With no oceans within 1,000 miles, Denver is far from being known for an east coast delicacy — the lobster roll. (Pronounced laahhh-bster). Rock N Lobster has proven that notion wrong and clawed its way to the top bringing New England flavor to this landlocked state.
Chances are whatever type of restaurant you can think of Chef Andrew Harris has worked there. From high-end restaurants with white tablecloths to sports bars — he has done it all. But after years of cooking in different environments, he now calls the shots for his food truck, Rock N Lobster Roll.
“It’s every chef’s dream to have their own restaurant,” Harris explains. “Unfortunately, without start-up capital, it’s pretty expensive to start a restaurant. So naturally, we went with the truck idea. It’s a cool trend in Denver right now.”
He started the truck in the spring of 2017, bringing traditional, east coast dishes to the landlocked state of Colorado.
“Lobster rolls are something you just don’t find [here],” Harris says.
While the chef’s goal is to remain as authentic to New England style lobster rolls as possible, the truck’s offerings also include some fun, creative options. Both the lobster and split top buns it’s served on are shipped from Maine to ensure the highest quality product. Their menu includes a traditional lobster roll, a lobster BLT and even lobster tacos. According to Harris, their lobster macaroni and cheese bite appetizer sells like crazy each week.
“It’s our food truck twist on a classic dish,” he says.
To cook on a truck versus in a restaurant kitchen, the pace is much quicker. Thus, a lot of the items are prepped beforehand to allow for quick assembly on the go.
“In a restaurant, people want to sit down and have a drink and hang out with their friends,” Harris describes. “But for us, we’ve got to crank out food quickly.”
In planning the truck’s menu, he finds that less is more when it comes to the ingredients of each dish.
“You don’t need to cloud everything,” Harris says. “The lobster in our food is the star, and we try to complement it as best as we can…There are a lot of east coasters out here, and they come to us and say, ‘Wow, this is really close to a taste from home.'”
For Harris, creating Rock N Lobster Roll was a familiar challenge. Since his culinary background is extensive and diverse, for the food truck he wanted to expand upon lobster rolls, a dish he is familiar with and enjoys, while also trying something new.
“I like to get a different take on things,” he says. “It’s boring to stay in one kind of cuisine…if this is going to be my life, I want to know as much about [cooking] as I possibly can.”