Red Lobster--Take It or Leave It?

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KimChee43
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2004/02/05 20:01:00 (permalink)

Red Lobster--Take It or Leave It?

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
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94 Replies Related Threads

    GordonW
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    RE: Red Lobster--Take It or Leave It? 2004/02/05 21:28:21 (permalink)
    Sorry. This is a clean "leave it." Off to Denny's for a burger and fries instead. Crowded: Yes, but so is Denny's; and McDee's. Sorry. . . There should be laws about what they do to innocent fish. . . .
    #2
    4fish
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    RE: Red Lobster--Take It or Leave It? 2004/02/05 21:43:28 (permalink)
    It was the commercials that used to pull me in. Everything looked so delicious in the commercials that I would just have to try it. But invariably I was disappointed. Nothing tasted quite as good as it looked on TV! So I stopped going there.
    #3
    RubyRose
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    RE: Red Lobster--Take It or Leave It? 2004/02/05 22:08:26 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by pdxyyz

    The Olive Garden of Seafood. Or is Olive Garden the Red Lobster of Italian food?

    Funny you should ask that question because both Red Lobster and Olive Garden, along with Smokey Bones BBQ and Bahama Breeze are all owned by the Darden Corp.

    #4
    jvsmom
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    RE: Red Lobster--Take It or Leave It? 2004/02/05 22:09:58 (permalink)
    Funny this gets brought up - We stopped at one in Connecticut just this past weekend on the way to NYC. My husband, son and I all got the all-you-can-eat shrimp and our 3 girls all got kids meals. We loved the cheddar biscuits, as was mentioned above, but as far as the entrees, they were average at best. It's a great place for families - the kids love the fun atmosphere, and the service was great, but when I really get a hankering for seafood, it's one of the last places I would go. I'll admit I'm a seafood snob, living in Boston and all, but that's the way it is. That's probably also why the few Red Lobsters in this area closed down - it's just too easy to get "real" seafood here.
    #5
    pigface
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    RE: Red Lobster--Take It or Leave It? 2004/02/05 22:24:46 (permalink)
    Frozen fish dropped into ther fryolator
    Frozen pasta zapped in the microwave
    Not much different than Marie Calander's
    #6
    Biscuit
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    RE: Red Lobster--Take It or Leave It? 2004/02/05 22:44:15 (permalink)
    Maybe I'm spoiled from having eaten at Le Bernardin and Brasserie Le Coze several times, and I've only eaten at a Red Lobster once- but that was enough.
    The fish-I didn't have the lobster- tasted frozen. In my experience there is no better way to kill the flavor of fish than to freeze it. But, then again, I live in Colorado, not exactly near the seashore. Not to say there aren't restaurants here that serve fresh fish, there are, but we pay the price for it. And I do, gladly.

    Unfortunately that wasn't the case at Red Lobster, and on a first date, too " />
    Watered down cocktails didn't help the equation any, either.

    I've never been back, and have no plans of ever doing so.
    #7
    tiki
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    RE: Red Lobster--Take It or Leave It? 2004/02/05 22:49:11 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by pdxyyz

    The Olive Garden of Seafood. Or is Olive Garden the Red Lobster of Italian food?


    Both owned by the same folks! a conglomarate that spends alot of time researching their market--which explains the busy locations---they wont build anywhere they WONT be busy---almost always near a mall and an Olive Garden. Good biscuits!!--and a menu that CAN be quite good IF---and thats a big IF--the cooks they hire are really cooks not college students looking for beer money. Killer desserts!! However---i avoid the Loster there--eveyone i have seen them offer has been overcooked!The Coconut shrimp are cool thought Overall i give the a Cplus!
    #8
    JimInKy
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    RE: Red Lobster--Take It or Leave It? 2004/02/06 01:26:29 (permalink)
    This chain has always received a failing grade from me. On my last visit, about 10 years ago, I took a guest and we both ordered the largest (and most expensive) seafood feasts on the menu. I thought we were served children's servings. It was a shock.

    I called the waitress back and pointed out that we had agreed to pay for a considerable amount of seafood, vis a vis their elaborate description, and said I would not accept the meals. The sweet server immediately said her manager wanted her to serve us as much food as we would like. I therefore thought my protest was commonplace there.

    I told her we would simply have the meal we thought we were ordering and sent the two nearly empty platters back. I asked her to start over and things were made right on the second pass.

