This past Sunday was PRETTY MAGICAL, YOU GUYS. I got invited to attend the Lobster Takedown (the most recent in the Takedown series) at the Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club in Gowanus, and I really can’t think of a better way I could have spent an afternoon considering I sampled over a dozen lobster-based dishes dreamed up by a batch of hugely talented competitors, all self-taught cooks. (You would never have known it, either! Completely restaurant-worthy!)
To backtrack, the Takedown series was dreamed up by Matt Timms (actor/filmmaker extraordinaire) back in 2003, and since their humble beginnings, the events have spiraled outward to cities besides NYC (like Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle and MORE) and have gone on to feature a whole variety of rad food items, from mac ‘n cheese to cookies to (as you now know) LOBSTER!
Timms teamed up with Luke’s Lobster on this one, who donated ten pounds of wild-caught lobster to each competitor. The contestants then had to dream up a way to showcase the lobster for guests and judges to sample, all in the hopes of winning eternal glory and (naturally) kitchen gadgets and cookware.
SO MUCH YUM. (Photo via @thetakedowns on Instagram)
So what was featured? Everything under the sun! I tasted lobster sliders, lobster pizza, lobster curry, lobster sausage, lobster cheese balls, lobster profiteroles, lobster mac ‘n cheese and SO MUCH MORE! Everything was delicious (because really, how can you fuck up lobster?), but among my favorite items were the pizza (the bloody mary sauce was OUT OF CONTROL GOOD) and the lobster cheese balls (made with smoked goat cheese and almonds with a lobster meat center, #YASSSS). That doesn’t mean I didn’t totally go back for seconds at most of the booths, which was actually a pretty easy feat considering other food events I’ve been to where the lines spiral out of control; this was not like that at all, and if there ever was a line to wait in, it moved impressively quickly. (Less cranky people! More delicious food! All of the happiness!)
So after a lobster-induced food coma washed over me, it was eventually time to announce the winners based on the judges’ votes and the public opinion. I disagreed with most of the judges’ picks (again, not that anything was bad, but THAT PIZZA, YOU GUYS. That pizza deserved the key to the city.) but the public vote was pretty spot-on. It was all in good fun, though, and while some people walked away with loot, all of the competitors left with 1. a dope certificate and 2. a smile on their faces. (And if you were me, you left with a very, very full stomach.)
I also can’t really think of a better setting to eat lobster than at a shuffleboard spot like Royal Palms, so props on that as the location. (In fact, I think this is where the Takedowns generally take place now, whereas the Bell House used to be a mainstay.)
Overall a super great time, and it’s definitely something that’s good to do in groups, so I’d recommend getting on the mailing list (email [email protected]) to stay tuned to all the latest Takedown news. I’ll also put the next event on your radar, which is: Food On A Stick Takedown (October 18th). (These always sell out, so it’s a good idea to get tickets well in advance so you don’t get left out in the cold! Much like Shia LaBeouf says, “DO IT!”)