Hot!Well, it aint' exactly Red Lobster

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wanderingjew
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2014/04/20 13:41:27 (permalink)

Well, it aint' exactly Red Lobster

Before anyone thinks I've gone off the deep end, this is not about Red Lobster. This isn't really a trip report but a  commentary on a great find on our Washington DC trip. 
I noted previously that I wasn't going to do a trip report about our Washington DC trip and I'm still not going too. However I'm compelled to write about our first days experience  taking Amtrak.

Our train arrived on time at around 7:10 AM at Kingston station in RI. We were expecting to arrive at BWI at around 1:30 PM. We  were going to rent a car through the following evening as we had quite a few things planned before spending most of our trip in DC including going to Pioneer Pit Beef in Baltimore, visiting Fell's point and Visiting Sandra's former boss who retired down to Lanham MD. We were going to go to Jerry's Seafood in Lanham that evening.

At noon we arrived at Philadelphia's 30th street Station as scheduled. It was there that they announced the train would be delayed with no estimated time of arrival. Eventually they informed us that there were downed wires between baltimore and DC and that crews were working to get these repaired. After nearly 3 hours on the train we got off and walked around. One of the conducters announced the train is likely going to go out of service and that there will be trains going through to DC but they will schedule them one by one. He suggested two other track numbers. At this point we already scrapped Pioneer Pit Beef and Fells Point. Upstairs in the station, it was complete chaos, crowds of people wanting to know how they were going to get their destination and Amtrak employees who were completely clueless and in some cases...rude. We thought about getting a car rental  in Philly, yet everything was booked. By luck we heard an amtrak employee announce that the incoming train would take 20 passengers. We were lucky to board that train, an Acela, however after yet another hours wait, they announced there would be a crew change and to walk to track across from us and a train would be coming. At this point, we got off the train and I told Sandra, they are lieing, there is no train coming. At least I didn't believe them.
A train did come a few minutes later, it was standing room only. We managed to find two seats at two separate tables in the snack car. 5 1/2 hours later we were actually moving. I spent 90 minutes sitting with strangers in the snack car with my luggage on the table wedged against my face. 

We finally arrived at BWI at 7PM . We already scrapped meeting Sandra's old boss  for dinner at Jerry's Seafood ( we did meet him the following morning for brunch) and decided to have dinner at what was supposed to be our next day's lunch stop, the Point Crabhouse and Grill in Arnold MD. Of course as  we got into our rental, I was having problems with my smart phone's GPS. I was so disgusted at this point that I just headed south towards Annapolis and figured we'll find the place eventually. Finally my GPS started working, I was surprised that it noted we were only 20 minutes from our destination as I thought it was close to a 1/2 hour from the airport. As we were driving and my GPS took me into a shopping plaza, I knew something wasn't right. The Point Crab House is supposed to be located in a marina in a residential neighborhood? As I realized something was wrong, my GPS announced "you have arrived at Red Lobster"After our hellacious day, now my GPS is mocking me. I re-programmed the GPS and luckily we were only about 10 or 15 minutes away from our dinner destination.  We were also very lucky that they were open until 10pm

We finally arrived at around 8:45 pm  at The Point Crabhouse and Grill located about 10 minutes north of downtown Annapolis.
 

 
The place was still hopping, thanks to a bar that offered local craft beer.  We weren't in the mood to drink, just some unsweet iced tea please. I ordered the Maryland crab soup.  Tomato based  and loaded with crab, corn, carrots, celery, onions, cabbage and country ham (yes country ham) this was some of the best crab soup I've ever enjoyed.  Sandra opted to skip soup (she would have some cream of crab the following day at G & M
 

 
We also ordered some dangerously addictive warm, fresh  home made corn fritters and cheese biscuits to share as we waited for our main meal,
 

 
sadly it wasn't quite crab season yet, so no steamed crabs were available.I ordered one crab crake with remoulade, sandra ordered the ceasar salad with crab cake.The crab cake would make any Marylander proud.  Made with local crab, jumbo lump, very little filler and spiced with old bay.
 

