Red Lobster--Take It or Leave It?

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oldfrt
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RE: Red Lobster--Take It or Leave It? 2004/02/07 12:48:07 (permalink)
Hey BISCUITT, live here also. Our favorite is McCormicks. As you say "Pricy" but their seafood and fish are very fresh. If you are an Oyster lover, as I am, this is the place to go.

Re: Red Lobster I agree with the majority here, not the greatest place on the planet. The last time I was there (20 years ago) I had popcorn shrimp and I could have saved a lot of money by taking some rocks from my back yard and breaded them in sawdust!

I have always said, Ponderosa serves "road kill", Red Lobster has "shore kill". IMHO.

Don
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hatteras04
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RE: Red Lobster--Take It or Leave It? 2004/02/07 12:54:28 (permalink)
I agree that Red Lobster is mediocre on a good night and just plain terrible on most nights. My rule for eating there, which I am forced to do about once every couple of years by friends, is not to order anything they have tried to make fancy or change from it's original form. If I get some kind of broiled fish, a baked potato, salad and a lot of the biscuits as filler I can come away thinking it was ok. On the nights I have tried something else like one of the pastas or other concotions they have created, I leave feeling like I got ripped off. The person above who mentioned the rubber pencil eraser like scallops is right on the money for what you can find in a pasta dish there. This rule is similar to my rule for the Olive Garden where I will only get spaghetti, salad, and breadsticks. They don't manage to screw that up too badly try as they might.
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hatteras04
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RE: Red Lobster--Take It or Leave It? 2004/02/07 12:58:53 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Helen Maxwell

quote:
Now, if I lived in a "land-locked" state where fresh seafood was not as available I might think differently.


Landlocked person reporting in! Around here, if a girl wants fish, she has the choice of sushi (not to everyone's taste), Long John Silver's or Captain D's, or Red Lobster. Pity us, my coastal friends, for we don't know the joy of truly fresh and tasty fish!

--Helen

There are a couple of places in Bloomington where you can get decent fish. My favorite being Michael's Uptown Cafe where you will find some really good cajun seafood dishes on any given night. There is also the Irish Lion for some fish and chips if you want to go the fried route. Your best bet is probably to go to Bloomingfoods and find out their schedule for flying in fresh fish (they used to have it done twice a week but I can't remember the days) and make it yourself at home.
#33
rbpalmer
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RE: Red Lobster--Take It or Leave It? 2004/02/07 12:59:44 (permalink)
As is the case with several of the other posters in this thread, I am lucky enough to live in an area (Washington, D.C.) that is near an excellent source of fresh seafood (the Chesapeake Bay). Accordingly, I can go to a number of independent local establishments, pay prices comparable to those at Red Lobster, and get much better seafood. I suspect that a significant number, if not most, of the patrons of the few Red Lobsters in this area are tourists who simply don't know of better local seafood places. It's not that I am dead set against frequenting chains -- Pappadeux Seafood Kitchen, a Texas - based chain that is located primarily in the midwest and southwest, is one of my favorites. And I suppose that Red Lobster might be the best seafood option for some people who don't live near a coast. However, I would not patronize one unless my other options were Denny's, Ryan's, Cracker Barrel and the like.
#34
The Travelin Man
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RE: Red Lobster--Take It or Leave It? 2004/02/07 13:04:46 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Helen Maxwell

quote:
Now, if I lived in a "land-locked" state where fresh seafood was not as available I might think differently.


Landlocked person reporting in! Around here, if a girl wants fish, she has the choice of sushi (not to everyone's taste), Long John Silver's or Captain D's, or Red Lobster. Pity us, my coastal friends, for we don't know the joy of truly fresh and tasty fish!

--Helen


I'd move!
#35
rbpalmer
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RE: Red Lobster--Take It or Leave It? 2004/02/07 13:08:34 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Pwingsx

Hey Biscuit,

Are you in the Denver area? Where do you go for good seafood? We've been to the Fresh Fish Company and been quite disappointed. I would be willing to throw a few bucks around, but I don't know what's good.


I'm not Biscuit, but I do have a suggestion. It's McCormick's, and it's located in downtown Denver. It's expensive, but I'm almost certain that everything is flown in fresh, and everyting I had there was delicious.
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oldfrt
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RE: Red Lobster--Take It or Leave It? 2004/02/07 16:59:56 (permalink)
RTPALMER, the only thing better than McCormicks for fresh fish is grab the waders, and fly rod, and a short trip to the Platte and some nice fresh rainbows!

