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Anyone ever actually eaten at a Red Lobster?

Anyone ever actually eaten at a Red Lobster?
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  • Anyone ever actually eaten at a Red Lobster?

    Post #1 - September 22nd, 2004, 5:27 pm
    Post #1 - September 22nd, 2004, 5:27 pm Post #1 - September 22nd, 2004, 5:27 pm
    If so, how was it?
  • Post #2 - September 22nd, 2004, 5:48 pm
    Post #2 - September 22nd, 2004, 5:48 pm Post #2 - September 22nd, 2004, 5:48 pm
    Funny this topic would show up, because I just ate there yesterday for lunch. I went to the one downtown across from the Post Office.

    One thing I noticed was that the garlic cheddar biscuits were not as good as a few years ago. But then again, that could be because of the location??

    I had the 30 shrimp deal for $10.99 (though the all you can eat shrimp was $5 more), a coworker had the fried catfish and another the shrimp and lobster caesar salad. The catfish was the biggest disappointment. It was obvious that the oil was not hot enough, because it had this pale yellowish crust on it. It was cornmeal breaded, but still... And he only got one small piece for about $10-$15 (I don't remember how much).

    Service was slow too. Probably not going there again... But I will try another location and hope we caught it on an off night
  • Post #3 - September 22nd, 2004, 9:27 pm
    Post #3 - September 22nd, 2004, 9:27 pm Post #3 - September 22nd, 2004, 9:27 pm
    CrazyC,

    How was the shrimp?

    Hammond
  • Post #4 - September 22nd, 2004, 10:12 pm
    Post #4 - September 22nd, 2004, 10:12 pm Post #4 - September 22nd, 2004, 10:12 pm
    I had half scampi and half fried, but gave the fried ones away...

    The scampi was ok... Better than Leona's (don't get me started again). Buttery and garlicky, but other than that, not much of a shrimp flavor...

    What I would do for drunken shrimp.... =)
  • Post #5 - September 23rd, 2004, 8:10 pm
    Post #5 - September 23rd, 2004, 8:10 pm Post #5 - September 23rd, 2004, 8:10 pm
    I'm not too ashamed :oops: to say I've eaten at Red Lobster many times over the years. While I haven't graced its doors in more than a blue moon, its still the closest seafood restaurant to my home. It's probably the closest seafood restaurant for most Americans. How hard is it to steam crab legs or boil a lobster? My children always seemed to enjoy it despite hating "fish." Over the last twenty some years, I've never had a bad meal at a Red Lobster, just not a fine one.

    We that live in a metropolitan and culinary mecca should not forget that for many, Red Lobsters are the Chez Paul's of the neighborhood. Mom and pop restaurants have taken it on the skids big time in the hinterlands of America. Travel the main streets of small towns looking for an interesting bite and too often you're directed back to the mega-gas-C-store-and-emporium right off the expressway you were avoiding in the first place.

    Next month, my daughter is turning seventeen, and she will expect a dinner at the Olive Garden (Red Lobster's evil twin). I am sure it will be a valued family memory.
  • Post #6 - September 23rd, 2004, 8:44 pm
    Post #6 - September 23rd, 2004, 8:44 pm Post #6 - September 23rd, 2004, 8:44 pm
    Ramon wrote:My children always seemed to enjoy it despite hating "fish." Over the last twenty some years, I've never had a bad meal at a Red Lobster, just not a fine one.


    In a way, I think it's great that your kids "hate fish" but they're okay with Red Lobster. Maybe the commercials convinced them it's okay to eat there. Someday, they'll realize that they've been eating fish for years without realizing it, and they'll discover they actually like fish.

    For what it is, I don't think Red Lobster is such a bad place; given the choice between it and places like Chi-Chi's (RIP), TGIF, or Bennigans, I'd definitely go with RL.

    Hammond
  • Post #7 - September 23rd, 2004, 8:50 pm
    Post #7 - September 23rd, 2004, 8:50 pm Post #7 - September 23rd, 2004, 8:50 pm
    It's been many years since I've been in a Red Lobster -- probably the Lincolnwood one (if it's still there) for a departmental birthday party or something like that. Before that, it was a family driving trip before we discovered books like "Roadfood" and "Where the Locals Eat."

    I can't say I was disappointed in the food either time, except that their prices always seemed to be just a touch higher than made sense for their grade, except for their specials, which always steered you toward the middle-of-the-road dishes. Sure it's not as cheap as Long John Silver's (I keep making that mistake, one of the sure signs of insanity), but I always felt that I could go to Bob Chinn's for close to the same price.