 
 I would certainly return to Point Crabhouse and Grill  and consider a full blown review once I have a chance to try their steamed crabs. We left as they were starting to close and arrived at our hotel, the Calvert House in downtown Annapolis. Thankfully a wonderful close to a very unpredictable hectic day.
#1

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    EdSails
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    Re:Well, it aint' exactly Red Lobster 2014/04/20 13:46:40 (permalink)
    That crab soup certainly looks unique and delicious. 
    I do think that next time you might want to scrap everything else and just take a couple of horses!" />
    #2
    buffetbuster
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    Re:Well, it aint' exactly Red Lobster 2014/04/20 13:49:09 (permalink)
    There he goes, writing about chain restaurants again.......
     
    That entire day sounds like a real nightmare.  At least you got in one good meal for the day. 
     
     
    #3
    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:Well, it aint' exactly Red Lobster 2014/04/20 13:54:00 (permalink)
    Have you been channeling Ralph and Lori?
    #4
    ScreamingChicken
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    Re:Well, it aint' exactly Red Lobster 2014/04/20 14:01:24 (permalink)
    Cheese biscuits?  Are you sure you weren't at Red Lobster?
     
    Kudos to you and Sandra for toughing it out and being rightfully rewarded.  Hopefully that was all of your 2014 bad travel luck wrapped up in 1 trip!
    #5
    TJ Jackson
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    Re:Well, it aint' exactly Red Lobster 2014/04/20 14:48:13 (permalink)
    Yeah, those cheddar bay biscuits look awfully familiar
    #6
    lleechef
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    Re:Well, it aint' exactly Red Lobster 2014/04/20 15:18:40 (permalink)
    Sorry you two had the trip from hell.  But the food looks awesome!!!
    #7
    mlm
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    Re:Well, it aint' exactly Red Lobster 2014/04/20 15:35:12 (permalink)
    Oh....what a trip....  I can see why you'd write a post about it. Definitely one for the books.  Aaaargggh, I would have been on my thousandth trip up the wall by the time you found that restaurant. I should think you would be starved by that time. SO GLAD, it was satisfactory. You were due for something to go right.
    #8
    Foodbme
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    Re:Well, it aint' exactly Red Lobster 2014/04/20 16:44:07 (permalink)
    And we wonder why people don't ride the trains more often????????????
    I have a similar story from 1975. Family vacation - NYC to Sanford, FL. Still have nightmares!
    #9
    wanderingjew
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    Re:Well, it aint' exactly Red Lobster 2014/04/20 19:00:35 (permalink)
    buffetbuster
     
    At least I won't continue the trip report and and mention the visit to Bob Evans 
     
    MH
     
    Now that I look back in retrospect, this does sound like a Ralph and Lori adventure

    SC
     
    The rest of the trip went smoothly. The only other hiccup was that the folks at the car rental place at BWI forgot to give us specific directions on how to return the rental the next day at Union Station in DC. Apparently there is a garage ramp that no one told us about and oddly enough no signs for once you arrive at the station.
     
    mlm
     
    We did have a sandwich on the train, but it was quite depressing to realize that we were going to miss out on Pioneer Pit Beef in Baltimore
     
    Foodbme
     
    believe it or not, most of my amtrak experiences have been good ones. I recall one other where we arrived about an hour late to Philly back in 2008. My first trip in 1987 from Albuquerque to Chicago got us in about 8 hours late. I missed my connection however Amtrak did put us up at the Quality Inn next door and I got to explore Chicago the very next day for the first time ever (I also had my first Chicago Deep Dish Pizza at the time too)
    #10
    Twinwillow
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    Re:Well, it aint' exactly Red Lobster 2014/04/20 19:33:15 (permalink)
    Your misadventure kind of reminded me of Jack Lemmon and Sandy Dennis' visit to NYC in "The Out of Towners".
     
    Note to self: Never travel on Amtrak.
    #11
    TJ Jackson
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    Re:Well, it aint' exactly Red Lobster 2014/04/20 19:34:56 (permalink)
    mmmm cheddar bay biscuits
    #12
    TnTinCT
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    Re:Well, it aint' exactly Red Lobster 2014/04/21 10:20:19 (permalink)
    Ah - traveling hell stories - the crab cake pic was amazing, and really sorry you had to miss the Pit Beef.
    #13
    JRPfeff
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    Re:Well, it aint' exactly Red Lobster 2014/04/21 10:55:27 (permalink)
    Dale,

    Did those biscuits have orange cheese in them? Not very authentic...