Don
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#37
Pwingsx
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RE: Red Lobster--Take It or Leave It? 2004/02/07 17:00:07 (permalink)
Thanks, guys. Unfortunately, although we'll drive almost the entire Denver area and all the suburbs, we try to avoid LoDo.

Darn.
#38
CheeseWit
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RE: Red Lobster--Take It or Leave It? 2004/02/07 17:07:43 (permalink)
Michael Stern's first post on this thread and others who echoed his sentiments, brings to mind my own thoughts about Subway stores here in the Philadelphia area. You can go to every town, every neighborhood in this area, and get far superior hoagies.
Why would anyone go to a Subway in this area? There are a few Olive Garden restaurants in the area also. But why go there when we have one of the great Italian neighborhoods in this country here in South Philly with fantastic restaurants?
I can't figure it out.
#39
oldfrt
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RE: Red Lobster--Take It or Leave It? 2004/02/07 17:33:15 (permalink)
CLOTHIER,

"Welcome to michigan, the state that has more shoreline than any of the contigous 48. Actually, more than HI as well. AK is #1.

You want fish? We've got fish.

anyway. where was I? Oh yeah, red lobsters around here sell "local" stuff like smelt and perch that comes to them frozen after having been caught 100 miles away. That's what's wrong with them."
When I lived there in the 80's ...

Houghton Lake for Walleye and pan fish
Lake St Claire for Perch and more Walleye
The Platte, Little Manistee, for Steelhead
Harrisville for Salmon
Lake Fenton for "quick" panfish (lived a 1/4 mile away)+ Ice fishing!
Chicago Lake Front for Smelt with friends
Charters on Lake Erie for Walleye

Ahhh. You are obsolutely right, MI is great for fish and what a variety. We should start a thread on great fishing places and favorite ways to make the catch.

Regarding your other question: I asked the same thing in MI as to why we could not get local MI access to Great Lake fish and never got an answer. Nobody knew. Appears they shipped it all off somewhere else. Great White Fish, Perch, etc. Of course, I also remember the great "wars" between the Indians and commercial folks vs. the sportsmen! Gill netting was the topic I think.

Red Lobster is at the other end of the spectrum!

Also just heard that the Riviera Hotels just dropped Red Lobster, sub contract, from all their casino Hotels. Wonder why? Maybe too many people getting sick at the slot machines!

Don




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oldfrt
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RE: Red Lobster--Take It or Leave It? 2004/02/07 17:53:43 (permalink)
CheeseWit, DITTO!

Don
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Frankman
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RE: Red Lobster--Take It or Leave It? 2004/02/07 18:16:02 (permalink)
KimChee43,
My feelings are this. If you like it, do it. You did mention that your entree was too salty. Ask for a less salty one next time. Personally I have been to Red Lobster and don't care for it. I am a picky seafood eater and I hate oversalted food. Many restaurant chains and or otherwise, serve very salty food. It's a fact that humans need and like salt. Most places overdo it because it tastes good. It sounded like you had a very nice time anyway. Anything in moderation.
#42
JimInKy
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RE: Red Lobster--Take It or Leave It? 2004/02/08 03:10:12 (permalink)
I remember being taken out for seafood in the sparkling Mizner Park district of Boca Raton on a warm March evening, and seeing a big crowd in front of one of the many restaurants. There were waiting people at most of the restaurants, but the Big Crowd was waiting outside the.........you guessed it, Red Lobster.

My hosts paused and looked in wonder, then pointed it out to me.
#43
Vince Macek
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RE: Red Lobster--Take It or Leave It? 2004/02/08 08:51:15 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by KimChee43

Dear Friends:

I've seen a variety of "chain restaurants" generate some lively discussion on this site. I'd like to know what you think about my favorite "chain", Red Lobster. Whenever we're on the road, we know that the food will be pretty much consistent, no matter which part of the country we happen to be visiting. I think that their Lobster/Crab Stuffed Mushrooms are great. The cheddar biscuits are very good. But, I find that my broiled fish, steamed veggies, and rice pilaf are very salty. Otherwise, good libations, fairly good desserts, pretty good service. By the way, just about EVERY Red Lobster I've ever visited, no matter what the location, has a long wait for tables during semi-peak and peak times. Do you find that true as well? What do you think of the food? Thanks for the input!

