S/O What's wrong with Red Lobster?

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Posted 3/8/2013 by tinaev in NSBR Board
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LeoGirl76
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Posted: 3/9/2013 5:24:16 PM
My cousin is a manager at Red Lobster. I can tell you the, they do NOT microwave their food. Not sure why some of you are saying that?

Red Lobster, Olive Garden, and Bahama Breeze are all owned by Darden Restaurants. They are much higher quality than Applebee's or Fridays.



Pretty In PeaNK

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Posted: 3/9/2013 6:24:53 PM
Applebee's and TGI Fridays make me want to barf. I hate those places and only eat there if someone's birthday or retirement party is there.


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Belia
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Posted: 3/9/2013 6:54:43 PM
I've never had a bad meal at Red Lobster. Sure, not gourmet, but we can't afford that anyway.

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PeaFixture

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Posted: 3/9/2013 7:04:34 PM

it is for fat people


Well my teens are skinny minis and really like Red Lobster. My bf and I were there the other night for Lobsterfest. I know it is not the best food quality wise but I live in the middle of the prairies in Canada so it is the closest seafood restaurant we have.

We had the lobster tacos and let me tell you they were delicious. Kinda spicy but not too spicy for my tummy. It was $65.00 for the two of us - he had a beer I had a caesar so that was
$ 12. We don't eat there too often but when a craving for Lobster comes that is the place to go.


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Dalai Mama
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Posted: 3/9/2013 7:16:16 PM
I love seafood. Love it. If I were in an area where seafood was hard to get, where the only choices were Red Lobster and going without? I'd eat beef.

Red Lobster just doesn't taste fresh to me - and I don't mean it tastes like it's been frozen, I mean it tastes off. I'm sure the pseudo butter they seem to drench everything in doesn't help.


Jo Mama

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Compwalla
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Posted: 3/9/2013 7:16:50 PM
We used to eat at Olive Garden. I remember when I was in high school an Olive Garden opened near the mall. It was great. They made all their pasta and bread fresh from scratch right in the front of the restaurant. Over the years, they've moved away from that and I don't think the food is as good. They certainly don't make their pasta and bread fresh on site anymore.

Then about six years ago we were looking for a place to cater our quarterly lunch at work. We called Olive Garden and asked them if they could modify a couple of dishes to be vegetarian friendly because we have some employees with special dietary needs for various reasons. "No. All that stuff is made in a central kitchen and shipped here frozen. We can't modify the ingredients." All righty then. That's when I stopped eating at Olive Garden. If I wanted a frozen Italian meal, I'd get one from Safeway.

We don't eat out often and when we do go out, we want a certain experience. Olive Garden and Red Lobster don't give us the experience we want. My mother loves Red Lobster and Outback and when we visit her, we eat there and have a great time. It's not the worst place in the world but it's not someplace we'd pick when it's up to us.


Virginia

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writermom1
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Posted: 3/9/2013 8:42:40 PM
Nothing is "wrong" with Red Lobster unless you don't like it - then nothing is right.

Taste is subjective.



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tinaev
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Posted: 3/9/2013 9:17:52 PM
I had no idea this would be such a hot button topic!

You guys have done a great job explaining what you do and don't like about Red Lobster and chains in general. It's been really interesting to read. I have gotten the "it's shit" response before IRL always wondered why if it was so terrible that no one could articulate WHY they think it's shit.

I don't typically order buttery things, and the only times I've been I've ordered something on a special. The four course meal for $15 was especially a great deal. I got about three meals out of that. So if I had different pricing experiences and ordered different things I suppose I may not care much for RL either.

Oddly enough, I don't care much for the cheddar bay biscuits. They always seem super salty to me.

shirt
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Posted: 3/9/2013 9:50:16 PM
I lived on the coast in California for 2 years. I ate very good fresh seafood often while I lived there. When I moved to Minnesota and started dating my DH, he would want to go to RL. It is very popular here. I can't stand the taste of it. I have also tried RL a couple times on work trips (not my choice but I was with a group). It has never tasted good to me.

I just think it is hard to get good seafood in the middle of the country. My 2 kids don't like seafood. I think if the actually tried it on the coast where if us fresher, they might like it.


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lindywholoveskids
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Posted: 3/9/2013 9:55:47 PM
Wow-this thread got exciting!
We always get on the internet( especially Yelp) when we are traveling and looking for healthy sustainable and FRESH ingredients prepared well.

I know, though, I'm spoiled. We live in a foodie Mecca.

gmcwife1
SamFan

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Posted: 3/10/2013 10:14:37 AM
I'm from a fishing and seafood family so I don't eat at RL, but I don't have the RL hate that is often found here Dh doesn't like seafood so I haven't been to Red Lobster in forever.

