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Lobster Roll at...wait for it...Renaissance Faire in Irwindale

I kid you not. The past couple of years the Ren Faire has been importing various food truck and catering booths to compete with turkey legs, steak-on-a-stake, and baked potatoes. There's now a very good El Cholo stand, a fusion-y Italian truck (chicken in a pesto chile verde sauce and parmesan cheese on a roll), etc.

I went to accompany my Better Palate who likes to visit once a year, and we stumbled on a booth called "Thomas Towers." First thing on their chalk menuboard was "Lobster Roll." It was unbelievably delicious. I've had rolls in New England, and this was better than any I had there; better than the Lobsta Truck, better than Connie and Ted's.

They only have a butter option, no mayo. The roll is perfectly toasted on the bottom, and buttered. The lobster is warm and absurdly flavorful and tender. It's garnished with a few leaves of arugula.

I asked around and apparently the secret is that the lobster is...wait for it again...cooked in butter.

It's slightly smaller than Lobsta Truck's, bigger than Hungry Cat's thing (which is NOT a lobster roll). At $14, I thought it was perfectly fair.

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  1. love a mayo-free lobstah roll

    1. interesting. I'll be there next week (closing weekend)

      Any other 'houndish reports from Ren Faire?

      4 Replies
      1. re: ns1

        No spinal tap Stonehenge performances?

        1. re: ns1

          Other thing to check out is aforementioned Italian-fusion truck, draped in burlap at the very back of the Faire next to the joust entrance.

        2. Did it smell of Sriracha factory emissions?

          Seriously, that sounds pretty good.

          1. Hilarious. I walked by that truck last weekend thinking who the hell eats a lobster tool at the Ren Fair.

            The fish chips at the main food area is better than you'd expect and the chow pups like the sausage rolls.

            1. Going this weekend. Will have to check this out.

              Another random place to find a lobster roll: Disneyland. At a little food stand near the Haunted Mansion. But it's not very good.

              1 Reply
              1. re: TheOffalo

                Skip the lobster roll. Went to Disneyland for the first time in about, oh, 20 yrs a few wks ago. Had the corn dogs. Even though I'm apparently getting the watered down version, they were still DIVINE. Monte Cristo at Blue Bayou was also mighty good (if mighty expensive).

              2. Had this today. It is one of the better lobster rolls I've had in L.A. Warm, toasty roll, cool lobster claw meat only (I didn't get a cooked in butter taste from them), arugula a nice vegetal touch. Is a bit small, like maybe 3/5th the size of Cousins (still haven't tried Lobsta yet) but agreed the $14 was fair, considering the rest of the food at the place was more expensive than Disneyland's food!


                12 Replies
                1. re: TheOffalo

                  Offalo. Was today the last day for the Renaissance fair and it is possible to just have the lobster roll without paying for admission ??????

                  1. re: kevin

                    Yes it was the last day. You not only have to pay admission to get the roll, you have to pay $10 on top just to enter the darn park.

                  2. re: TheOffalo

                    Offalo, glad you concur. Yes, forgot to mention it was claw-only meat. And thanks for the photo, I was too excited to snap one.

                    Cooked in butter or not, there was something pretty special about the lobster therein.

                    Another good thing at the Faire, that I've never seen quite the same elsewhere, is a Toad-in-a-Hole, in the main food court.

                    Maybe that's what you meant by "sausage roll?" Or was that a Banger?

                    In synchronistic, un-Chowish news, the woman who created the original Renaissance Faire and spawned a multitude of knock-offs, Phyllis Patterson, passed away this morning. I owe a career, my spouse, and a multitude of friends to her.

                    So...may flights of angels sing her to her rest.

                    1. re: jesstifer

                      It was JudiAU who mentioned the sausage roll.

                      That's sad news about the the founder.

                    2. re: TheOffalo

                      If you got 3 bites out of it, it's as large (if not larger) than the one at the Lobsta Truck.

                      Glad to hear it was good. Although part of me wonders whether modern food trucks belong there (along w/ all the people wearing pirate [!] costumes)....

                      1. re: ilysla

                        The days of the Renaissance Faire being in any real way historically accurate are, sadly, long gone. As long as you're gonna have pirates and amplifiers for the performers and rock-climbing walls, ya might as well have food trucks. At least the food game there has been upped.

                        1. re: jesstifer

                          No, I agree w/ you. My partner was a long-time employee/participant, and he was so disheartened at the turn that the costuming aspect has taken in the past few yrs.

                          But as a Chowhound poster, I'm all for better food, be it historically accurate or not. I only went once to the Faire, but I actually really liked the turkey leg (as unwieldy as it was to eat).

                          To get back to the thread, do you know if Thomas Towers is a truck or something? I love the Lobsta Truck and would be interested in trying a version that you think is even better....

                          1. re: ilysla

                            I googled it and could not find anything related to a food truck outside of the faire. It's a stand not a truck inside the faire.

                            1. re: TheOffalo

                              To clarify: the lobster roll is from Thomas Towers, which is a permanent booth inside the Faire. There have also, in recent years, been food trucks inside the Faire as well, in the open area at the back near the joust.

                              The only one I noticed this year was the aforementioned "Mangia" truck serving Italian fusion stuff. I was told they were there most, but not all, weekends.

                              1. re: jesstifer

                                Steel City was also there, with some decor covering up their truck to make them look less truck-y.

                          2. re: jesstifer

                            are you a jester or part-jester then jesstifer?

                            1. re: jessejames

                              Depends on whether I'm having a good day or a bad day!

                      2. I too was at the faire yesterday; unfortunately did not see the lobster roll booth until I was leaving and didn't want to spend $14 on 4 bites after being fleeced for $30 for some henna tatoos.

                        Anyway, I stopped by the Fish n Chips booth and they were fucking SPECTACULAR. Not the BS frozen fried fish filets, but giant slabs of fish that were fried well. Presentation/size reminded me of "hot red bus" in Alhambra. At $10, quite reasonable. Anyone know how the oyster shooters are (from the same booth) for next year?

                        Also, the turkey legs sucked. They're like, roasted or something.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: ns1

                          Those suckers should be smoked. Smoked. Smoked.

                          Wow. This is turning into a foodie event. Too bad yesterday was the last day.

                          1. re: ns1

                            The fried oysters from the same fish & chips stand were surprisingly decent. Not the best specimen of oyster, but what do you expect at a non-food-centric event, but they were freshly fried (and not over fried), plump, not funky, and the batter was good too. The fries sucked though.

                            Saw someone order the shooters. They looked fine but I'm not sure I'd want to risk it. Heh.

                            1. re: TheOffalo

                              the fries on my FnC were actually pretty good (same fries), but they were prepared en masse and sat there until someone ordered them, so I imagine it totally depended on your luck.

                              i too was skeptical about buying oyster shooters from the stand, but hey everything else seemed pretty "on point" and the pricing was decent.