    It's interesting that in the last 18 years living near Niles, the Red Lobster is now Periyali, the Ponderosa is now Daori, the Arby's is now Pita Inn, and the Olive Garden became a chinese buffet. So the attrition of the mom-n-pop restaurant is being forestalled on at least one front.
  • Post #8 - September 23rd, 2004, 9:08 pm
    Post #8 - September 23rd, 2004, 9:08 pm Post #8 - September 23rd, 2004, 9:08 pm
    I grew up in Lincolnwood, and I remember 'bout '79 I'd take the money from all the lawns I'd mowed and biked to LJS for "Fish and Chicken (planks) with extra crispies, and a slice of pecan pie." I made friends with a bottle of malt vinegar that same summer.
  • Post #9 - September 23rd, 2004, 9:23 pm
    Post #9 - September 23rd, 2004, 9:23 pm Post #9 - September 23rd, 2004, 9:23 pm
    Ramon wrote:I grew up in Lincolnwood, and I remember 'bout '79 I'd take the money from all the lawns I'd mowed and biked to LJS for "Fish and Chicken (planks) with extra crispies, and a slice of pecan pie." I made friends with a bottle of malt vinegar that same summer.


    Ramon,

    See, I think there's value in LJS for simply adding vinegar to the American condiment armamentarium. I must say, for simply fried fish, LJS ain't bad. Okay, it's not a good first date place, but it's a good "gotta eat fast and run" place.

    Hammond
  • Post #10 - September 23rd, 2004, 11:47 pm
    Post #10 - September 23rd, 2004, 11:47 pm Post #10 - September 23rd, 2004, 11:47 pm
    Ramon wrote:Travel the main streets of small towns looking for an interesting bite and too often you're directed back to the mega-gas-C-store-and-emporium right off the expressway you were avoiding in the first place.


    In March, I was in Mississippi with my family. I had the southern-centric roadfood-type book, Southern Belly by John T. Edge (whom I know), which I used as my guide. Rather than rehash my opinion, I will quote myself:

    Cathy2, April 15, 2004 wrote:Mendenhall Hotel Revolving Tables - RIP

    In my car, I always keep copies of Road Food by Jane and Michael Stern as well as their book Eat Your Way Across the USA. It makes for interesting casual reading in a pinch and a reference when we are out of territory. For our southern trip, I also brought along Southern Belly by John T. Edge of the University of Mississippi at Oxford and lead of the Southern Foodways Alliance. I
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways,
  • Post #11 - September 24th, 2004, 5:58 am
    Post #11 - September 24th, 2004, 5:58 am Post #11 - September 24th, 2004, 5:58 am
    David Hammond wrote:For what it is, I don't think Red Lobster is such a bad place; given the choice between it and places like Chi-Chi's (RIP), TGIF, or Bennigans, I'd definitely go with RL.

    Hammond


    Agree.

    good news: the fresh broiled/grilled fish is reliably fresh, as Red Lobster buys and flies its own fish.

    Bad news: last visit two years ago in Orlando, request for cooking salmon rare was denied on legal/liability lines.

    good news: in addition to a fresh piece of fish, you can get a healthy cocktail, mostly decent steamed broccoli, and a simple baked potato. Those are my RL strategic choices.

    The bake-off cheese biscuits, though--they should be deemed chow anathema.
    Chicago is my spiritual chow home
  • Post #12 - September 24th, 2004, 1:02 pm
    Post #12 - September 24th, 2004, 1:02 pm Post #12 - September 24th, 2004, 1:02 pm
    LJS is a great first date place if you bring scented candles and Southern Comfort.If you are with the right person.I think I went to Red Lobster once over 15 years ago.
  • Post #13 - September 24th, 2004, 1:54 pm
    Post #13 - September 24th, 2004, 1:54 pm Post #13 - September 24th, 2004, 1:54 pm
    hattyn wrote:LJS is a great first date place if you bring scented candles and Southern Comfort.If you are with the right person.I think I went to Red Lobster once over 15 years ago.


    hattyn,

    SC at LJS? Is this speculation or remembrance of things past?