Of course I prefer fresh seafood that my family has caught. But I also order seafood at various restaurants here. I'm near Seattle so we have good and fresh seafood, so I know I'm lucky.


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jodster70
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Posted: 3/10/2013 10:30:59 AM
I don't eat seafood, but my husband does, and he enjoys Red Lobster. We don't live by one now, but when we went I got the Cajun Chicken Pasta and it was pretty good. My grandfather in law loves it.

I live in an area that is pretty small, relatively speaking. We have a wonderful Italian restaurant and it compares to any I've eaten at across the country. There's not an Olive Garden either, but when I go home I go there a lot. I love their Chicken Gnocchi soup, and I enjoy most of the other foods there too.

Some chains I love, other ones not so much. To each their own!


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emmafrost
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Posted: 3/10/2013 11:05:17 AM
There are too many amazing cooks in my family for us to get excited about any restaurant that we go to. My dd and ds both work at RL. At the end of their shifts, they hang out with co workers at Ruby Tuesdays and other restaurants I ask them why in the world do they do that. They say that they just want to unwind and socialize and really, that is what going to a restaurant is all about.







JBeans
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Posted: 3/10/2013 11:49:48 AM
I get the RL hate. I get the RL love. I find that it is a place that you can go when you have a craving for seafood. It fills your craving but is never delicious. It's simply adequate.
I have always lived in a landlocked place, and RL has always been packed because it is accessible and couldn't be bothered to seek out the alternative.

I agree there is such a difference between fresh and frozen, but I'm not going to pooh pooh frozen fish just because I've been fortunate enough to have fresh. In fact, some of the best prepared lobster I've had was in the middle of the desert in Las Vegas. I've had wel prepared crab right here, just east of the Rockies..


Well Peas, I believe this thread has gone Thrusday.
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PeaFixture

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Posted: 3/10/2013 1:33:23 PM

It's snobbery, IMO, that feeds Red Lobster/Olive Garden/etc. hate.


Not snobbery at all. If it tastes like $&%@ I don't want to experience that again. With so many other wonderful options out there, why waste good $$$ on garbage that doesn't taste good?!

And to the OP...if you like/love Red Lobster then by all means enjoy it. You obviously aren't alone because as others have mentioned they always seem to be packed.

We have both Red Lobster and Olive Garden in our small town. They are *ALWAYS* packed. But our family does not like the taste/experience so we choose not to eat there.


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2peafaithful
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Posted: 3/10/2013 1:58:56 PM
I haven't eaten there in years but use to love it. I think my taste changed over the years and the last couple times I tried it (years ago) it just didn't compare to my new seafood loves. However, my favorite seafood restaurants at home our both chains. We love Bone Fish Grill and Rockfish. We also cook a lot of seafood at home and save $$$. I only eat seafood and chicken. The variety that seafood offers is amazing to me. I wouldn't go to Red Lobster out of choice but if I went for someones celebration I would find something that was good and enjoy it. The biscuits are good and shrimp cocktail is always pretty safe.

valincal
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Posted: 3/10/2013 2:14:39 PM

The only explanation I can think of is some people want to eat where they know exactly what they're going to get. They don't want to spend their money and take a chance on something unexpected. If they walk two blocks, they're near some of the best restaurants in the world, but somehow it's intimidating I guess.

I personally can't imagine traveling to NYC and not partaking of all the fantastic food! But I love to eat and try new restaurants and we don't have to worry about a budget. I always spend time before a vacation doing my restaurant research!

DH's family is not adventurous at all; I don't think they even enjoy eating out. When we were on a family vacation to Disneyland they ate at Denny's every night for dinner. Yep, familiar, because we have Denny's in Canada. They wouldn't even try any American chains that were in the area.

I've only been to Red Lobster once. It was okay, but I prefer quieter, more adult friendly (kid unfriendly? lol) restaurants when we go out to eat.





Simply_Lovely
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Posted: 3/10/2013 2:39:25 PM
When did being a foodie and liking good food turn into snobbery? And if you're a food snob, then so what?? I am not a picky eater and will try anything once. And since I've tried a lot of things I know what's good and what's not. Is that snobbery or plain old not wanting to waste time and money on less than stellar food?

Anyways. I don't care for RL either way. It's cheaper than real seafood places since fresh lobster is very expensive. So if you choose to eat RL I completely understand. Sometimes it's also a matter of pure preference. Like my favorite quesadilla is from Applebee's. I know that's not what a real Mexican quesadilla tastes like, but whatever that thing is I love the taste. Likewise, some may prefer the taste of RL to the real seafood. If that's what they like then that's what they should it. No sweat off my back.

My own personal issue with RL is that all the NYC and nearby locations are in very seedy areas. Areas that I wouldn't go into if given a choice. And the only non-seedy Times Square location is so ridiculously overpriced and packed that I'd rather go to a real seafood restaurant.




