We are just about as far away from summertime as we can ever get, right about now. Winter has just begun, and by now some of us are longing for seaside dining, with the sound of our teeny tiny waves in the open air adding ambiance to our dinner of fried clam strips, lobster rolls and onion rings. While there isn't much we can do to put ourselves in the midst of that scene (besides go on vacation), Madison's High Tide Gourmet food truck can help put your tastebuds in heaven.
You may be familiar with this truck already, as it's hard to forget. Emblazoned on the side is a righteous surfing lobster, along with its name in big yellow letters. They readily advertise their lobster roll before you even have a chance to see the other items on the menu. I was lucky enough to try a few things High Tide Gourmet has to offer, and let me tell you, this food is goooooood.
It was a windy, chilly December day when I ordered from the truck, so naturally I went straight for the New England clam chowder ($4) first. You get a healthy portion, but even that won't be enough once you put spoon to mouth. The chowder is so flavorful, so perfectly balanced, that you'll ask yourself if you ever want to eat anyone else's recipe again. Chunks of potatoes, bits of clam, and just the right level of creaminess.
I next opted for the crab cake sandwich ($8), which is served on a roll and topped with lettuce, tomato and mango mayonnaisse. It was a nice "islandy" twist, the mango mayonnaisse. The tang of the mayo blended well with the flaky, bready mouthfeel of the biggest crab cake I've ever seen.
And of course, I splurged for the jumbo lobster roll ($14). I've always been on the fence about lobster rolls. Sometimes the sogginess of the whole operation kills my excitement for lobster meat. High Tide Gourmet's lobster roll is hands down the best I've ever had. The jumbo plating comes with two identical lobster rolls, made with New England-style hot dog buns, heaps of juicy lobster meat, and just the right amount of butter. The butter ended up soaking into the buns, providing a nice little reminder with each bite. The lobster meat was plump and plentiful. It's no wonder there are two lobster rolls here; finishing the first one only leads to a greater desire to gobble down the second.
I'm excited to pay the truck another visit and try some of the other menu offerings, which include rum guava BBQ pulled pork ($7), Thai peanut sea scallops ($9) and shrimp scampi (over rice or linguine, $9). Keep your eyes trained on @hightidegourmet on Twitter, search for them on Facebook, or call (203) 605-7020, to find out where they are.