Fast Food

Seafood restaurant Garbo’s serves fresh Maine lobster rolls, twist on Texas tacos

When Heidi Garbo moved to Austin for her husband’s work in 2013, she had experience running her own seafood truck in Key West and a lifelong association with the lobster industry in Connecticut through her dad’s lobster business.

With encouragement from her dad, who cold-shipped her 25 pounds of fresh Maine lobster, Garbo set up a lobster roll stand at the Google office that sold out within the hour.

Following her success at the Google office, she started a food truck in Austin that eventually led to a 45-seat restaurant in Wells Branch, which she operated for several years.

In May 2021, Garbo relocated to north of Parmer Lane in Northwest Austin. Using recipes she grew up eating at home, the 200-seat restaurant serves freshly imported lobsters from Maine and Connecticut and goes through 2,500 pounds of lobster per week.

“We’re trying to make New England accessible to the people in Texas,” Garbo said.

Garbo’s calamari is freshly caught in Point Judith, Rhode Island, and the clams for the clam chowder are from New England. The restaurant also serves Connor’s soft-serve ice cream, named after her 14-year-old son.

Garbo’s biggest sellers are the lobster rolls, an Austin twist on the more traditional Texas tacos. Instead of rolling the lobster in a tortilla, Garbo uses a signature soft roll, slicing it halfway down the top length and filling it in with lobster. The Maine rolls are served cold, and the Connecticut and the hatch chili rolls are served warm.

“Nothing is easy. You really have to work hard,” Garbo said.

The COVID-19 pandemic was a challenge. Garbo had to furlough employees, and her sisters helped her run the restaurant, while her son helped in the kitchen.

Garbo also owns two food trucks and a trailer that operate in the city, and an additional new location is expected to open in downtown in December, she said.

Menu highlights

Mini Lobster roll flights: includes three mini lobster rolls

Live lobster dishes: comes with a side and is served with butter and lemon

Key lime pie: Key lime custard with a graham cracker crust

Flourless chocolate torte: a chocolate cake with whip cream and toasted almonds

Signature lobster rolls

In addition to regular sized rolls, customers can order a lobster sampler with three rolls for $35.

  • Connecticut roll includes warm butter-poached lobster inside a toasted bun from Slow Dough Co.
  • Maine roll is cold with mayo celery seasoning and lettuce.
  • Hatch chili roll is a seasonal flavor and has hatch chili butter poured over the lobster with cotija cheese, fried tortilla strips and cilantro.


12709 N. MoPac, Austin


Hours: Tue.-Thu. 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Fri. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-10 p.m.,

Sun. 10 a.m.-9 p.m.


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