Denver, CO: Lobster Bliss food truck revs up at Civic Center Eats

The signature Lobster Roll from the Lobster Bliss food truck, debuting at Civic Center Eats Tuesday in Denver. (2015) Provided by Jeff Reebie, Lobster Bliss

By Colleen O’Connor  |  Denver Post

The signature Lobster Roll from the Lobster Bliss food truck, debuting at Civic Center Eats Tuesday in Denver. (2015) Provided by Jeff Reebie, Lobster Bliss
The signature Lobster Roll from the Lobster Bliss food truck, debuting at Civic Center Eats Tuesday in Denver.
(2015) Provided by Jeff Reebie, Lobster Bliss

People are abuzz about Lobster Bliss, a bright red truck emblazoned with a white lobster, that debuts this week at Civic Center Eats with a menu rich with fresh, sustainable lobster.

Rich Manzo and Jeff Reebie, who have had much experience on the culinary scenes of Colorado and New York, created the food truck and a wholesale business, Ocean to Plate, to supply whole, live Maine lobsters and other sustainable seafood to the area.

And they’re scouting for a location to open a restaurant in Denver in early 2016, something like a traditional New England lobster joint. So far, they’ve looked at spots in Berkeley, Highland, Washington Park, South Broadway and 17th Street in downtown.

It all started last summer when Reebie vacationed in New Hampshire with his extended family.

“We found an absolutely classic New England-style lobster shack, and we ate there three times in that week,” said Reebie. “I got to thinking, ‘The food was so doggone good and affordable, it’s a shame we can’t get that kind of cuisine at that price in Colorado.’ “

The Lobster Bliss food truck features lobster served on brioche rolls ($16), lobster cakes and lobster tacos ($12), lobster mac-and-cheese ($10), and a tempura lobster skewer with mango mojo ($12).

Other seafood eats include an ahi tuna sandwich served on a brioche roll with red onion marmalade and scratch-made coleslaw ($12) and clam roll ($8).

They’re proud of their product. Last year, they signed an agreement to bring lobster tanks to Colorado that re-create the ideal ocean experience for seafood, and they say there are only 300 such tanks in North America, with Lobster Bliss being the exclusive provider for Colorado. Inside the 2,500-gallon tank, the water remains a constant 45 degrees and is completely filtered every 15 minutes, creating a stable, controlled and clean environment for the lobsters to thrive. They say the unique filtration system mimics the water-cleaning action of the ocean and naturally eliminates bacterial buildup.

Civic Center Eats, Civic Center, Colfax and Broadway, Tuesday and Thursday.

Waffles on wheels

Speaking of food trucks, there’s a success story in Waffle Up, which started as a food truck in Denver serving authentic Belgian street waffles — and proved so popular that they expanded into a hip little waffle shop in the Baker neighborhood.

At Waffle Up, when you step up to order at the counter, you’re immediately given helpful information — like these waffles are Liège style, so they’re not served with syrup.

You can’t even get syrup if you want it, because Waffle Up is all about authenticity, and in Liège, Belgium, they’re eaten as street food — hand held, just the delicious waffle with some powered sugar.

But this being America, there are lots of topping choices.

On a recent morning, co-owner Tom McCarty briskly popped thick waffles out of the cast-iron waffle iron imported straight from Liège. His waffles are made from yeasted dough — Liège style — and they’re denser and chewier than traditional American waffles. One of the ingredients is pearl sugar, which melts and caramelizes on the outside when cooked, adding to the layers of flavor.

Toppings include brie and apple butter, bacon and maple glaze, salted caramel and bananas, and Belgian chocolate with toasted coconut almonds.

Prices average $6, with the traditional waffle with powdered sugar about $4.

300 Elati St.; 303-744-0174.

Charcuterie heaven

Charc Week, a celebration of charcuterie — the French art of cured meats — is coming up soon, featuring lots of special events and tastings around town.

From June 1 to 6, menus at such places as Colt & Gray, The Nickel, and Continental Sausage will feature house-made charcuterie, and six breweries from the RiNo neighborhood will provide pairings.

On June 3, The Nickel will host Jeff Roberts for a special tasting. He’s an expert on the history and culture of food, and his upcoming book is called “Salted and Cured: American Charcuterie, Country Hams, and Salami.”

On June 4, there’s Charc Bites, a tasting party at the community space at Taxi in RiNo, with its large balcony that overlooks the Denver skyline.

Early bird tickets for this event are sold out, but there are still $45 general admission tickets available and $65 VIP tickets.

To buy tickets, go to or