KimChee


I agree with you on the 'consistent' and the 'salty'. There are going to be some nice items, but the main attraction is lacking. Seafood is all about fresh, and fresh isn't how these guys can run (not when you're running a place in the deep midwest). The tv ads are engaging with their nostalgic beach-vacation home-movie style, but to me it sets up the chain solely as an inducement to take a trip to the coast and the real thing! (I'm so lucky I can drive to the Florida gulf coast or the GA-SC barrier islands in some six hours - this thread is making me consider a trip before the dread spring break)
#44
KimChee43
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RE: Red Lobster--Take It or Leave It? 2004/02/08 09:21:23 (permalink)
It's exciting to see that this topic is generating so much interest! I agree with those who stated that it's best to order simple items from their menu. This is what I do when I eat there, which is usually at the end of our first day on the road, after many hours of driving. I'm dead tired by then and not in the mood for a heavy meal. Stuffed mushrooms, salad, broiled fish, steamed veggies. Washed down with a bottle of wine. (They can't "do anything" to the wine.) I've also ordered martinis at just about every Red Lobster and haven't had a bad one yet. I avoid their "fancy drinks", like Bahama Breeze, etc. Not enough buzz for my buck on those!
#45
TJ Jackson
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RE: Red Lobster--Take It or Leave It? 2004/02/09 00:32:11 (permalink)
I actually like their NE style clam chowder, and will go there for that and pretty much nothing else. Just goes to show you, I've never had truly great clam chowder, tho :-)

Decent seafood is very, very expensive locally....
#46
chicagostyledog
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RE: Red Lobster--Take It or Leave It? 2004/02/09 09:49:21 (permalink)
Fish heads, fish heads, rolly polly, fish heads,
Fish heads, fish heads, eat them up, yum.
#47
lleechef
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RE: Red Lobster--Take It or Leave It? 2004/02/09 12:27:57 (permalink)
Red Lobster is just plain gross! Ate there once years and years ago when they first started. Bleeech! But then growing up on the East Coast and always having fresh fish (or fresh Great Lakes fish) maybe I was just plain spoiled.

And thank you, Clothier for the AK coastline fact. Actually we have MORE coastline than all of the lower 48 COMBINED. (A fact that I disputed when I first heard it, but it IS true.)
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lleechef
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RE: Red Lobster--Take It or Leave It? 2004/02/09 13:29:45 (permalink)
Clothier, put your long johns on under your $800 suit and you'll be just fine. I can send you a Hermes scarf if you need it.

How far is Torch Lake from you? I loved to ice fish there for grayling and whitefish.
#49
blake76
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RE: Red Lobster--Take It or Leave It? 2004/02/09 18:43:14 (permalink)
For the landlocked Denver seafood crew--is the Chowda House on W. Colfax still good? We used to go there all the time--great lobster.
Sorry, lobsta.
#50
oldfrt
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RE: Red Lobster--Take It or Leave It? 2004/02/09 19:41:48 (permalink)
Hey CLOTHIER, The bigest concern was not the cold it was the snowmobiles screaming across the Lake at 60MPH (from bar to bar) that had me worried! As for heat, I always took a "white gas" Coleman Lantern with for light and placed it between my legs while sitting on a 5 Gal plastic bucket. The heat from the lantern raised up and I was always comfortable. Kept the hands warm also.

Good luck and let us know how it goes!

Don
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Cosmos
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RE: Red Lobster--Take It or Leave It? 2004/02/10 17:23:40 (permalink)
Why do they call it Red Lobster? It should be Red Overcooked Shrimp. With the price of the lobster dinner there, I expect those four or five sea bugs I saw in the lobby fishtank ultimately died of old age, and were turned into a salad.
#52
oldfrt
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RE: Red Lobster--Take It or Leave It? 2004/02/10 20:55:15 (permalink)
Cosmos, The ones in the lobby were put there by the Chamber of Commerce (and RL Corporate) and are electic, radio controlled, models of real lobsters.

You are correct that the ones that are served did die of old age or were picked up on the beaches in NJ as "Shore kill". Good deal for RL as NJ needed to get Radio Active junk off the shores and gave them free access!

I still have no idea why people continue to line up for tables there. Why?