    Hammond
  • Post #14 - September 24th, 2004, 2:37 pm
    Post #14 - September 24th, 2004, 2:37 pm Post #14 - September 24th, 2004, 2:37 pm
    It is a beautiful dream.
  • Post #15 - September 25th, 2004, 9:09 am
    Post #15 - September 25th, 2004, 9:09 am Post #15 - September 25th, 2004, 9:09 am
    I was in Peoria last Saturday night and the MIL wanted to go to Red Lobster, she's in assisted living now so going out is a big deal to her. I had a mix and match dish which had scampi, stuffed crab, broiled shrimp and fried shimp, all pretty good. My SO had theSalmom New Orleans which had a rich sauce of shrimp and spices, and MIL had the 3 way shrimp. The meals were good, the service was pleasant and efficient and with wine, it wasn't all that expensive. The RL in Peoria is always packed, we went at 5:15 and had to wait 20 minutes for a table. In the smaller market areas, RL is the place to go, last Saturday was one of the area school's homecoming dance night and there were quite a few very dressed up young people, out for their night on the town.
  • Post #16 - September 25th, 2004, 10:00 am
    Post #16 - September 25th, 2004, 10:00 am Post #16 - September 25th, 2004, 10:00 am
    I would like rto know if anyone has ever had Lobster at Red Lobster. It's a pretty simple dish, really. As long as they don't over stram/broil it, it could be OK.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #17 - September 25th, 2004, 12:45 pm
    Post #17 - September 25th, 2004, 12:45 pm Post #17 - September 25th, 2004, 12:45 pm
    stevez wrote:I would like rto know if anyone has ever had Lobster at Red Lobster. It's a pretty simple dish, really. As long as they don't over stram/broil it, it could be OK.


    I have, I didn't consider it spectacular. I doubt if I would order one again IF I ever went back.
    Bruce
    Plenipotentiary
    bruce@bdbbq.com

    Raw meat should NOT have an ingredients list!!
  • Post #18 - September 25th, 2004, 2:08 pm
    Post #18 - September 25th, 2004, 2:08 pm Post #18 - September 25th, 2004, 2:08 pm
    Every now and then we go to R.L. I think it really depends on which R.L. you go to--the Joliet one has learned not to overcook everything and the fish there can be pretty good. They have a new fish and chip item on the menu, which is very good. So good , in fact, that it is far better than most of the Friday Fish specials in this area.
  • Post #19 - October 3rd, 2004, 11:08 am
    Post #19 - October 3rd, 2004, 11:08 am Post #19 - October 3rd, 2004, 11:08 am
    We eat at Red Lobster with some regularity. My youngest daughter (a very picky eater) enjoys it and my oldest son thinks their popcorn shrimp is great. As others have said, it not bad - it's just not great. I don't think I have ever had a meal at Red Lobster that was unenjoyable. The food is decent. My youngest goes to college in a small town in northwest Georgia and, so far, Red Lobster is one of the two places in town that I am willing to eat in again.
  • Post #20 - October 11th, 2004, 1:37 pm
    Post #20 - October 11th, 2004, 1:37 pm Post #20 - October 11th, 2004, 1:37 pm
    this thread reminded me of a great restaurant review of RL that appeared a few years ago in The Stranger, which is one of Seattle's free weeklies.

    http://www.thestranger.com/2000-05-18/chow.html

    The phrase "stiff with kitchen mistakes" has never left my memory. :)
  • Post #21 - October 12th, 2004, 12:55 pm
    Post #21 - October 12th, 2004, 12:55 pm Post #21 - October 12th, 2004, 12:55 pm
    For some reason, my boss loves the RL. Whenever he buys us lunch, it's the RL. I have never had the lobster there, but have seen them unpacking them and putting them in the tank. Do they really use the ones from the tank? Or are they just for decor?

    I have had some kind of "fish steamed in a parchment bag" thing that was not too bad, but everything else I have had is soaked in butter. And the biscuits.. my god, they are deep-fried, I swear...

    One of the news stations here had an "expose" of sorts on RL, about a woman who was allergic to crawfish and ordered some kind of pasta dish with lobster. She had an allergic reaction. Because it was not lobster, it was crawfish! Cheap bastards! They justified it by saying that "sometimes" they add crawfish to the lobster dishes for "flavor". Whatever...

