopie Pies and since the Whoopie Pie was so large I figured I would take one bite and throw it away………. I ate the whole thing. It was really good. My only complaint was my soda was warm, but I could live with that.
So who are the people behind the Maine Lobster Truck and where did they come from? It turns out that the Cousins Maine Lobster Truck is run by a company that started out in 2011 with one truck in California. Two cousins named Jimmy and Sabin saw how well food trucks were doing in Los Angeles. However, no one was serving fresh Maine Lobster. So, the two cousins launched their business. Employees of Shark Tank would become customers. Eventually, the producers of Shark Tank invited the cousins to appear on the show. Shark Tank would turn out to be the best thing they ever did. On the show, they were able to agree on a deal with Shark Tank’s Barbara Corcoran who helped the cousins eventually launch twenty trucks into thirteen cities across the United States.
Cousins Maine Lobster has two food trucks located in New York that visit all five boroughs of New York City and also Long Island on a rotating basis. If your interested in finding the truck schedule, you can just click on the link to their website which offers their schedule in New York and other areas in the U.S. Cousins Maine Lobster is a success story in many ways. In the end, what matters the most is the product. I would have never thought that I could find such fresh tasting Lobster Rolls from a food truck. Today, Cousins Maine Lobster proved very easily that I could.