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StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 3/10/2013 2:45:46 PM

When did being a foodie and liking good food turn into snobbery?

When it's accompanied by statements like these:

They are saying it's bad and/or that the people who like it are ignorant, etc:


Once you've met up with yummy seafood, you will be able to answer this question for yourself. It's a classic case of you don't know what you don't know.

red lobster = frozen and processed food
i wouldn't feed it to my cat
it is for fat people

It's shit.

I was raised on good, *real* seafood. And Red Lobster is neither of those.






Lumo
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Posted: 3/10/2013 2:49:00 PM
Okay, so if someone calls it like *they see it*, that now equates to 'snobbery'. Got it.


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StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 3/10/2013 3:17:05 PM

Okay, so if someone calls it like *they see it*, that now equates to 'snobbery'. Got it.
No, you don't got it.
Calling it like you see it is fine. Accompanying it with insults and insinuations that if you feel differently you're a fat person or ignorant or dumber than a cat, or whatever else was thrown out there, is snobbery.






grammanisi
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Posted: 3/10/2013 3:45:39 PM
I love Red Lobster! Then again, I live in northern IN, about as from from fresh seafood as you can get!!


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melanell
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Posted: 3/10/2013 9:38:24 PM

I had to laugh when we were in NYC & saw the LINE of people waiting to eat at Olive Garden


There is always a line at Olive garden on weeknights and weekends.

And while we are not in a big city, we do have tons of restaurant options around here.

The town OG is located in is known for being home to all of the national chains, from big box stores to restaurants to hotels. It's a long rectangle of almost nothing but chain businesses. OG is right in the heart of it all. And I think that's a big part of why they are so busy. People get out work, they need groceries, gas, and dinner, and this town is located centrally for the area. So it has tons of traffic going through and people can stop at Target, Olive Garden, and Sheetz all in a row and be done. And so even though there are tons of family Italian restaurants and upscale Italian restaurants everywhere around here, Olive Garden is the most convenient for many people. So they line up outside the doors almost every night.

And if the line at Olive Garden is too long, Red Lobster is right next store.



Simply_Lovely
AncestralPea

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Posted: 3/10/2013 10:35:50 PM

When did being a foodie and liking good food turn into snobbery?

When it's accompanied by statements like these:

They are saying it's bad and/or that the people who like it are ignorant, etc:


Once you've met up with yummy seafood, you will be able to answer this question for yourself. It's a classic case of you don't know what you don't know.

red lobster = frozen and processed food
i wouldn't feed it to my cat
it is for fat people

It's shit.

I was raised on good, *real* seafood. And Red Lobster is neither of those.


The "it's for fat people" comment was made by obliolait who is an @ss of massive proportions. The rest, well, are true. Knowing good food, and finer things in life are not snobbery, it's experience mixed with taste and preference. Some things are just plain better. A Burberry wool coat is significantly better than an Old Navy one. That's just fact. Quality, material, craftsmanship, fit, all of it. But not all of us can afford the Burberry, and some who do may not care about coats so they wouldn't buy it regardless. Same with food. RL is inferior seafood. That's an absolute fact. I really don't see how anyone can argue with that. But if that's what you like then go for it.

We all know McD's is shit, with its fake meat and cheap crappy unhealthy ingredients, and yet we still eat it. When I am PMSing I'll take a crappy Big Mac over the finest lobster. But I recognize that those two do not compare. And neither does RL to real seafood. If that's snobbery, then I am proud to be a snob!




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Ginger21
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Posted: 3/10/2013 10:41:56 PM
The only things I like at Red Lobster are the rolls and side salad. The seafood is always a huge disappointment for the money.



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moveablefeast
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Posted: 3/10/2013 10:59:45 PM

A Burberry wool coat is significantly better than an Old Navy one. That's just fact. Quality, material, craftsmanship, fit, all of it. But not all of us can afford the Burberry, and some who do may not care about coats so they wouldn't buy it regardless


To play off yr analogy - my favorite coat is an Old Navy coat from three or four seasons ago. It was maybe $39? and I love the style, I love the fit, I get compliments on it everywhere I go, and for the price of a Burberry I could have eight of them. (ETA: uh, more than eight, says Shopper Google.)

And what's more, as a person whose coat has to be extremely functional and gets dirty quickly - work related duties make that so - I like that it can go through the cleaners every couple of weeks all winter long and if it starts to look worse for it, I can buy another one. I don't feel stressed out about my $39 coat - but if I was wearing a burberry coat outside to do playground duty, I would stress about every molecule of mud!

