Sunday, February 04, 2007

Review: Red Lobster

You know that you're not near the ocean anymore when Red Lobster routinely wins some kind of award in the "Best Of" awards for Best Seafood restaurant.

We ended up at Red Lobster tonight not because we wanted good seafood - it's mostly because neither of us had any preferences, the cheddar garlic biscuits sounded pretty good, and hey, I had a coupon. Never underestimate the power of a coupon on my purchasing decisions.

It was late, so we were seated immediately. During the most popular dinner hours, especially on Friday and Saturday nights, the wait can bd 45 minutes plus. I did mention we weren't near the ocean and thus don't have a lot of choices for seafood, right?

We don't go to Red Lobster regularly, so everytime we're there the menu is different. Suffice it so say that there is always a selection of broiled and fried seafood combined in many different ways, and more ways to prepare small shrimp than you can shake a stick at. I went with the broiled combination because it had scallops, and my husband went for the fried because....well, probably because he wanted it.

The fried platter same with seafood and crab cakes (thin and mostly breading inside and out), fried fish fillets (my favorite), popcorn shrimp, and clam strips. The broiled platter had stuffed flounder (stuffed with the same stuff they make the seafood and crab cakes out of), shrimp scampi, and the previously mentioned scallops. Lest you think the broiled platter is somehow healthy, while it is lower in carbs than the fried, it makes up for it by dousing everything in lots of butter. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, since the cheddar biscuits are great for sopping up the garlic butter the scampi is swimming in.

Everything is pretty much overcooked, from somewhat rubbery scallops to mushy flounder to soft broccoli. It's par for the course, and honestly, I don't mind, because I'm getting pretty sick and tired of undercooked fish at most restaurants. Either do it up properly black and blue, or cook the thing. Don't leave it raw in the middle - that's called not knowing how to cook fish and leaving it undercooked because you don't want to risk overcooking it.Same with vegetables - this whole "crisp tender" thing is getting old, and sometimes I just want them cooked until they're, well, cooked.

My husband also ordered a cup of gumbo, which actually tasted pretty much like I expected gumbo to taste, and had recognizable rounds of sausage in it.

The salads, which come with the entrees, have shrunk quite a bit (I've heard that many CO restaurants are shrinking salads as one way of making up the money the recent wage hike legislation has cost them).

We skipped dessert since there's a Baskin Robbins next door, and the desserts at Red Lobster are pretty much food service straight out of the freezer in huge portions to make up for the fact they're industrial desserts.

In short, it was pretty much a par for the course meal at Red Lobster. I don't ask much of the place, it delivers what it delivers, and we both end up with what we expected.

Date of Visit: 2/3/2007


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