Do You Red Lobster?


I love seafood. Well most of it anyway. Anything but big chewy clams and oysters, now they are just nasty. I guess eating seafood makes me feel closer to the ocean, even though we live about 600 miles inland.

I have always wanted to go to Red Lobster restaurant but the closest one was in the next town. I've never been one to travel that far for a meal, and especially a bad one, so I patiently waited for one to come to me.

Last Christmas we received a gift card to Red Lobster and lucky enough, one was being built very close. I counted the days. We tried to go once for dinner but the wait was over an hour. I don't wait for anything, especially a meal, so we decided to make it for lunch one day.

Yesterday my daughter had a friend over and we decided to do lunch. We got right in so one point for them. The waiter was very nice and took our order. We ordered an appetizer of the seafood fondue in a bread bowl. I just asked my husband, Fondue? I didn't tell him what was in it. He has a real aversion to tiny shrimp in anything but I figured what he didn't know wouldn't hurt him.

Salads came first, Caesars for my daughters friend and I. Not real tasty, the dressing was very bland so I just added more salt. The croutons were good though, you can never go wrong with a crouton.

My husband and daughters friend ordered the beer battered shrimp. My daughter got the popcorn shrimp. She hates everything and this is probably the only seafood she had a chance of eating and liking. I ordered a lunch combo thing of fried bay scallops and Garlic Shrimp Scampi. Everybody ordered fries with their meal.

The meal comes next and my husband looks at me because he is not a big fancy restaurant guy but knew that the appetizer should have been slipped in there somewhere. Many apologies from the waiter and said that he would go check. Also my plate looked quite bare with no fries. Finally about half way through the meal, we see our waiter again and ask about appetizer and fries. More apologies.

Next comes the fondue and even though we're getting full we try some. Uh oh, hubby discovers a shrimp.

"Why didn't you tell me there were shrimp in this?", he asked like I was trying to poison him.

I claimed ignorance, "I thought you read the menu."

Great, $8.99 for an appetizer and now he's not going to eat it. I told him I was going to put it on his scrambled eggs in the morning. My daughter won't eat it and her friend tries a bite after she's done with her meal. So we ask for a to go box and stuff it in there.

And then....my fries show up. Geez, now I'm getting stuffed but I'll be damned if I'm going to let those fries go to waste. I don't really care for little skinny fries at a nice restaurant, it reminds me too much of McDonalds. I'd rather have the nice steak fries.

Daughter liked her meal which is a miracle in itself although she didn't finish it. She never finishes a meal so we don't take her out much. She still tries to get away with a child's menu and sometimes it works. Her friend liked her meal I guess, she finished it and didn't complain. But my husband was unimpressed. Either it wasn't a beer batter or they dunked them and scraped off most of it, you could see the shrimp through the coating. My Shrimp Scampi was awesome but I was very unimpressed with the bay scallops. I know they're smaller in size but once they're deep fried I could have shot them across the room in my straw, that's how small they were. Oh, but the biscuits? Heaven in a bread basket.

The girls were happy but hubby and I were full but not satisfied. The bill comes and we've gone over our gift card limit a bit so I put the balance plus tip on our debit card. We were just sitting there and the manager shows up and said she was going to take the appetizer off of our bill so she had to reprocess the whole thing again. Now we ended up with a small amount left on our gift card which I did not want. We decided to give it to the waiter but neither of us brought any cash to make up the difference in the tip that we wanted to give him. So I brought out my card again and told the manager to put it on there. She handed it back and said she would cover the rest of the tip. It did help me feel better about the whole experience but I guess I have to say that the love affair with Red Lobster is over. Maybe if I had looked at the menu more I would have found something a little different and enjoyed it more. But I probably wouldn't go back.

So off we go with my daughters leftovers and a container of seafood fondue that I am trying to figure out what do do with.

And then to make the night even more magical I got a stomach ache when we got home. Just a low rumbling and churning that gives you the warning not to eat anything else that night. So damn, there goes the pie and ice cream idea.

Comments

ethelmaepotter! said…
Yes, I do have to agree with you. The whole thing would have been deeply disappointing, were it not for the fact that the manager was so very apologetic and tried to make up for the mistake.
I've never eaten at a Red Lobster, even though we have at least two withing a 45-minute drive. Hubby likes fried catfish, but that's ALL, when it comes to seafood. Or does catfish even qualify as seafood?
Grumpy said…
We also had lunch at Red Lobster yesterday and it was great. I can see the service level varying from one location to the next, but they should have the food quality down pat since it's the same everywhere.
kden said…
I guess my thing is that I order cheaper than I need to sometimes. I feel like I can't splurge and get something nice so I go for the cheaper items and get disappointed. But...this morning I heated up some of the fondue, put it over scrambled eggs and english muffin and it was delish. I think I heard my husband gagging though, so I enjoyed all the more.
Anonymous said…
We've eaten at Red Lobster many times & have never been disappointed. The food has always been excellent and the service is usually quite good.
Grumpy said…
Try the new lobster pizza appetizer. We usually get 2 appetizers and along with the biscuits have enough to make a meal for 2.
Allegria said…
We went to the Red Lobster once--and will probably never go again. We waited, and waited and waited for our meal. Almost an HOUR went by. And we did mention it after half an hour or so.

But their ads look sooooo good!!!!

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