There is a sense in which the Burberry coat and the ON coat are the same - function! A coat is for warmth. That's really all it is. Everything else is details. Details that may be significant to you, but details nonetheless. With regard to what the coat does, the Burberry coat is certainly not measurably better than the Old Navy coat, and ultimately may in fact not be better than the Old Navy coat at all - because, at least in my experience, you are much less likely to get your money's worth out of an expensive item of clothing than you are to get your money's worth out of a less expensive item of clothing. That Burberry coat is going to have to outlast and outperform my Old Navy coat by a factor of about 20 to get your money's worth out of it, and that is just not going to happen.

And that is the same reason many people are willing to eat at places like RL and OG - function - a meal out, maybe with friends or family, financially correct, casual, predictable. It may indeed lack the trappings, the quality, or the prestige of a more upmarket establishment, and that's fine. I don't disagree with that and I don't think it's snotty to want the trappings, the quality, or the prestige.

It's just that at the end of the day, I enjoy my ON coat for what it is - a cute, comfy, attractive, casual coat that keeps me warm when I have to be outside. I might very well like a Burberry coat, but my coat isn't invalid because it lacks the details of the Burberry coat. It's just a different coat and I bought it because I like it.

It's actually a decent analogy, I just happen to see it from the other end of things because while I could probably buy almost any coat I really wanted - almost - the coat I picked makes a lot of sense functionally for the life I live. In the same way, the restaurants that I pick make sense functionally for the way I live. Someone will always be dining at a restraurant with finer trappings, and someone will always be having date night at Five Guys. It is all good.

(PS - I had a recent date with my husband at the buffalo wing joint and I send my kid to school every day in a coat I bought at GOODWILL, just in case that tells you how I feel about trappings.)

IleneTell
StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 3/10/2013 11:04:17 PM
Having different opinions from someone else doesn't make someone a snob.

Looking down on someone for their opinions makes someone a snob.

Most people on the thread stated their opinions about RL, and didn't say anything negative about other people who like it (aside from the "it's for fat people" comment, which is what one would expect from oblio)



Simply_Lovely
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Posted: 3/11/2013 12:13:31 AM

And that is the same reason many people are willing to eat at places like RL and OG - function - a meal out, maybe with friends or family, financially correct, casual, predictable. It may indeed lack the trappings, the quality, or the prestige of a more upmarket establishment, and that's fine. I don't disagree with that and I don't think it's snotty to want the trappings, the quality, or the prestige.


I completely agree with you on most of that post! It doesn't matter where you choose to eat, and it also doesn't matter if another will never eat at that establishment. We all have things we are snobby about and that's OK. Some will only use Tide detergent, others will use any detergent on sale but will only use organic meat. Some will only use Prima flowers and the finest of papers in their scrapbooking others are perfectly happy with Michael's brand flowers and slabs of paper. IMO it's OK to be snobby about certain things, as long as you don't think that people with other tastes are inferior to you somehow.

With that said, I might be a total foodie, and if you're not that's ok. The only thing that turns me off in people is when they won't try something new. If you outright state you hate a food you've never tried and refuse to try it, then yes I will absolutely judge you.




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StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 3/11/2013 12:44:38 AM

A Burberry wool coat is significantly better than an Old Navy one. That's just fact. Quality, material, craftsmanship, fit, all of it.

Yes but, imagine you have an Old Navy coat that you like very much and you read this:

Once you've had a quality coat like Burberry you'll be able to answer this question for yourself. It's a classic case of you don't know quality until you've had quality. (acting as if you've never had quality and come off like they suspect you never will)

Old Navy coat = cheap and looks like crap
So ugly I wouldn't give it to a homeless person.
Only poor people shop at Old Navy for their coats.

It's tacky shit.

I was raised buying only designer coats that are pretty & stylish. And Old Navy coats are none of those things.

Now tell me you wouldn't think the people saying that about your taste are looking down on you, and projecting snobbery.



scrapmingo
StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 3/11/2013 2:20:57 PM
Just so you all know, you can have Maine Lobster sent directly to you by companies such as these guys Maine Lobster Direct (their prices are shipping included, you cook the lobsters) getting you fresh seafood and supporting an industry here that is trying to keep up. There are several other good and reputable companies that offer these services, this is just the one I grabbed!

It is still a chunk of change, but for those who want the real deal without moving, it is an option!



CharliesAngel
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Posted: 3/11/2013 6:44:56 PM
Because my psycho ex-boyfriend from high school STILL works there, 16 years later.

Oh, wait, you were talking about the food! Well, that's why *I* don't like to go there!

Sunshine36616
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Posted: 3/11/2013 7:24:54 PM
Apparently nothing, it's always packed when I see it.

Someone described it as the Walmart of seafood, that sounds about right. It's kind of like Applebees, Chili's, etc. Frozen entrees that are warmed.

I'm from the Gulf Coast and from what I understand we have some of the best seafood in the world. Funny enough, I don't eat ANY seafood. Even with all the fresh seafood, we had a Red Lobster.

You like what you like. I'm glad you enjoyed your dinner.


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