Long ago and far, far away there was Lobster boat by the name of “Shock Wave” docked on a tiny island off the coast of Maine. Diana Santospago was hauling Lobster traps aboard with her island Lobster fisherman partner, Greg, and enjoyed finding the occasional “Maine Peekey Toe” crab that got caught in the Lobster trap to take home for dinner. As she started collecting more than she needed, she had the idea to leave the extra meat on the dock for sale. Each morning she would leave a cooler with crab meat on ice on a wooden crate with an empty mason jar by the dock and when she returned, the cooler was empty and the cash jar was full! (Oh, the beauty of small island living!)
After word spread and several more coolers were required to serve everyone wanting fresh crab meat on the island, Diana decided to replace her fishing hat with her chef hat. She added several more old crates and a table covered with a red checkered tablecloth with an umbrella stuck in the ground and offered Lobster Rolls, Crabmeat Rolls, soups, baked goods and preserves as well as fresh vegetables and flowers from her garden.
She eventually grew into local in-home catering preparing meals for families with out of town guests and parties before she started an Inn with a restaurant, overnight accommodations and a private dockside dinner table for amazing 5 course dinners with an equally amazing view. The Maine Lobster Lady Food Truck was established during this time in 2009 in an old Econoline van parked down at the dock on Isle au Haut. They were truckin’ before truckin’ was even a thing!
It wasn’t until a Christmas vacation to visit Greg’s daughter in the incredibly seafood deprived city of Phoenix that her wheels started turning again. There are few others who know the Maine Lobster industry from trap to table as intimately as Diana so she set out to solve the problem of getting the freshest, best tasting Lobster to the people of central Arizona.
As she started the journey of sourcing the best tasting lobster to supply the truck 2400 miles away from home, she knew exactly what she was looking for…a very unique lobster processor who uses only wild caught, sustainable, Maine Lobster, traceable back to the boat that caught it. She also needed a way to transport the lobster from Maine to Phoenix that would keep the straight out of the ocean flavor. The good news for Arizona is that she succeeded with glowing success! How she gets the lobster from the ocean to the Food Truck is still her best kept secret and personal proprietary process but the taste doesn’t lie – it works!
Diana closed her Inn and restaurant after 8 years and in the beginning of 2012 hit the streets of Phoenix as The Maine Lobster Lady…a title she has spent a lifetime earning! The menu she brings from Maine each November through April of course includes her Traditional Maine Lobster Roll served chilled with just a touch of lemon mayo but she also makes it for those that prefer Connecticut Style – warm and drizzled with melted butter. Lobster Bisque, Seafood Chowda, Lobster Biscuits and Gravy, Lobster Mash, Fried Whole Belly Maine Clams, Fried Haddock Sandwiches, Maine Lobster Cocktail made of fresh local greens, topped with Maine Lobster and served with cucumber slices, homemade spicy cocktail sauce, saltine crackers and a lemon wedge (yum!), plus Maine Blueberry Lemonade and Homemade Whoopie Pies can also be found on the truck.
The best part is that when you close your eyes and taste anything on the menu, you can just image sitting at a dockside dinner table on a little island off the coast of Maine with friends and family. The table is covered with food prepared by the warm-spirited, nurturing mom that everyone loves from the catch of the day she just brought up from the boat and veggies from her garden. When you open your eyes and look in the Food Truck, you will see Diana, who just happens to have spent many years of her life creating those dockside dinners and still uses her scratch recipes from her days on the island. She is still on the Food Truck every single time it goes out preparing everything with the same Maine touch.
Diana and her family that operates the truck with her spend each summer and fall back in Maine.
You will meet her daughter Ruby when ordering from the truck and her daughter, Rachel and her husband Patrick, along with Greg are assisting inside the truck. You won’t meet a sweeter family and Diana and Greg make the perfect team to bring the ocean and Maine Island spirit to Arizona.
Anyone that has seen the Food Truck out and about will know to expect a line but after almost 6 years of a long line practically every time the window opens, the word is out that the wait is worth it! It’s not every day you find a taste of Maine done so authentically in the desert, but you will find just that every time you find the Maine Lobster Lady Food Truck!
(Looking for the truck? Check her Calendar on Facebook or her Website!)