Sam’s Chowder Mobile

Sam's Seafood MobileMy friend Tricia and I extended our usual Friday meeting to Sam’s, which we found at Capitol Mazda on Capitol Expressway in San Jose.

When we arrived, there was a line of perhaps 40 people streaming from the truck. We thought about it for a few minutes, but decided that, since we had come this far and the sun was out, we’d stick it out.

It did take about 20 minutes to get to the front of the line, and the line was just as long when we got to the front as when we arrived. Yes, Sam’s is that popular.

And for good reason.

Sam's menuSam's condimentsThe menu is pretty simple – fresh ingredients, made on-site. It’s not cheap food – note that the price for the lobster roll is $16.50. Since we were there for quite a while while we waited in line and then waited for our food to come up, we got to see a lot of the food that was coming out of the truck. It was all, without exception, amazing in both appearance and in the delectable smell rising from the food. We both caught ourselves craning our neck to catch a peek or a sniff of the food as it was going by.

We ended up ordering a lobster roll and a shrimp po’boy so we could split each of them and each have a good sample.

Sam's Food - po'boy on the left, lobster roll on the rightWe got our food and set up our picnic on the tailgate of the truck.

As you can see, the servings are generous – yes, the lobster roll is expensive, but, wow – there’s a lot of lobster there, and it’s served relatively unadorned. It’s mixed with some celery and plenty of butter and served on a delicious fresh roll. In person it is one HECK of a lot more impressive than it looks on the web, although it should be noted that ours just happened to come with a full piece of claw meat perched on top – how cool is that?

The shrimp po’boy is similarly served pretty simply – fried battered shrimp served with a delicious and slightly spicy remoulade with some lettuce and tomato on an absolutely beautiful bun. It’s a nice contrast to my “other favorite” shrimp po’boy at Poor House in San Jose, which is much spicier. I love them both.

Really good seafood benefits from being treated simply and respectfully, and Sam’s Chowder Mobile does that with aplomb. Now we know why people line up and wait for it – if you love seafood, get out now and get a good place in line.

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