Catch a Lobster Roll in Georgetown
Craving for a lobster roll or simply just curious what it is? Find this dish as a special at Tackle Box.
Washington, D.C. is all about the "lobstah love" these days. The arrival of the Brooklyn transplant Red Hook Lobster Pound food truck to the District streets has made many Washingtonians...well, hooked. But Georgetown residents don't have to follow the food truck to grab one of these classic delicacies from Maine. Just head over to M Street and catch a lobster roll at the local beach shack Tackle Box, 3245 M St.
Owner Jonathan Umbel says the lobster roll has been featured on the chalkboard menu outside the Tackle Box since the restaurant's arrival in Georgetown two years ago. Its lobster roll embodies the quintessential Maine-type of sandwich: large chunks of cold lobster meat mixed with homemade mayo on a toasted hoagie bun, and paired with a generous portion of house cut fries.
Umbel says he's "still trying to understand why people are going gaga" over lobster rolls, but he does like the fact that the truck's presence in D.C. highlights one of his restaurant's offerings. "It keeps people interested," he says.
The price for the lobster roll at Tackle Box, as well as Red Hook's, is steep for casual food. But its main component is lobster meat and both eateries boast of their environmental and sustainable practices. The lobster roll with fries is $19, more than the mobile vendor's $15 apiece or $18 for the meal that includes chips and soda. The lobster truck also serves two types of rolls: the Connecticut (warm and buttery) and the Maine (cold with mayo).
Tackle Box also offers its own shrimp roll, another item on the lobster truck's menu. Both are the less expensive sandwich options, but the dishes are different from one another. Tackle Box has the crispier version: deep fried, breaded shrimp served on a toasted hoagie and also accompanied by lots of fries ($11). Red Hook's roll is much more on the tender side and is tossed with tarragon mayonnaise ($7 each or $11 for the combo).
There are a few factors on deciding which venue to pursue your lobster rolls. First, the sizes of the rolls are slightly different. According to Umbel, who tried the truck's lobster rolls last week, the meat portion is about the same, but the mobile vendor's bun is smaller than Tackle Box's.
Another reason is that food trucks don't come to Georgetown. Due to the neighborhood's current street vending laws and perhaps exacerbated by the limited parking spaces, Georgetown is a fortress that can't be penetrated by mobile food vendors. And if you aren't fond of long lines, which the lobster truck is notoriously known for, absolutely curious what a lobster roll is or craving for one, and don't know the truck's whereabouts, then Tackle Box will be there for you. That is, during its hours of operation: Sunday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Tackle Box is the laid-back sibling of its upscale neighbor Hook, 3241 M St. NW. Besides seafood rolls, its serves a variety of seafood catches from wood-grilled calamari to fish tacos.