Lobster rolls are ubiquitous on the East End. Visit either Fork and you’d be hard-pressed to find a restaurant without some kind of lobster roll on the menu, be it hot or cold.
The Shinnecock Lobster Factory in Southampton, run by chef Marco Barrila of Riverhead’s Insatiable Eats and former Shinnecock Nation Chief Lance Gumbs, offers a variety of different lobster rolls and is now sharing them with the greater East End with their new food truck.
In developing the Shinnecock Lobster Factory, Gumbs, a seafood lover, wanted to create a business that was authentic to the Shinnecock people.
“The [Shinnecock Lobster Factory] was something I’d thought about for quite some time,” said Gumbs. “We’re people of the shore, and we’ve always been water-oriented in terms of our food source. Being a first contact tribe, that’s something we’ve maintained. So it was a natural progression and something that fit the Hamptons.”
Gumbs tried lobster rolls all over the East End, in the Hamptons and on the North Fork, and couldn’t find a lobster roll that spoke to him.
“I started a little personal experiment,” he said. “I went from Westhampton to Montauk trying lobster rolls and then from Riverhead all the way out to Claudio’s and none of them really stood out to me.”
As the regional vice president of the National Congress of American Indians, Gumbs has spent a lot of time traveling around the country to other indigenous communities and loved the flavors he tasted in New Orleans. Gumbs partnered with Barrila on a unique menu for the Shinnecock Lobster Factory, with six different types of lobster rolls, including a warm Cajun option with seasoned mayo and marinated mixed peppers.
Shinnecock Lobster Factory’s lobster rolls come in Guppy, Shark and Whale sizes. There are three warm rolls and three cold, each with a twist.
“It was all about creating different flavors,” Gumbs said.
The truck is a natural extension of the restaurant, said Barrila.
“We’re going to bring the truck to wineries and private events,” said Barrila. “People were asking us, ‘how can we bring this lobster factory home?’”
So don’t be surprised if you see the truck all over the East End this summer. Shinnecock Lobster Factory is located at 42 Montauk Highway, Southampton.