    Good non-trip report.

    jrp
    #14
    FriedClamFanatic
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    Re:Well, it aint' exactly Red Lobster 2014/04/21 10:59:38 (permalink)
    A GPS that delivers WJ, a bona-fide New Englander, to a RED LOBSTER!!!!!!!!????????? That has to be the ultimate payback to a trip from Hell....glad to see you were able to right the wrongs and have an enjoyable time at the crabhouse
    #15
    lleechef
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    Re:Well, it aint' exactly Red Lobster 2014/04/21 11:04:12 (permalink)
    Come on wj......tell your Bob Evans story!  (I already know it.)
    #16
    mlm
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    Re:Well, it aint' exactly Red Lobster 2014/04/21 12:41:05 (permalink)
    Yeah, c'mon, GIVE. You wouldn't leave your faithful friends dangling, would you ? Really. Maybe you can lleechef tell it?
    #17
    Phildelmar
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    Re:Well, it aint' exactly Red Lobster 2014/04/21 16:09:01 (permalink)
    Amtrak employees rude? Never heard of such a thing
    #18
    wanderingjew
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    Re:Well, it aint' exactly Red Lobster 2014/04/21 18:01:17 (permalink)
    Ok,
     
    Since everyone is so curious.
    Since we were unable to meet up with Sandra's old boss, due to the Amtrak fiasco, we agreed to meet him the next morning for breakfast. He 's an 81 year old African American fellow who lives in a senior community. He's a navy veteran and was also management in Sandra's field of social work. When we met him the following morning (after I already had my coffee at Zu Coffee in Annapolis) we asked where he would like to go for brunch, it was his choice. Well since he's a senior citizen, I'm sure you can guess where he wanted to go. Yes, Bob Evans....listen, the guy is 81 years old, how could I say no? Of course you may recall several years back I turned down my mother's request to go to Long John Silver, well, that was a different story, it was my mother and although she is gone now, I still have no regrets.  I also didn't turn down my friend, Mikes request to go to Dave and Busters for his 40th.  
    I had the corn meal mush, I don't remember much about because it wasn't very memorable... it wasn t bad, it was ....
    predictably consistent...
     
    I will add one photo from our trip. I did have a reunion with my (much) older half sisters when I was down in DC, they live in the Baltimore area. We all share the same father, the last time I saw them was over 20 years ago and the time before that was before I could even talk. I was always very curious because as you can see I favor my father's side of the family, appearance wise . from l to r Sandra, yours truly, my  brother in law, my oldest sister and my older sister.
     

     
    #19
    Twinwillow
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    Re:Well, it aint' exactly Red Lobster 2014/04/21 18:17:18 (permalink)
    wanderingjew

    I will add one photo from our trip. I did have a reunion with my (much) older half sisters when I was down in DC, they live in the Baltimore area. We all share the same father, the last time I saw them was over 20 years ago and the time before that was before I could even talk. I was always very curious because as you can see I favor my father's side of the family, appearance wise . from l to r Sandra, yours truly, my  brother in law, my oldest sister and my older sister.




    Dale, why is it that all your sisters actually look younger than you.
    #20
    wanderingjew
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    Re:Well, it aint' exactly Red Lobster 2014/04/21 18:24:18 (permalink)
    Twinwillow

    wanderingjew

    I will add one photo from our trip. I did have a reunion with my (much) older half sisters when I was down in DC, they live in the Baltimore area. We all share the same father, the last time I saw them was over 20 years ago and the time before that was before I could even talk. I was always very curious because as you can see I favor my father's side of the family, appearance wise . from l to r Sandra, yours truly, my  brother in law, my oldest sister and my older sister.




