Lobster truck encounters boiling-mad Capitol Hill residents, D.C. police

One of Washington’s most popular traveling lunch spots, the Red Hook Lobster Pound truck, bumped into some controversy on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, prompting a visit from the Metropolitan Police and sending the Capitol rumor mill into overdrive.

Had a certain jealous neighborhood restaurant called the cops? Was the truck a threat to national security? Had they (gasp) run out of lobster meat? 

Amid all these theories, ITK turned to driver and lobster guy Leland Morris to set the record straight.

Morris quickly dismissed the idea of culinary sabotage. “We do our best to get along great with our community and with other restaurants and vendors in the area,” he said.

Tortilla Coast manager Kam Khazai agrees. “I had one of their lobster rolls for lunch, and it was great,” he said. “I’m glad they can do their thing and we can do ours.” 

So why the police? “An angry resident complained to authorities,” Morris explained, “and they came by to check that everything was OK, which it was.” 

Morris said that food truck vendors are used to people taking issue with the truck, which was parked at 2nd and D streets SE, and that residents worry about long lines of people, littering and general disruption. “We’re very aware of the community that we’re a part of, and we make sure to leave it cleaner than we found it,” he said. 

As for the long lines outside the truck, where fresh lobster rolls go for $15 apiece, Morris says that’s unavoidable. In two days on Capitol Hill (the truck was on the Senate side last Friday), Morris estimates the truck sold more than 500 lobster rolls.

And they’ll be back, he promises. “I’d like to be back in a new spot on the House side as early as next week.”