Main Location: Minneapolis
The white truck with the giant lobster on its hood, Smack Shack skyrocketed to the very top of local Magazine’s Food Truck Lists before the end of their first year. High-end seafood and lobster is their game, serving up a couple Po-Boys, Lobster Salad, and, the true draw, their Lobster Roll.
The Roll comes in both regular and “King Size,” served on griddled Milk Bread. Nationally recognized, it has listed in the U.S. Top Ten Lobster Rolls for the last few years, and is likely to remain there for quite some time.
One does not have to go on the Street just to find them, however. Working out of the 1029 Bar, Smack Shack serves its ENTIRE menu (not just the 5 items served in the truck).
Gotta admit, it’s Nationally recognized and there is a reason for that. Each slice of the Milk Bread is 1, 1½ thick, and once griddled is buttery and creamy, soft… like the ultimate brioche. The Lobster is tender, sweet and flavorful, and encompasses what makes this Roll so good. Unlike others, it’s not shredded; they leave it in whole, giant chunks; whole and half claws, bare chopping of the tail. It just acts as this guilty pleasure of enjoying so much of this “special meal” item in such gluttonous excess, and for a sandwich no less.
Mixed with a very light, clean mayonnaise and tarragon, one of my favorite herbs, it combines into one of the best sandwiches in the entire city.
I’d talk about the other menu items, but the fact is that those are very rarely purchased in comparison to their Lobster, so for a rating system they’re practically of no consequence at all. Though assuming they are anything but delicious versions of the regular would be unwise; the Chef and owner was a Teacher of mine, and I know his dedication to quality and flavor, not to mention the many techniques they use to speed and quality.
Though sandwiches are their focus, placement is within those awkward cardboard to-go-box thingies, along with chips. Po-Boys are probably the easiest to hold, but the Roll feels a little bulky. They aren’t quite as simple to hold-n-eat as they immediately look.
Overall, individually not that difficult to hold, but combined with the serving box and one is the wiser to look for a place to sit; becomes a bit odd when walking.
They’re lucky to get any points at all, but I don’t like giving 0 on anything, and they do have ONE $9 item. But unlike Barrio, where you can see the basis for this rant, which sells 3 different tacos for that price, you wanna know what Smack offers?
A SAUSAGE SANDWICH. That’s it. I’m sure it’s a really good sausage, but for $9, when the rest of the menu is filled with Lobster and Shrimp? That is a bit of a Smack.
Here’s the Kicker; remember me mentioning the 1029 bar? Well, it just so happens that both the regular and King Lobster Roll on the Food Truck Menu cost MORE than the ones in the Restaurant, despite being exactly the same. So not only are the prices higher than any real Street Food has a right to be, they charge more for getting it on the Road at lunch than if you were sitting down for Dinner. If anything it should be the other way around.
As always, what gets me frustrated is the fact that one could easily make the choice to develop a couple menu items at a lower price. Nothing stopping them at all, but then why would they NEED to when there are so many businesspeople able to spend out $15-20 every day for lunch?
I have to recognize that, among all the Food Trucks offered, Smack Shack has put a lot of effort in streamlining their process. This includes two different lines for cash and credit, a long window for production and waiting, and a well-practiced production line. Instantaneous it is not, but for specialty sandwiches like this, this speed is highly impressive and worthy of a good score.
Lines are usually still long though.
The TOE: 1
I am very lucky in the fact that I was able to get a free sandwich during one day of class with my Teacher, because I had absolutely no plans of ever ordering from Smack Shack, ever. My only real hope was going to 1029 for dinner at one point or another.
In my consideration, this is not a Food Truck. I find it very frustrating and insulting to all of the other hard-working, quality Trucks in the city whenever I see people putting Smack Shack on the top of their Street Food lists. Their Food may be the best, but they do not embody any Spirit of what True Food Trucks are. They are a Business, a High-end Lunch Café in a different form; they don’t serve people on the street, they serve Businesspeople and Office Workers who can come down for work.
I’m not exaggerating on that either. Go visit them during a busy lunch. I’ll bet you most, if not almost every person in line is in some form of Casual Formal-wear for work. That’s their target audience, and if they were to set up shop in any other kind of location besides a busy Downtown-area, they would NOT be able to survive like they are now.
Smack Shack has broken and disregarded the one aspect of Food Trucks that should never be ignored, nor forgiven. I’m not even sure if I’d go back if they ever do decide to add affordable item; though if they do, I hope it’s not something like the regular burger at the 1029.
Don’t ever go here. Eat at the 1029 for Dinner sometime; you can get the same food plus a few other interesting options (the Lobster Mac is really good), and the Rolls actually cost a little less. Lobster Roll is the obvious Must-Have on your first visit. I’d say just go for the Regular, it’s pretty filling as-is (King might be good as a more affordable way for two people to order the sandwich, just split). It is a much more acceptable feeling to eat this for a fun dinner, and you don’t have to worry about walking around with it.