    Dale, why is it that all your sisters actually look younger than you.

     
    because they dye their hair and I don't???? (I'm just speculating - I cannot confirm or deny that they do, but considering that no one on my mothers side went gray until later in life , I can only assume I inherited the pre-mature gray from my father's side)
    all my life everyone keeps telling me I have a "baby face"
    When I first met Sandra, I had to show her my drivers license to prove I was actually 4 months older than her.
    post edited by wanderingjew - 2014/04/21 19:36:01
    #21
    mar52
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    Re:Well, it aint' exactly Red Lobster 2014/04/21 18:26:15 (permalink)
    Dale, family is important.  That makes your trip a great trip cheese biscuits and all.
    #22
    ChiTownDiner
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    Re:Well, it aint' exactly Red Lobster 2014/04/21 18:59:50 (permalink)
    I see Mona is missing...
    #23
    ChiTownDiner
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    Re:Well, it aint' exactly Red Lobster 2014/04/21 19:00:30 (permalink)
    WJ - that crab cake should be the picture for the standard...beautiful!
    #24
    wanderingjew
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    Re:Well, it aint' exactly Red Lobster 2014/04/21 19:37:37 (permalink)
    ChiTownDiner

    I see Mona is missing...

     
    She was busy getting ready to be a foil for our Cinci trip 
    Mona was mentioned once or twice during our reunion
    #25
    lleechef
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    Re:Well, it aint' exactly Red Lobster 2014/04/21 20:27:21 (permalink)
    wj
    Thanks for sharing the Bob Evans story.  I remember I nearly choked when you told me that one in Cincy!
    I had a similar experience.  I won an all-expense paid 4-day trip for two to Florida from Sysco.  I took a friend that had a sister living there.  We were to meet up for dinner.  I'm thinking.......grouper, crabs, seafood!!  Nope.  We ended up at a Cheesecake Factory.  
    #26
    mlm
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    Re:Well, it aint' exactly Red Lobster 2014/04/22 11:12:07 (permalink)
    Ah, now see, Dale, you educated me. Never even heard of Bob Evans. Ah, the things one will do for one's girlfriend. Gotta be brave sometimes, although I must admit that I'm with you with Long John Silver. Never heard of Dave and Busters, either. Don't tell anyone...but I'm one of those horrible people who drink......INSTANT COFFEE! Actually I love the good stuff but can't afford it regularly. Don't worry. If I ever have the pleasure of sharing a meal with you, I will be only to glad to follow you inside to the eating place of your choice.
    #27
    Greymo
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    Re:Well, it aint' exactly Red Lobster 2014/04/22 11:34:20 (permalink)
    wanderingjew

      . Well since he's a senior citizen, I'm sure you can guess where he wanted to go. Yes, Bob Evans....

      

     



    I beg to differ.  I know of no senior citizen who goes to Bob Evans for breakfast! They all go to the local diner or the nearest country club buffet!  The last time I went to a Bob Evans was about 6 years ago.  I took my granddaughterr (who was 5 years old)  She was very impressed with the 2 mothers who sat in the booths across from us.  She was so busy watching the misbehaving children that she did not have time to eat!
    #28
    wanderingjew
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    Re:Well, it aint' exactly Red Lobster 2014/04/22 11:41:27 (permalink)
    Greymo

    wanderingjew

    . Well since he's a senior citizen, I'm sure you can guess where he wanted to go. Yes, Bob Evans....

     





    I beg to differ.  I know of no senior citizen who goes to Bob Evans for breakfast! They all go to the local diner or the nearest country club buffet!  The last time I went to a Bob Evans was about 6 years ago.  I took my granddaughterr (who was 5 years old)  She was very impressed with the 2 mothers who sat in the booths across from us.  She was so busy watching the misbehaving children that she did not have time to eat!


    The senior citizen's surrounding our table would beg to differ.
    #29
    Time for Pie
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    Re:Well, it aint' exactly Red Lobster 2014/04/23 16:47:01 (permalink)
    Great thread title.  It reminded me of a roadfood-worthy story.  For a few years in the 1980s, my brother was working and going to school in Des Moines, Iowa.  I drove out I-74 to see him, and he asked what I wanted to do for dinner and I said I was in the mood for fish.  He said that the Red lobster was good.  I gave him a funny look, but said okay.  It was a good choice because there was a sign behind the front desk proclaiming their award as the "Best Seafood Restaurant in Des Moines."   I gave the sign a funny look too.
    #30
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