One of the city’s favorite lobster rolls has returned to the streets of Houston after an almost yearlong absence. Cousins Maine Lobster, the Shark Tank-backed food truck, is back on the road courtesy of a new local franchisee.
Jimmy Shoshani is no stranger to the Cousins brand; he’s already the company’s operator in Las Vegas. He tells CultureMap that family ties to the Bayou City made him interesting in acquiring the rights to Houston when they became available last spring.
“The founders of the company gave us the opportunity to take over,” Shoshani says. “It took some time to get a new truck built. We finally opened in mid-December . . . We’re really excited to be back in Houston.”
The new Cousins truck serves the same familiar menu that made it a hit when it debuted in Houston in 2015 (President George H.W. Bush was a fan) . That starts with two kinds of lobster rolls that are both served on griddled, split-top buns: a cold, Maine-style roll made with a little mayo and a hot, Connecticut-style roll made with warm butter. Other options include lobster tots (tater tots topped with lobster, cilantro-lime sauce, and pico de gallo) and a lobster grilled cheese.
Currently, Shoshani has one truck in operation with the ability to add two more if necessary. He’s also in discussions with the operators of Lyric Market about having a stand in the food hall that will open later this year in downtown’s Arts District.
“We have one in a food hall in Raleigh, North Carolina that just opened that’s doing very well,” Shoshani says. “The food hall seems to be a great niche for our concept. That’s something we’re targeting in the Houston area.”
Until then, diners may use the company’s website or its app to track the truck’s movements. The daily schedule is posted a week in advance. So far, Houstonians seem pretty happy to have Cousins back in town.
“When we reactivated the social media, people were so excited. Our phones started blowing up. Even when it was closed, we got so many inquiries,” Shoshani says. “Once people know that we’re back and we’re here to stay, I think it’s going to be a great thing.”