Joe Loves Lobster Rolls With a Whole Different Seaside Offering
I have found the answer to all those questions that life throws at you. The big questions:
What would you eat if you could only eat one food for the rest of your life? What would you want for a last meal? What do you want to eat for your birthday? Anniversary?
How can I have lived all these years, just shy of sixty of them, and never had a lobster roll? I can only plead Midwest roots, a European childhood, and not knowing anyone from Maine.
Yesterday I saw a calendar notice for Joe Loves Lobster Rolls rolling into Wilmington, which I half-registered, and tucked in my mental foodie files.
I spent today, a long day, at Wilmington’s celebration of all things Southern, Azalea Fest. I was escaping both festival food and the crowds, turning up Castle Street, and there it was. The Joe Loves Lobster Rolls’ 1972 “canned ham” lobster trailer. Blue and white. Kind of beach-y, in a Cape Cod kind of way. I drove past, continued a couple blocks, rethought that decision, and circled back.
What does a foodie do when confronted with something totally new. Order one, just as offered. Be cool. A little nonchalant. While I waited for my Authentic Main Lobster Roll, promised with a lemon, pickle, chips, and a bottle of water, gentleman walked up and ordered two, saying he had driven past and then back-tracked. It’s a thing. It catches you, whispers in your ear, demands attention. The couple in front of me got their order, crossed the sidewalk and sat on the curb to eat. I paid $20 (I chose the larger of two sizes, “Joe” or “Junior”) for my brown carryout box of a “Joe,” and, at that price, was more than a little skeptical.
I am a skeptic no more. The lobster roll from Joe Love’s is the answer to all that. I was thinking “lobster salad,” like some chopped up sealegs offering. Not a chance. This is a lobster on a roll. Real, gorgeous, giant pieces of claw, and tender white meat.
This Midwest girl is now a lobster roll devotee. I would rather eat a lobster roll from Joe Loves food truck window than a claw-waving lobster from a tank in a fancy restaurant. Any day.
Simple food, it’s almost impossible to describe how perfect this thing is. A sliced roll slathered with butter and grilled, stuffed with giant chunks of cold steamed Maine lobster very lightly mixed with mayonnaise. Hot. Cold. Butter. Lobster. I can’t even.
“It’s like crack,” says owner Tony Herndon, “you’ll be back.”
No joke. His lobster rolls are the answer to everything. I believe.
Next time, I might just plop down on the curb and dive right in, too.
Find Joe Loves Lobster Rolls Wilmington NC food truck days, times, and locations via their Facebook page.