    I felt sorry for our server, who seemed to know we and other customers were being ripped off. I never wanted to return after that rip-off attempt.
    #9
    BigGlenn
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    RE: Red Lobster--Take It or Leave It? 2004/02/06 02:07:45 (permalink)
    I only go when they have their Shrimp feast. Their Pina Coladas hit the spot and the kids menu is reasonable. I checked my Calender for the last 12 months. I have been to Red Lobster only 5 times. Went last week for the first time this year. It is a "Lazy Choice" place to go. That's for sure.
    #10
    Michael Stern
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    RE: Red Lobster--Take It or Leave It? 2004/02/06 04:30:14 (permalink)
    I never cease tsk-tsking and clucking with disapproval at the fact that Red Lobsters and Olive Gardens thrive in places that have really good, inexpensive seafood restaurants and great Italian places, too. On the other hand, friends do the same at me when they know I'd rather have a chili dog and French fries than a plate of glass eels with toasted sesame emulsion. If only everybody was exactly the same as I, the world would be such a better place!
    #11
    tiki
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    RE: Red Lobster--Take It or Leave It? 2004/02/06 06:29:12 (permalink)
    No no Michael---everybody should be exactly like ME!!
    #12
    Kristi S.
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    RE: Red Lobster--Take It or Leave It? 2004/02/06 08:33:26 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by clothier

    You want red lobster biscuits? really? Well, step right up and let me help. Go to the store. Buy a box of bisquick. On said box is a recipe for cheddar garlic bisquits. Follow the recipe.

    Bingo!!


    Right. I've been making these at home for years now and I LOVE THEM!
    #13
    Sushi_Girl
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    RE: Red Lobster--Take It or Leave It? 2004/02/06 09:41:04 (permalink)
    I went to red lobster once and ordered a seafood linguine,,,it had about 2 shrimp in it, white pencil erasers that i think were supposed to be scallops, and some pink and white matter resembling chewed up lobster, the linguine was really overdone and the sauce was tasteless. I enjoyed the biscuits, but they werent anything that i couldnt make myself. There is a restaurant here in gainesville called Ballyhoos that is REAL seafood. Fresh,yummy,creative dishes and appetizers , i like the Ahi Tuna myself..slivers of tuna lightly seared and served with a teriyaki glaze..it literally melts in your mouth its so tender. RedLobster is for folks that think seafood is supposed to be fried to death and served in some hollowed out shell of a poor crab that is than broiled and sprinkled with seasoning,,so degrading.
    #14
    renfrew
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    RE: Red Lobster--Take It or Leave It? 2004/02/06 10:07:55 (permalink)
    agree with all the disparaging comments on red lobster.

    Went there about four years ago when there was nothing open. Off the highway somewhere. Not only was the food just gross, the place was absolutely depressing. I would rather go to the supermarket and eat a can of sardines...

    as far as traveling somewhere to only eat at someplace comfortable well I ask what is the point of traveling someplace new, only to eat what you can get back home? But as Clotier pointed out, perhaps I am on the inside of the zoo looking out.
    #15
    The Travelin Man
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    RE: Red Lobster--Take It or Leave It? 2004/02/06 10:11:27 (permalink)
    I live on the coast of central Florida, and it just seems inherently wrong for me to go to Red Lobster for seafood. I also felt the same way about living on Long Island and going to Olive Garden. It's just wrong. However, I have grown to accept Olive Garden as a food-stuff all its own, and will go when I feel like having "Olive Garden", not when I feel like having Italian.

    Steve
    #16
    Lone Star
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    RE: Red Lobster--Take It or Leave It? 2004/02/06 10:20:28 (permalink)
    Red Lobster is probably better than Joe's Crab Shack. When my children were young, they always asked to go to Red Lobster - probably the advertising they saw. I took them a couple of times, and the place was child friendly, but the food mediocre at best. I have been to Joe's Crab Shack a couple of times, and it was worse.

    We have so many fabulous seafood places here on the gulf coast, that I don't know how the ones here in Houston stay in business.

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

    I have made those cheddar-garlic biscuits a few times at home, and they turn out just as good if not better than Red Lobster. Very simple to make.
    #17
    chezkatie
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    RE: Red Lobster--Take It or Leave It? 2004/02/06 10:27:04 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by clothier

    quote:
    Originally posted by Ballpark Roadtripper

    The popularity of Red Lobster is an example of what's going wrong with this country. The general public is too lazy to make up their own minds, and do whatever TV tells them to do. There's a Red Lobster in Times Square that is usually packed. With the tinyest bit of effort, anyone can find a seafood meal in Manhattan that is fresh, wonderful and affordable. Yet Red Lobster is still packing them in. It defies logic.


    I think it's perfectly logical. You're in Times Square, you're a tourist and you're hungry. Wherere are you going to go? To the place that's safe and familiar to you. What's illogical about that? Do normal people plan vacations around where they are going to eat? Do normal people meet a group of strangers at a BBQ place in Cali on Super Bowl Sunday? No and NO!

    Did it ever occur to you that we are the ones who are nuts?

    Which side of the zoo fence do you really think you are on?



    Roadfooders are the best! We are the smart ones!
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    #18
    saps
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    RE: Red Lobster--Take It or Leave It? 2004/02/06 10:53:11 (permalink)


    Red Lobster- Get it to go, and enjoy the GI distress, projectile vomiting and explosive diarrhea in the comfort of your own home.

