While at the Lot on Tap the other night I decided to give The Red Hook Lobster Pound a try. They offer two lobster rolls, Maine style (cold lobster with mayo) or Connecticut style (lobster and butter). I opted for Maine style as I like mayo in my lobster rolls and I like my lobster rolls cold.

I was unimpressed. This was the blandest lobster roll I’ve ever had. The roll consists of lobster, homemade mayo, celery, and undefined spices, yet none of these items give the rolls any flavor. The top of the sandwich was littered with a brown spice that added nothing to the roll other than discoloring it, thus making it look unappetizing. The roll easily fell apart, which made me eat a good portion with my fingers (I didn’t think to grab a fork for this sandwich).

After one bite it looked like there was no lobster in the bun itself, rather, all of the meat was placed on top of the roll. After careful inspection, that was the case. Barely any lobster meat was actually placed inside the bun; all of it was on top.

What’s the point of a sandwich if the meat isn’t going to be between the bread?

The staff was surly, to say the least. My roll-maker didn’t say one word to me and seemed bothered by the fact that he had to do his job and make me a lobster roll.

It’s been suggested that maybe I just don’t like lobster rolls, but I know that’s not the case. I love lobster rolls, I just hate wasting money on crappy ones. And this was an overrated, tasteless lobster roll that was not worth $16. Maybe next time, if there is a next time, I’ll try Connecticut style, maybe that’s the way to go.

This Red Hook Lobster Pound truck was located at the Lot on Tap at 30th st. and 10th Avenue. There are multiple other locations throughout Manhattan (http://redhooklobsterpound.com).

Advertisements

Num Pang

July 20, 2011

Num Pang is the kind of sandwich shoppe that you can frequently walk past, never knowing it’s there. But once you find it and have a sandwich, you’ll forever remember where it is. And if it weren’t for Sara D., I’d still never know it was there.

FIVE-SPICE GLAZED PORK BELLY SANDWICH
To be honest, this sandwich was way out of my comfort zone. I’m used to sliced salty lunch meats, lobster rolls, sliced cheese, lettuce, tomato. I’m not used to pork belly, and boy have I been missing out.

The pork belly itself was tender and juicy, like a well-aged, and well-marinated, pork chop. It’s a thick hunk of unsliced bacon topped with cucumber, pickled carrots, cilantro, and chili mayo on a baguette. All of these ingredients work in unison to give the sandwich a taste and spiciness that is very similar to that of a banh mi. There was a perfect amount of pork belly in relation to the total sandwich size which meant the flavor in every bite was consistent, and consistency is key here. And right at the end of my first pork belly sandwich was a nice piece of fat that was too heavenly to describe.

As Sara perfectly put it “embrace all the awesomeness of a ‘fat’ sandwich and try not to think about the calories…”

SKIRT STEAK
Although not as filling as the pork belly, the skirt steak is just as tasty, possibly because it has the same toppings and chili mayo as the pork belly, but it also has crushed peppercorn and coriander seeds. Now, I like peppercorn on my steaks, so adding it to a steak sandwich makes a lot of sense to me.

The biggest flaw of this sandwich is it seems to be lacking in skirt steak. The latter third of my sandwich was all sauce, no steak. Mind you, the sauce is good, and the end of the sandwich was tasty with just the bread and the sauce, but a little more steak would have made the sandwich 10 times better.

 

SIDES
Thus far, the only side I’ve been able to try is the corn on the cob, and it was fantastic. It was a full piece of corn, not a half or a quarter, and it was dosed in chili mayo, coconut flakes, and chili powder. It’s a nice chunk of corn, but there’s an inconsistency to the flavor because the spices can be overwhelming in one bite and non-existent in the next.

FINAL THOUGHTS
Num Pang is cash only (don’t be like me and remember this when you get to the front of the line). The line looks longer than it is, especially during the summer, but the cashier is quick and the sandwich makers are even quicker. The sandwiches are quickly made because all of the sandwiches have the same toppings and there are no substitutions, alterations, or modifications (ie, no deletions), which means one man can constantly put all of the same toppings on the sandwiches while someone else places the meat.

Although it makes it a bit of an assembly line, the final product is well worth the wait.

Num Pang is located at 21 E. 12th St. (www.numpangnyc.com/) and they can be found on Twitter @NumPang

There’s a glut of food trucks in Manhattan. Sandwiches, wafels & dinges, frozen yogurt, burgers, lobster rolls, you name it, we’ve got it. I’ve been intrigued by the “World’s Best Sandwich Truck”. The truck used to a be a deli, but once they were bought out they switched to a truck and have been serving sandwiches from it since 2006. After trying two sandwiches, it’s safe to say that they are most definitely not the world’s best sandwiches.

Spanish Sub
My first choice was the Spanish Sub. It had the makings of my kind of sandwich: chicken cutlet, mozzarella, lettuce, tomato, avocado, and jalapeno; and the main reason I choose this sandwich was the jalapenos. I enjoy jalapenos but, due to a lack of creativity, I only add them to tacos and burritos. I thought having them on the sandwich would provide a little bit of a kick. I was expecting spicy molecules to attack my tongue, alas, there was no attack that day. Why? The center of the jalapenos were cutout, which meant the sandwich did not have the spice I was hoping for.

The chicken was thin, which was good for this sandwich, but the rest of the ingredients never really gelled. The avocado was too thick. Rather than being used as a dressing for the sandwich, it was just three or four large chunks unevenly spaced out. The lettuce and tomato cluttered the sandwich with unneeded ingredients. This would have been a better sandwich if the jalapenos were spicy and there were fewer ingredients. Replace the lettuce and tomato with a light salsa or a pico de gallo and I think we’re starting to get somewhere. As it stands, the sandwich isn’t worth trying, Although full, there was a sense of disappointment after finishing the sandwich. Weeks later, it’s sad that my main memory from this sandwich is my disappointment in the lack of spice.

American Sub

The American Sub (aka The Lettuce Monster)

On my second visit I choose even more poorly. The American Sub features ham, turkey, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, and mayo. I was shocked to find that these ingredients did not go together at all because the sandwich was virtually tasteless, except for the lettuce.

Look at the picture: the sandwich has more lettuce than meat and you can taste that with each and every bite, On the rare times that I was able to taste the meat, it tasted as if there were only 1 slice of ham and 1 slice of turkey on the sandwich. Then it was back to the lettuce. The tomato and the mayo were nonexistent.

The sandwich was just not good on any level, and there’s no point in beating this horse to death.

Conclusion
The sandwiches are affordable and the workers are friendly, but these are two of the worst sandwiches that I’ve ever had. These aren’t the world’s best sandwiches, not even close. They’re low-end deli sandwiches from a food truck. They aren’t memorable and they aren’t tasty.

The World’s Best Sandwich Truck is parked on 20th St. between 5th Ave and Park Ave.  (Although they don’t have a proper online presence, their menu can be found at: http://www.menupages.com/restaurants/worlds-best-sandwich-truck/menu)