Don
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Hode
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RE: Red Lobster--Take It or Leave It? 2004/02/10 22:05:52 (permalink)
I am fortunate enough to visit the South frequently so we call it THE DEAD LOBSTER and wait for the truly good stuff" />
#54
Milt
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RE: Red Lobster--Take It or Leave It? 2004/02/11 12:52:52 (permalink)
We eat at Red Lobster occasionally. Our main motivation is that our youngest (a very picky eater) eats well at Red Lobster. My experiences with Red Lobster are primarily in the northwest suburbs of Atlanta and I have found them to be consistently decent. Most of the really great restaurants that we visit are when my wife and I are dining alone. Our daughter would have had a difficult time ordering at the excellent restaurants we found in the Florida keys, unless they offered fried shrimp.
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Leemart
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RE: Red Lobster--Take It or Leave It? 2004/02/28 02:41:20 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Sushi_Girl

I know im lucky..i live smack dab in the middle of florida, cedar key,st augustine,daytona,ormand beach even miami and the keys..all hours away,,and not a bad drive. I take it for granted that i can get fresh fish,crab,oysters,scallops..etc all the time. Maybe thats why i see RedLobster as such a joke, why go there when you can have fish caught THAT SAME DAY?


Oddly enough, here on the Central East Coast of Florida, which has a fair share of excellent seafood restaurants, the local Red Lobster is always packed with customers. They recently had to remodel in order to add more seating. I would imagine that some of the folks are tourists just accepting something that is familiar to them, but that doesn't explain all the locals.
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chicagostyledog
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RE: Red Lobster--Take It or Leave It? 2004/02/28 09:08:56 (permalink)
Great seafood is a matter of personal preference. The simpler, the better. I prefer my seafood fresh, boned, broiled or lightly pan fried. I stay away from frozen, deep fried, mixed with pasta and cream sauce, or dipped in a butter substitute. There are very few seafood restaurants in the Milwaukee area and Red Lobster does not cater to my seafood requirements. I purchase fresh seafood at Grasch Foods in Brookfield as often as possible. www.graschfoods.com/index.html
Check out the fresh seafood on their site.
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Route 11
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RE: Red Lobster--Take It or Leave It? 2004/02/28 09:37:54 (permalink)
Forever known as Red Slobster to my friends...this is a place considered a fifty mile dining destination in my family. My parents are nuts about it. Honestly, I think it's Midwestern exotic "seafood" for the inland folks.

I'd rather just have a tuna steak from my Foreman grill.
#58
tiki
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RE: Red Lobster--Take It or Leave It? 2004/02/28 11:50:03 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Route 11


I'd rather just have a tuna steak from my Foreman grill.


and what time will those be ready?

i suppose that growing up with an italian fisherman grandfather in New England and having a brother who is a ist class Clambake "Bakemaster", has spoiled me--i just have NEVER found any
new england seafood anyway BUT in New England---unless of course we brought it back on the plane with us and cooked it. FRESH is the key---a lobster thats been through as much as waht ant Red Lobster--or most any seafood resteraunt more the a few miles from the coast gets is just not up to one that fresh from the pound or right of the boat and in to the resteraunt that day. So i dont order lobster--anywere---shrimp travel MUCH better--and what ever fresh fish you can get---be it wild salmon or pond raised catfish or a mess of crappie--is always better then any frozen seafood in any venue! Here in Oklahoma--i eat alot of catfish!---and theres a asian buffet that treat shrimp with respect and serves it 4 ways!!So i wait for trip home to visit for lobster or clams and boy do they taste great!!!At the same time--i domnt turn down an invite to Red Lobster--i just dont expect it to be anything more then Red Lobster.
#59
seafarer john
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RE: Red Lobster--Take It or Leave It? 2004/02/28 11:51:21 (permalink)
Its not just Red Lobster and Arthur Treachers and that ilk- its the way some people order fish in much better places. What I'm talking about is ordering salmon in a joint on St Pete beach when the place is offering great grouper, snapper, and shrimp. What's the point of travreling to Maine and not eating lobster (or salmon). People need to learn to eat whatever is local in seafood - it is fresher - and the local chefs know how to prepare it. But you cant always depend on locals to steer you to the right place. Case in point: My wife and I were looking for "Crab Norfolk" in Norfolk, Va one day. We asked a passing mailman where we might find the dish and he directed us to a Holiday Inn! "Best fish in town" he assured us.
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