    On a warm night, complete with a replete Bahama Breeze from the south, I tried to jump her Smokey Bones, but she wouldn't let my Red Lobster into her Olive Garden.
    #19
    howard8
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    RE: Red Lobster--Take It or Leave It? 2004/02/06 11:15:38 (permalink)
    I get the urge to eat at Red Lobster or KFC usually once every ten years. I don't really know why. Each time I go to either place it genuinely sucks. And its not like I have forgotten the experience. The last time I went to Red Lobster was about five years ago. The appetizer was some cut out bread bowl filled with lobster and cheese. It tasted like crap. My entree was a "a fresh fish filet" , I can't remember the type of fish, because it literally tasted like it was cooked with an order of bacon and eggs. The place is always packed and for the life of me I cannot understand what people find good about the place.
    #20
    Michael Stern
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    RE: Red Lobster--Take It or Leave It? 2004/02/06 11:16:54 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by chezkatie
    Roadfooders are the best! We are the smart ones!


    Roast beef
    Omelets
    Angel food cake
    Donuts by the dozen
    Frankfurters
    Olympia oysters
    Oysters Rockefeller
    D
    raft Beer

    ... I have too much time on my hands!
    #21
    wanderingjew
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    RE: Red Lobster--Take It or Leave It? 2004/02/06 12:17:53 (permalink)
    It's no wonder that Red Lobster got "laughed out of business" here in Rhode Island...There aren't any here in the Ocean State. At the same time it's sad that all the Local Coffee Houses are getting "laughed out of business" by Dunkin Donuts...
    #22
    Michael Hoffman
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    RE: Red Lobster--Take It or Leave It? 2004/02/06 12:41:27 (permalink)
    My first visit to a Red lobster was in 1970 or 1971. It was in Clearwater, Florida, and I don't think it was part of a chain at that time. I can clearly remember our meal, and it was terrific. My wife and I each ordered iced, peel-and-eat shrimp steamed in beer, and all-you-can-eat Florida lobster. The shrimp came with cups of catsup and horse radish for mixing to your own level of heat tolerance. The lobsters were served with drawn butter. I cannot remember how much the meal cost, but I can state that it was inexpensive, even for that period of time.

    It was several years later that, with great anticipation, we visited another Red Lobster that had opened in the central Ohio area. It was so disappointing that we never went back.
    #23
    dbear
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    RE: Red Lobster--Take It or Leave It? 2004/02/06 12:43:21 (permalink)
    I had to check the 'locate a restaurant' option on their web site, but I didn't think there were any of these places in New England. Turns out there are,like 3 in southern CT., but that is it. Makes sense, though, as I don't see how a mediocre to bad seafood chain could make it in most of New England, where good, inexpensive seafood of all kinds is pratically everywhere. I agree with lvsmom and wanderingjew, and I don't intend to sound snooty, but crappy seafood just won't make it here. I used to travel to Valley Stream, NY on business; the only red lobster I've ever eaten in was a couple of miles over the City line in Queens. I didn't know the area well, and I'm sure there are plenty of great places on Long Island for seafood, I just didn't have time to find them. What amazed me, though, as has been mentioned, is the really long waits for tables. I bet the situation is similar in the crab areas of the mid-atlantic and southeast, most of Florida, the Gulf and Pacific NW; why eat refried fish meal when the real thing is so cheap, plentiful and great!
    #24
    Helen Maxwell
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    RE: Red Lobster--Take It or Leave It? 2004/02/06 13:33:38 (permalink)
    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
    #25
    tiki
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    RE: Red Lobster--Take It or Leave It? 2004/02/06 14:23:36 (permalink)
    I'm landlocked too,here in Oklahoma. Theres a Red Lobster 10 miles away,havent been there. HAVE found a dozen great places for catfish and a killer fishmarket/resteraunt in Tulsa by the airport---White River Fish Market and Rest.----that really surprised me!When I lived in Indiana I ate walleye,Trout in Colorado.I would just as soon eat fresh,fresh water fish i can catch or buy locally as eat frozen seafood with way to high prices. My last visit to Red lobster was ok, i guess,until the bill came.It wasnt THAT good!If i had called my brother in Massachusetts and had himn send that much in lobster packed in ice on the p[lane, i could have stuffed us all and had leftovers.
    #26
    Sushi_Girl
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    RE: Red Lobster--Take It or Leave It? 2004/02/06 14:32:30 (permalink)
    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?
    #27
    Pwingsx
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    RE: Red Lobster--Take It or Leave It? 2004/02/06 21:49:27 (permalink)
    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.
    #28
    pfarmer241
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    RE: Red Lobster--Take It or Leave It? 2004/02/07 10:47:24 (permalink)
    I agree with Sushi Girl as I live on the Florida West Coast about 25 miles south of Sarasota. Shrimp so big you can filet them. Plenty of seafood restaraunts to choose from and some are excellent. Can't buy snook, but when they are fresh caught, can't beat the taste.

    Peggy
    #29
    Biscuit
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    RE: Red Lobster--Take It or Leave It? 2004/02/07 11:36:08 (permalink)
    Pwingsx,

    Yes, I live in Denver part of the year. A couple of seafood places I've found to be pretty consistently good are Jax on 17th. St. downtown and an old stanby, McCormicks Fish House, on Wazee St. between 15th. and 17th. also in lower downtown.
    They're both fairly pricy, but they are, to me, as close as you can get to great seafood in Denver.

    They're worth giving at try.

    B
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