    My boss also loves all chain restaurants... Chillis, TGIF, anything predictable. Here is a hilarious post (scroll down a bit) on chain restaurantsas training ground for children's dining manners.. [/i]
  • Post #22 - October 31st, 2004, 8:40 pm
    Post #22 - October 31st, 2004, 8:40 pm Post #22 - October 31st, 2004, 8:40 pm
    Well I have to admit that I'm a RL fan, at least for lunch. They have a combo deal that, if I remember, is $7. You can choose between a bunch of different entrees, but I always choose the scampi. And since it's a combo deal, I get scampi and scampi. Along with that you get the rolls (hey, I like them), salad and a baked potato. You just can't beat it for the price.

    I have had the lobster tail but never the full lobster. I try to get there at least once a year during their lobsterfest because they usually have a 24oz. lobster tail. It's hard to ruin a lobster tail and for the price, it's great.

    It's not fine dining, no argument there. But it's not like Sizzler for lobster either.
  • Post #23 - May 14th, 2024, 7:41 am
    Post #23 - May 14th, 2024, 7:41 am Post #23 - May 14th, 2024, 7:41 am
    Red Lobster is reportedly shuttering at least 48 of its locations, and a restaurant liquidation company is auctioning off kitchen equipment from the impacted eateries this week.

    https://wgntv.com/news/trending/red-lob ... _97YLIFodH
    Never order barbecue in a place that also serves quiche - Lewis Grizzard
  • Post #24 - May 14th, 2024, 9:48 am
    Post #24 - May 14th, 2024, 9:48 am Post #24 - May 14th, 2024, 9:48 am
    Dave148 wrote:
    Red Lobster is reportedly shuttering at least 48 of its locations, and a restaurant liquidation company is auctioning off kitchen equipment from the impacted eateries this week.

    https://wgntv.com/news/trending/red-lob ... _97YLIFodH


    I haven't been to a Red Lobster in decades. Didn't think it was bad. Mom liked. Don't know if it has changed or just gotten pushed out, as there are so many other options. But I know people who loved it, and for them, as well as for people who worked there, I'm sorry to see it close.
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #25 - May 14th, 2024, 10:23 am
    Post #25 - May 14th, 2024, 10:23 am Post #25 - May 14th, 2024, 10:23 am
    The two Red Lobster locations closing in Illinois are Bloomingdale and Danville. I wonder how much all that restaurant equipment will sell for. They're selling everything in the restaurant as one lot so there can't be that many people looking for all that equipment.
  • Post #26 - May 15th, 2024, 9:21 am
    Post #26 - May 15th, 2024, 9:21 am Post #26 - May 15th, 2024, 9:21 am
    I wonder what this bodes for other similar lower-end traditional dine in chains like Lonestar, Outback, Longhorn, Olive Garden, etc. Or was the real issue seafood cost and quality?
  • Post #27 - May 15th, 2024, 10:12 am
    Post #27 - May 15th, 2024, 10:12 am Post #27 - May 15th, 2024, 10:12 am
    Outback is closing a number of locations.

    Overheard on the radio, Olive Garden is patronized less by five-figure incomes, but they have had an increase of six-figure income families dining there.

    Shake ups are happening all over the place lately.
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways,
  • Post #28 - May 15th, 2024, 10:53 am
    Post #28 - May 15th, 2024, 10:53 am Post #28 - May 15th, 2024, 10:53 am
    tjr wrote:I wonder what this bodes for other similar lower-end traditional dine in chains like Lonestar, Outback, Longhorn, Olive Garden, etc. Or was the real issue seafood cost and quality?


    They were blaming a lot of it on their all-you-can-eat shrimp promotion.

    "Although its dire financial situation isn’t the result of a single misstep, executives at the company that owns a large stake in the chain, as well as industry experts, said that miscalculations over the popularity of the all-you-can-eat shrimp special accelerated the company’s downward spiral."

    https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2024-05-14/red-lobster-closings-all-you-can-eat-shrimp
  • Post #29 - May 15th, 2024, 10:55 am
    Post #29 - May 15th, 2024, 10:55 am Post #29 - May 15th, 2024, 10:55 am
    No judgment in this, but I've never been to a Red Lobster and I stopped in to meet someone at Olive Garden once (they were just finishing dinner, so I didn't eat anything). Just never been on my radar.
  • Post #30 - May 15th, 2024, 1:47 pm
    Post #30 - May 15th, 2024, 1:47 pm Post #30 - May 15th, 2024, 1:47 pm
    There's a true let them eat cake moment at the end of the article where the CEO of the major corporate owner is so scarred by the shrimpocalypse that he gives up lobster. More lowly Red Lobster employees will be giving up other things...

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