Summertime in New England means Red Sox games, trips to the beautiful New England beaches, and Lobster.
The first time I had a lobster roll I was 23 years old and visiting Boston for the first time. I fell in love with lobster rolls. I went to the Quincy Market, Neptune Oyster, and a few other places to get delicious lobster rolls. To me, a lobster roll is the perfect summer meal. Nothing compares to eating sweet lobster on a toasted New England style hot dog bun while sitting by water watching ships sail in and out of the blue Atlantic. Sadly, I had to go back to Utah where seafood isn’t quite as prevalent as in New England.
Photos and interview by Eric Rios, contributing writer
While reminiscing about my trip, one day I decided to search “lobster rolls in Utah” and I came across a food truck called Freshie’s Lobster Co. I learned the food truck specialized in lobster rolls and could be found at the Park Silly farmers market in Park City, Utah.
I was skeptical that a lobster roll could taste as fresh as one in Boston. I drove the inclined road to Park City to try it out. I wandered around the park silly farmers market on a Sunday afternoon and finally found the food truck. I ordered the biggest lobster roll they had, and with one bite I was taken back to Boston. Freshie’s slogan is “Shore to Door in 24 hours.” After trying the food, I believe it. I thought nothing could compare to eating a lobster roll on the Atlantic Ocean. Well, eating a lobster roll on historic Main Street in Park city by the Utah mountains does.
I continued to track the food truck and would eat there anytime I could. Freshie’s has since opened a full restaurant in Park City. Owners and Chefs Ben and Lorin Smaha took their lobster roll to a competition hosted by Down East Magazine in Maine and won “World’s Best Lobster Roll.” The competition had Lobster Rolls from all over New England.
I had a chance to speak with Lorin Smaha, one of the co-owners and chef’s of Freshie’s. We talked about the competition and what winning “World’s Best Lobster Roll” was like. I learned about what brought them to Utah, how they named their restaurant, and a few new things about the menu.
If you are a native of Utah who has never tried a lobster roll, or a New England Transplant, make sure you get up to Freshie’s Lobster Co. to try their award winning lobster roll.
The Chefs Connection. What’s your favorite thing about being a chef and owner of Freshie’s?
Lorin Smaha: I like the fast paced environment. And just pleasing people through food.
TCC: What is your favorite thing to do when you are not cooking?
LS: Exercise or be with my children. I have two boys who are 3 and 5.
TCC: You and your husband are originally from the northeast… what brought you out to Utah?
LS: He is from Maine and I’m from New Hampshire. Skiing.
TCC: What’s your favorite ski resort out here?
LS: Oh I don’t know. I don’t have a favorite but maybe Deer Valley.
TCC: What was the hardest thing for you to learn or something that you are still trying to figure out?
LC: How difficult it is to find good help. It’s something very difficult about owning a restaurant is just finding people who really care as much as you do. We have a real chef, and a group of girls who are family who are great workers. I have a great crew. I just can’t find more people to add to it.
The first thing Lorin asked me was if I knew anyone looking to work. If you are committed and passionate about food, Freshie’s would be a great place to work.
TCC: I saw your restaurant won Best Lobster Roll, what was that experience like?
LC: It was amazing. I’ve played sports my whole life. I’ve won championships but winning best lobster roll was probably better than any of those experiences. It was a really proud moment for my husband and I because we’ve worked at doing this for nine years—a lot of weekends not spent together just working our butts off.
TCC: What was the event like?
LC: The event actually went really smooth. We had to do 300 bite sized rolls of lobster and it went well. We made 300 samples that were a third of a lobster roll.
TCC: How did you guys decide the name Freshie’s?
LS: Snow. Freshie’s. Powder. When you go skiing and its powder day they call it getting freshie’s so there is just a connection between where we live in Utah and getting fresh lobster and Fresh Tracks when skiing.
TCC: Your restaurant started out of a food truck with just lobster rolls, then you added salads. You’ve added a few things to the menu since getting a restaurant. What are some of your favorite things on the menu besides the lobster roll?
LS: I really like the Maniac Salad, I think it’s a fun plate with lobster and blueberries in a salad. But the lettuce cups are also good, kind of a unique way to have lobster. The lettuce cups are tossed in sriracha aioli, guacamole, mango, and some cilantro sauce on top.
TCC: Are you planning on adding anything new to the menu?
LS: Yeah I think there was a sandwich I was playing around with that we were trying to add. Kind of a mix of Caprese with some lobster on it essentially. We were doing spring rolls and tacos but honestly I think the more you add the more you you get away from what you’re trying to do which is just serve up a good lobster roll.
The restaurant is located on 1897 Prospector Avenue in Park City. The food truck is also at the Park Silly Farmers markets and many other places throughout Utah.
Check out their website: http://www.freshieslobsterco.com/ to get the full schedule of the food truck.