Thus was born Claw’s lobstah pushah persona. He perfected his act with an Ali G-style costume that mixed lobster- and Boston-sports-themed attire and a thick, gold-spray-painted chain holding up a large lobster claw (also spray-painted gold). Dr. Claw was now equal parts “culinary” and “art.” And if the lobster rolls were good enough to hook customers, it was Claw’s performance that kept them coming back.
“You do the cash/crustacean handoff in literally three seconds, and then you’re on your way,” says John Hendrickson, a longtime Greenpoint resident and frequent Dr. Claw customer. “And the rolls were sublime—hot grilled bun, at least half a pound of warm fresh lobster, copious melted butter, and nothing else.”
Sadly, Claw’s success was also enough to place him on the radar of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, which regulates food safety in the city. The agency was hot on Claw’s delicious, buttery tail for some months before it finally forced him to shut down his operation in Augus
The Lobster Underground - Reason Magazine
Libertarians take on stupid food cart and restaurant regulations in Reason. However, Libertarians are clueless regarding the correct configuration of a true lobster roll. They say it comes on a hot dog bun. A regular hot dog bun—an elongated oval-shaped piece of bread made for hot dogs—would obliterate the regional character of the lobster roll, which is traditionally a New England delicacy.
A true lobster roll uses a New England top split bun, which looks like a miniature white bread loaf split lengthwise. They rolls are baked a few to a pan then torn apart into individual rolls. The shaggy sides are toasted and buttered on the outside. Unlike regular hot dog buns that are squishy and succumb to sogginess, the New England top split bun, toasted and buttered, holds up to the filling and adds texture.
If an establishment serves lobster (or clam) rolls, ask what kind of bun they use before ordering. The fo reals places will use the top split, even on the West Coast which is as far from New England as you can get.
By the end of next year, you’ll begin to see some big brands rolling this out,” says Robert Stidham, president of Franchise Dynamics LLC, a Homewood, Ill., company that helps businesses develop franchises. Mr. Stidham says he’s been involved in “serious” discussions with about a half-dozen national food franchises on strategies for going mobile. He declined to name specific chains.
Big Chains Try Food Trucks - WSJ.com
In my experience, food truck/cart offerings have been amateurish and disappointing. That being said, I feel badly if they have to compete for customers and limited space with corporate chain mobile units. But do people really want to huff chain food on a sidewalk or in an alley if the same meal can be had seated, indoors?
Even the most insipid lumpia filled with frozen vegetables (srsly) is wonderful when it’s mouth-searingly hot and fresh, eaten in an alley on a balmy summer evening with others who sought out the cart. The corporate trucks have money and a marketing department, but the indie trucks will always have the Dumpling Effect.