I never understood people’s aversion to eating seafood in Colorado. Sure, we’re in a landlocked state and nobody is getting fish straight from the ocean to their plate. I’ve lived in a coastal state where this was possible, and yes, it is amazingly delicious, and yes, it doesn’t taste the same as something frozen and shipped a thousand miles. But, the aversion conversation makes it seem like eating shipped fish is gross or even dangerous, so people stick to beef and chicken. It’s not that bad. Seriously.
If you’ve been reading Feasting Fort Collins for any length of time, you’ll notice that I’ll usually order seafood over anything else. So much that I get called out for it by some readers telling me to eat more meat and potatoes. I’ve had seafood in all sorts of places around Fort Collins – all of it shipped in various forms – some from food distributors like Shamrock and others flown in from specialized fish markets. And either way, while there is a difference, it still tastes good to me.
So, as a seafood lover through and through, you can imagine my excitement from the addition of Mile High Lobster Shack to our local food truck scene.
In August 2014 Nancy and Doug Van Reeth, former Coloradans who left the state to live in Maine, returned to the Front Range and opened Mile High Lobster Shack, a small food cart roaming breweries, festivals, and street corners to serve authentic Maine Lobster Rolls.
Their menu is small with only a few items to choose from. Their lobster rolls have large pieces of Gulf of Maine lobster with a scant amount of Best Foods Mayo, fresh lemon juice, a dash of celery salt and a pinch of fresh ground black pepper. The New England style hot dog rolls are split down the top, buttered on the sides and toasted. The lobster roll is set on a bed of Shoestring Potato sticks accompanied by a fresh lemon wedge and baby dill pickle.
They also have Hebrew National hot dogs and Beer Brats, both steeped in Odell’s 90 Shilling and served on the same kind of roll as the lobster, as well as sodas, Moxie, Whoopie Pies and chips.
I’ve had their lobster rolls a few times at various places – from the corner at Oak Street to their Horsetooth Reservoir stop. My first impression was that they were small and mild in flavor. Their simplistic approach is best, as I’ve had lobster rolls from other local restaurants that were essentially drowning in mayo dressing. With the Mile High Lobster Shack rolls, all you get is the delicate flavor of lobster, a buttered bun, and a little lemon juice from the wedge. It’s nice. A dash of sea salt could help accentuate some of the lobster flavor a bit.
I did find myself with a bit of sticker shock at $14 for the snack-sized sandwich, but it’s actually less the going rate for lobster rolls anywhere from here to Denver. Zagat just published a top 7 list for Denver where you can compare different styles and price points. And that’s where the shipping distance really matters. You’re not going to get a $9 lobster roll like they do in Maine in Colorado. It is what it is, and it’s not possible to be any less, so be happy with what we have.
I decided to try their beer brat one visit just to go through a little more of their menu. It’s not worth it. If you’re going to get a brat, find one somewhere else. They have an off flavor with a soggy texture and I wasn’t a fan at all. I don’t know how many hot dogs and brats they sell, and if they really need them on the menu, but keep your eye on the lobster roll. That’s all you need to get here.
Coloradans may cringe at the thought of eating seafood around these parts, but that just means more for us who’ll dig right in. Mile High Lobster Shack will at least give you a chance to eat an authentic Maine lobster roll without having to actually fly to Maine to eat it.
Mile High Lobster Shack
roaming at various locations in Fort Collins
no website available, they’re only on facebook
Kid-Friendly? Sure! It’s a food cart.
Parking Lot: Whatever lot they’re next to
Healthy options: They do have gluten-free buns available
Budget-Friendly? While spendy, they’re the least expensive lobster roll around
Recent Health Inspection: Good