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the Smack Shack Downtown Minny Food Truck

MarkG May 20, 2011 09:10 PM

I have heard about their lobster rolls and shrimp po boy. how many stars do you give them?? where do they park and have they started their new 2011 season??

  1. k
    kevin47 May 25, 2011 10:34 PM

    It's tough, because they should charge about $18 for the things. Alas, Minnesotans regard this as an unreasonable price for a sandwich. When it's between two pieces of bread, we demand that it be cheap. However, we are also content with sandwiches that are 98% bread.

    But yeah, don't expect a sandwich overflowing with lobster for $12. That's ridiculous. You might try one to see if they have the recipe down, and then ask if they can load it up for $20.

    9 Replies
    1. re: kevin47
      shadowfax May 26, 2011 11:17 AM

      The downside of living here. In Maine, a lobster roll is 7 to 9 bucks. The costs associated with getting the lobster here alive drive the prices up quite a bit. So yeah, for only $4 more than it costs where the lobster comes from, I wouldn't expect much. That said, I'd rather pay the $18-20 and get the real thing than get some sad imitation of it for only 6 bucks less.

      1. re: shadowfax
        fendel May 27, 2011 06:21 AM

        Their menu lists a "King Roll" with double the lobster for $18. I haven't been yet, but that sounds like the way to go.

        1. re: fendel
          JimGrinsfelder Aug 25, 2011 04:21 AM

          The King is overflowing. Eat them regularly and you'll be overflowing too.

        2. re: shadowfax
          JimGrinsfelder May 31, 2011 06:05 AM

          When was the last time you were in Maine? I was there three years ago and I recall the rolls at most places along the shore, where us tourists go, were priced around $12-$14.

          I happen to like the Smack Shack product and think it's the best lobster roll available in the Twin Cities. Maybe that's because it's the only one?

          I think the cook the lobster properly, it's tender, not rubbery, and they don't overdo the dressing. The tarragon is a nice touch. The one thing I think is important is that they be consumed immediately. This is not good take-away food because once the 'roll' cools off, it's about 1/2 as delicious as it is right from the truck.

          1. re: JimGrinsfelder
            shadowfax May 31, 2011 01:16 PM

            4 years ago. You're right - the touristy places in the beach towns are overpriced because they can be. The first restaurant we went to while still on our way to our destination had lovely oceanfront views and lobster prices that we're used to seeing here in MN.

            The place to get them is at the lunch shack of a lobster pier. The one in Boothbay Harbor (which also had very cool schooner trips for not very much money) was if I recall around 10 bucks for a lobster roll and a cup of chowder.

            1. re: shadowfax
              JimGrinsfelder Aug 24, 2011 02:26 PM

              $10 for a roll and a cup of chowder is better than $12 for a roll alone. Of course the plane ticket to Maine could set you back a bit more than $2 and a cup of chowder.

              I've got no problem with the price/quality ratio at The Smack Shack (as of my last visit a month or two ago). My only problem is parking downtown. So I'll wait till they move to their winter digs at 1029 Marshal where parking won't set me back the price of a roll.

              1. re: JimGrinsfelder
                AnneInMpls Aug 24, 2011 10:48 PM

                Jim, if you want to sample the Smack Shack without losing your shirt on parking fees, here's my tip: drive to Franklin & Cedar at late-lunch time, park (for free, if you can find a spot, which you usually can) at the light rail stop, then buy a ticket and zip downtown. One LR ticket is good for a round trip, and is less than most parking ramp fees - or at least is less stress than driving downtown. But don't tell everyone about those free parking spots at F & C - that's my big secret.

                1. re: JimGrinsfelder
                  NordeastB Aug 27, 2011 03:48 PM

                  Jim, they server in their 1029 digs every week. Free to park on Marshall.

                2. re: shadowfax
                  JimGrinsfelder Mar 28, 2012 06:32 AM

                  I gotta bring this up again because today I'm in Boston and last night I went to Summer Shack (near Fenway) and saw that they price their lobster rolls at $22.

                  Granted, Summer Shack is not on a pier. It's more like the seafood version of Famous Dave's.

          2. s
            scarter66 May 25, 2011 11:11 AM

            Hm, maybe two stars? I had the lobster roll, my lunch companions had the lobster roll and the crab po boy (special that day). We all had fries.

            The lobster roll is actually served on toasted bread, rather than a roll. It's not very large and it's not stuffed with much lobster salad so we felt the price tag quite steep. I don't know what market price is for lobster these days but it may account for the current price. My companions didn't like the po boy at all since the crab was breaded and fried (as is the shrimp apparently) and just had no flavor. The fries come seasoned and we all felt there was too much seasoning, particularly salt, and that they were not crisp enough. The lobster salad itself was quite good, and maybe I'd consider going back but it would have to be for a pretty big craving.

            7 Replies
            1. re: scarter66
              shadowfax May 25, 2011 11:55 AM

              That's what a lobster roll is supposed to be served on. If you're being totally authentic, you serve it on a white-bread toasted hot dog bun. But you're right about the amount of lobster. A real lobster roll should be overflowing with it, and a lot of it should be whole chunks of claw.

              1. re: shadowfax
                scarter66 May 25, 2011 01:21 PM

                Good to know about the bread, thanks. It wasn't big chunks of claw, nor was it overflowing.

                1. re: scarter66
                  BigE May 25, 2011 03:01 PM

                  My (limited) experience with lobster rolls has been on a split piece of white bread (brioche, most recently), something the thickness of 2-3 slices, buttered and toasted. It seems like an odd construction, but it works.

              2. re: scarter66
                LiaM May 26, 2011 12:17 AM

                I guess I haven't had all that many po boy sandwiches, but everyone I've seen has had the main ingredient breaded and fried. Are they not supposed to be that way?

                1. re: LiaM
                  meljohns May 26, 2011 09:23 AM

                  Yes, they are. Always fried.

                  1. re: meljohns
                    MIKELOCK34 Aug 15, 2011 01:01 AM

                    You are incorrect. Poboys can be made with anything.

                    1. re: MIKELOCK34
                      JimGrinsfelder Aug 25, 2011 04:18 AM

                      From wikipedia: A po' boy (also po-boy, po boy, or poor boy) is a traditional submarine sandwich from Louisiana. It almost always consists of meat, usually roast, or seafood, usually fried, served on baguette-like New Orleans French bread, known for its crisp crust yet fluffy center.[1]

                      So, you're both right.

              3. MplsM ary May 20, 2011 10:12 PM

                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/716736#5813494 <- Response to an old post of yours

                2 Replies
                1. re: MplsM ary
                  NobleDanSavage May 22, 2011 07:59 PM

                  They're on Marquette between 6th and 7th. The food is great as ever, but the lobster rolls are $12 each this year - last year they were $8.50. :(

                  1. re: NobleDanSavage
                    MrStPaul May 23, 2011 07:58 AM

                    They are indeed as good as they ever were, but at $12 a pop, I won't be going there often. That will buy a sit-down lunch at Vincent, D'Amico Kitchen, and several other downtown places. A 42% increase in price from one year to the next is a little over the top.

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