Sunday, 21 April 2013

Red Lobster - Lunch Review

Red Lobster - Lunch Review, I received an email from Red Lobster the other day that they had changed their décor and menu and thought I should stop by and see what I thought. So, I stopped by the Red Lobster in Round Rock for lunch today.

Saturday is a prime lunch time for families to eat out. There wasn’t exactly a crowd but a respectable number of customers there, the restaurant was maybe 60% full. Seating was quick, and it seemed that the hostess took my size into account.

The Round Rock (RR) Red Lobster is notorious for not having seating for large people. That seemed to be the biggest change, all of the tiny tables and replaced them with wider longer tables and a more open seating plan.

The server, India, was prompt and quick with the drink and biscuits. I took some time to peruse the menu. The Appetizer Options were as expensive as some of the lunch entrees. It’s not uncommon for me to have an appetizer for my lunch.

The items listed looked rather yummy and tempted me. The cocoanut shrimp or the artichoke dip sounded pretty good. I continued to the second page. Quick Catches are entrees only ranging from 7.25 to 9.50 and salad costing extra this has a special week day price of 7.99. The next section is Lunch Classics, lunch size entrees with 2 sides.

13 options ranging from 8.50 to 9.99 except the linguini which offered dinner size options for 10.00 more. The lunch menu offered dinner size meals too with their signature combos, at the old stinging prices.

Then there’s the new Four Course Feast for 15.99. you get 1. A cup of soup 2. A salad 3. One of 9 entrees 4. A desert. This looked a really good deal, but I decided to wait on this till I go back with my nephew tomorrow for dinner.

Something else new, daily fresh fish and seasonal special at market prices. They offer the fish grilled, blackened or broiled. Prices range from 10.75 for tilapia to 22.99 for the snapper, lobster at 28.99.

I ordered the Sailors Platter Lunch Classic for 9.95 with a baked potato and vegetable medley.

Dinner wasn’t long in arriving. My first impression is the presentation could have been better. The dinner sized plate with lunch sized meal, made it look like there was less food on the plate than there actually was. Maybe if they had pushed the food closer together and put a sprig of parsley to pretty it up a bit.

I started with the vegetable medley, it wasn’t bad. Very little in the way of spices, which allowed me to taste the vegetables. So if you like roasted squash, zucchini and tomatoes this is for you. I think there were supposed to be onions but there were so few I’m not sure. The veggies were cut and oven roasted in a ramekin.

I tried the friend shrimp next, which had a hint of spices in the breading. The fried shrimp was good. They were not over cooked, and the breading was light. Too many times when you get breaded friend shrimp, there is too much breading and it’s hard to even find the shrimp, let alone taste it.

The fish was baked flounder. Flounder has a delicate flavor and if cooked properly, simply delicious. The flounder for my lunch had a heavy spice over it. It was not evenly distributed and looks like it came from a shaker.

The third dish of the entrée was Shrimp Scampi. I’m still not sure I like it. Good scampi has a high spice content. Good scampi includes lots of pepper, real butter and white wine, and I think that’s what’s missing from Red Lobsters scampi. Theirs was good, but not real good.

As usual, the Cheddar Bay Biscuits were brilliant, but you have to watch out, they are high calorie, and they put way too many in my basket. It would be easy to over indulge.

India, my server was attentive but not much on conversation. She was prompt with the food, to fill my drink, to deliver any items I requested, and prompt to answer my questions. One thing to note is that they only have sea salt at the table. If you’re like me, you can taste the brine in sea salts and prefer refined table salt. India found me some, but she warned me that they don’t always have this type salt available.

My total lunch came up to 10.81, I left a 2.00 tip. Like I said, I tip on merit and though she was attentive and due over the standard 15% (which I gave), I didn’t give her the ‘perfect server’ tip.

All in all, though it was a decent lunch, it wasn’t memorable. I’d say, uninspired.

Thanks for stopping by. My nephew and I will be soon reviewing the new red lobster menu items for dinner, particularly the 4 Course Feast, Maine Stays, or possibly the Seafood Dinner for Two.

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