So Jaime and I were trying to find someplace different to eat the other night. We just wanted to split an entrée and an appetizer. Seafood at the time sounded wonderful so we opted for Red Lobster over Olive Garden. Yes both of those places are chains but neither are places that we normally frequent (We have only been to one Olive Garden together and never before have we gone to a Red Lobster.) and both were right off of the freeway. Well as we entered the place we both noticed that the only people eating there had either white or grey hair. That should have been our first clue to just leave. Not saying that the elderly are bad people, in fact many are absolutely delightful, however much is left to be desired when you talk about their taste buds, or lack there of.
Well against better judgment we opted to stay. We were already here and while I was ravenous, Jaime was just slightly hungry. We searched the menu for “safe” seafood choices and we figure on shrimp. I mean how the hell does one mess up shrimp? So we got the Cajun shrimp, shrimp scampi, and the potato crusted shrimp and for our appetizer we got calamari and stuffed mushrooms.
Well as our appetizer comes out the first thing we notice is that the stuffed mushrooms are just layered in cheese, and grease too (There was a noticeable pool on top of the cheese). We try it and wow, greasy is right. Blech…you could barely taste the cheese. Well hopefully the calamari was better. Chef Ramsey would of cried because it was undercooked and didn’t have much of a taste at all. You could tell that it was squid but it was almost as if it sat in water for a really long time. At least the meal couldn’t be this bad right? It is shrimp after all.
Well our food finally arrives and after this disappointment that was the appetizer I couldn’t wait to eat something good. This was not it. We had thought that the mushrooms were greasy… The shrimp scampi was in a pool of butter. A no shit pool of butter complete with skim. It was as if there was at least 2 cups of butter melted and drenched the shrimp with it. They must have been trying to cover up the saltiness of the shrimp with it because it seemed that kosher salt was a regular item in their ingredients list. One down and 2 more to go. Well the Cajun shrimp was a little bit better. At least you could taste the attempt at Cajun seasoning. Okay when you think of Cajun shrimp it is skewered and char grilled to blackened. You can just taste that smoke flavor and yeah, this was a disappointment. Why you might ask? Well besides not being spicy enough, yep the elders would love this one too, it was sautéed in a Cajun butter mixture. The shrimp was on a pile of rice pilaf and the rice was saturated with some form of orange grease. Up until now you could tell the grease was of the yellow butter type. You took one fork full of rice and it was oozing complete with beads of congealed grease on the plate. Yep, absolutely delicious looking, right? Finally down to the fried potato covered shrimp. Surprisingly enough the deep fried shrimp were the least greasy…wow, they must have one good fry cook, obviously not the calamari cook…the sauté cooks need to learn from this guy. This was the best shrimp of the meal but at this point we just didn’t want to eat anymore. The biscuits finally came out at this point. They obviously were not hot and fresh, so why it took 45 minutes was beyond us. We each took one and wow, dry as can be with not a hint of the cheddar flavor that we remembered as a children.
Unfortunate to say the highlight of our meal was the salad we had right before our entrée was served. This ceasar however was drenched in dressing and the croutons had little flavor to them. When the waitress finally came over and asked if we wanted to box our food, there was plenty left, both of us spoke loudly and clearly a nice resounding “No.” At this point she just brought us the check. We paid and left our not so merrily way. Seriously this has been one of the worst restaurant experiences in our lives and if we ever decide to try it again it will be in the very distant future. It was such a failure that we couldn’t even fathom to glance at the dessert menu. If you can screw up shrimp so badly we shudder to think what the chocolate would taste like. The service was really slow (we even had to ask for drink refills) and at the end of the meal we were rushed out. This didn’t make any sense to us seeing that there wasn’t even a wait (the place was empty.) Chef Ramsey you really need to make this place less of a “Dread” Lobster and more of a real seafood place.