The Red Hook Lobster Pound is proof positive that there is so much more to Red Hook than just Ikea and Fairway. Stroll down Van Brunt Street and you are surrounded by a multitude of quaint wine stores, boutiques, and bakeries. A secluded enclave with a strong local presence and character; the only reason you know you are in New York is because of the Statue of Liberty staring you in the face.
My first trip to RHLP came on the insistence of my father who is friends with the owners father. Since then I find every excuse possible to get to Red Hook even checking their twitter feed to find their mobile trucks whereabouts when I get an unstoppable craving for a lobster roll. So after a trip to Fairway last weekend my roommate and I walked in ready to satisfy my craving and introduce Kristin to RHLP.
I have only tried their lobster roll and thought it was about time I try something new. The shrimp roll with roasted garlic and tarragon mayo seemed like the perfect afternoon snack so I ordered that with salt and vinegar chips. But this being Kristin’s first time at RHLP, she couldn’t get anything but the lobster roll (and salt and vinegar chips). Serving two styles, the warm and buttery Connecticut-style or the chilled and creamy traditional Maine-style, Red Hook Lobster Pound has lobster roll devotees covered (for the record Kristin went with Connecticut style).
My name was called out and I sprinted to the counter scooping up my basket of food. I sat down in their indoor picnic area festooned with nautical items and lobster kitsch next door waiting until Kristin arrived with her plate. How I managed to not dig in immediately I do not know as I sat transfixed with the food right in front of me.
I attacked it the minute Kristin sat down completely abandoning any manors I learned in cotillion or finishing school (yes I went..I can dance the Foxtrot and rest a book on my head). The roll was filled with succulent shrimp mixed with light mayo, fresh chives, and a hint of paprika that lay swaddled in a buttery roll reminiscent of the buttered toast from a really great grilled cheese sandwich. It’s cool, creamy and packed with flavor; perfect for a hot summer day.
Kristin constantly reminds me that I need to slow down when I eat so I made sure to take my time and savor each bite. But before I knew it, I was scavenging for any scrap left in the basket! When Kristin offered a bite of her lobster roll I just couldn’t say no! Her buttery Connecticut style lobster roll was a first for me and it was better than I expected, being a loyal fan of the Maine-style and all. It’s a savory mix of buttery bliss that enhances the flavor of the meat,! Get this and you have a butter party on your hands… literally. The unctuous chunks of lobster are drowned in butter and the largest I have ever seen!
Our meal was just what we needed after the stressful bumper car game we played navigating the aisles of Fairway on a Sunday. I don’t understand the people who balk at the price of a lobster roll simply unable to justify its price ($15). It’s a lobster roll for goodness sakes, get some street meat and call it a day as I hereby banish you from future rolls and deem you unworthy of its gloriousness. My shrimp roll was a steal at $8 and I couldn’t have asked for much more. I will do everything short of crawl to RHLP to get my fix.
RHLP may be hard to get to (only way is by bus, car, or bike) but trust me when I say the place is well worth the visit. For those who cannot trek it out to Red Hook check out their twitter feed to find out where the mobile truck is docked. To my friends in the District (especially Jon), hit up their truck roaming the streets of our nations capital and discover what all the fuss is about!!!
284 Van Brunt Street