Red Hook Lobster Pound

We went for lunch to Zoës Kitchen in Ballston, slobbering to try the Cauliflower Rice Bowl, only to be told that they were out of that — and would continue to be out of it until “the materials are delivered.” Hmm, okay, we’ll have the Mediterranean Grilled Chicken, then. “We’re out of that.”

We hadn’t really come with a third choice in mind, so we hit the pavement for the food trucks across the street. But which one? Tokyo in the City is good, if oddly named in a uniquely Japanese way — what is Tokyo if not a city? — so we order the takoyaki appetizer.

“We’re out of that,” he says.

At this point we feel the walls closing in… Has some grand conspiracy been hatched to prevent us from lunching in Ballston, or is it just bad luck? The latter, it turns out — unless the Red Hook Lobster Pound truck is behind the conspiracy — because they’re happy to give us a Lobster Roll in exchange for $18.65. That’s more than we wanted to pay for lunch, but being thrice denied, we pluck down the money and ask for it Maine style (“Tossed w/ Homemade Lemon Mayo”). The alternatives would be Connecticut, “Hot & Buttery,” or BLT style (see menu, below). It’s ready lickety-split and we scarf it down on a nearby bench.

There’s a good amount of lobster meat here, as much as we’ve had on a roll. The mayo is subtle and in no way overpowers the lobster flavor. The bun is warm — lightly buttered and toasted. We barely avoid the temptation for a Chocolate & Pumpkin Whoopie Pie, despite the seasonality of it.

There’s also a Shrimp Roll on the menu and Clam Chowder, but sadly no crab.

♦ “Whoopie Pie History and Recipes” at What’s Cooking America
♦ Yelp search results for “Best lobster roll in Arlington, VA”
♦ Down East Magazine’s best-lobster-roll-in-the-world competition (spoiler: It’s in Paris.)

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