Today, the words “surf and turf” immediately conjure up images of steak and lobster served together as part of the same meal. But how did this unique dish become a part of the American dining experience? And where did the term “surf and turf” come from? Lolo’s Seafood Shack in New York, NY, has your answers.

A Popular Dish

surf and turfIn reality, combining steak and seafood pre-dates the term “surf and turf.” Lobster tails first gained popularity in the United States in the 1930s when less expensive frozen lobster tails were imported from South Africa and other countries. A few restaurants began offering dinners that featured both lobster and steak during this time, but it wasn’t until the 1960s that the craze took off.

Thanks to its relatively low price and more upscale appearance, surf and turf quickly became a popular staple at restaurants across the country during the 1960s and 70s. Although the dish wasn’t going to be found at many luxury restaurants, it quickly became a top seller at “middle class” establishments.

The Origin of the Phrase

So where did the term “surf and turf” come from? The phrase wasn’t always specifically tied to a steak and lobster dinner. In the 1950s, products were often advertised with the moniker “surf and turf,” meaning they could be used on the grass and at the beach. 

As steak and lobster dinners rose in popularity, “surf and turf” was used to describe the fact that the meal combined seafood (surf) and grass-fed beef (turf). Although other names like “beef and reef” were sometimes used as well, surf and turf ultimately stuck around in the long run. 

Whether you crave surf and turf or a more traditional seafood platter, you’ll find something delicious at Lolo’s Seafood Shack. Combining Caribbean street food with New England favorites, this seafood restaurant offers fantastic meals you won’t find anywhere else. Check out their menu online or call (646) 649-3356 to place a reservation.