Time for some chain restaurant dining reviews! Woo! Last week my momma won big at the casino and took us all out to dinner to Red Lobster to celebrate. Since she was buying, she choose the restaurant. Big time rollers here, you know. Let’s see how Red Lobster is doing these days, shall we?
[cheddar bay biscuits]
I’ve cloned these cheddar biscuits back in the day but the real thing is still mighty tasty with that hint of garlic, a little bit of saltiness and the cheese inside. I knew we had more food coming so I somehow managed to only eat ONE but I could have easily had a few more of these. My mom thinks they’re too salty, but really, she thinks everything is too salty.
[lobster artichoke dip / $10.29]
Dad had a coupon for a free appetizer and we decided on this. Cheesy goodness + lobster = hello! You can see chunks of lobster on top, there was maybe a little bit more of the chunks under the ooze of cheese but not much more. The photo on the online menu makes it seem like there is so much lobster it is crowding the dish, but don’t be fooled (see evidence above). The menu says this is a “three cheese blend” but doesn’t list the cheeses. The chips were also warm and I liked how they were also red chips thrown in. (I see what you did there, Red Lobster!) It was super cheesy and creamy and a fair amount of lobster was to be had. It was enjoyable.
This is my boring salad with raspberry vinaigrette, here only for documentation purposes. As stated, it was boring.
[lobster bisque / $3.49]
Mom upgraded her starter and got the Lobster Bisque. She didn’t like it that much, but she complains about lots of food so I tried it, too. It wasn’t very good. It had a strange after taste and the bisque was a little on the weak side. I couldn’t even describe the weird taste, really. Just kind of “off”. Dad didn’t like it, either. This one was a fail.
Due to a snafu with the ordering, we ended up getting this for free.
[lobster in paradise / $27.99]
I used to not really care for lobster all that much, but over the years I started liking it a bit more, especially after I had some good, sweet lobster. Shrimp is still my favorite so this dish allowed me to get lots of shrimp and lobster, which appealed to me greatly. The lobster is a Maine tail split and fried in coconut batter. I adore coconut shrimp so I was curious to see a lobster tail prepared this way. It was really delicious – I loved the taste of the sweet coconut paired with the sweet lobster. It was a little crisp on the outside but was not overly battered. It was just barely hanging onto the shell – they must have de-shelled it a bit since there was batter over the lobster meat completely.
I also got a skewer of spicy grilled shrimp (not really that spicy) topped with some kind of pineapple salsa that I ignored. The shrimp were nice and flavorful from the semi-spicy sauce that was brushed on.
The last item on my plate was this lobster-shrimp bake with toasted macadamia nuts on top. The lobster/shrimp was in a sort of sweet garlic butter sauce that I found to be delicious – I liked the added bit of macadamia nuts as well for a bit of crunch.
I took a bit of this home and had it for lunch the next day and it held up better than I thought it would.
[lobster lover’s dream / $31.99]
Mom and Dad both ordered the same thing – though there was a snafu with the ordering. It was resolved though when Dad said that wasn’t what they ordered and our flustered waiter apologized and put in an order for the correct item. This has two lobster tails – one rock lobster tail and one Maine lobster tail. It also came with lobster and shrimp linguine Alfredo in the middle.
The Maine lobster was much more flavorful, sweet and succulent than the rock lobster, which in comparison tasted kind of dried out. Dad wasn’t into the linguine all that much, he thought it was seriously lacking… Mom seemed to think it was okay enough to take home.
We all got rice pilaf on the side, which has wild rice in it, but Mom doesn’t like it because it “has hard stuff in it”. Wild rice is not Mom’s thing, it is, however, totally my thing.
Ah, discarded lobster shells! We should have boxed these up, too, to make a stock… oh well, we did not.
All in all it wasn’t a terrible dinner, I seemed to like my meal more than my folks did. I haven’t been to Red Lobster in ages so I was happy to see that the cheddar biscuits are still as delicious as ever. They actually started making Cheddar Bay Biscuit Mix* which I keep meaning to buy and try but haven’t managed it yet (I have also seen it at the dreaded Wal-Mart). It’s on my long list of “to-do’s” which I’m sure I’ll get around to someday.
(many multiple locations)
8330 Mira Mesa Blvd
San Diego, CA 92126
* Disclaimer: This is an Amazon Affiliate link! I might get a quarter or something if you purchase through this link.