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Is Red Lobster Worth The Visit?

Is Red Lobster Worth It

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Red Lobster is known across the country for its endless shrimp and affordable pricing. It has locations all over the US, making it a convenient treat for seafood lovers. The food is consistent throughout its locations and its portion sizes are generous. 

So, if you are craving crustaceans or fish, it makes sense to head on down to your local Red Lobster, right? Well, maybe. Let’s break down whether this chain is worth the hype.

Can You Really Trust A Chain Restaurant With Seafood?

Seafood has been pricey. Instead of eating u-peel-em shrimp from picnic tables, seafood restaurants are increasingly becoming more upscale. Its affordability and convenience are what make Red Lobster so appealing, but there are some consequences to those cheaper prices and large-scale operations.

Fried Can Mean Frozen

You will notice that most of Red Lobster’s seafood comes fried with lots of breading or it’ll use toppings to distract you. You can always tell the quality of the seafood by the preparation. Lots of sauce and breading? That could be a red flag that the seafood isn’t fresh.

Location, Location, Location

If you are thinking of eating at a Red Lobster, consider where you are in the country and if that’s a good idea. If you are in one of the states without access to the sea, then the seafood at Red Lobster might not be the freshest.

If you are near the sea, then you are positively spoiled for seafood! You can go to any one of your local restaurants and get something creative and new, or go to a seafood shack and eat the classics from picnic tables. If you’re seaside then you definitely have options!

Its Unlimited Specials 

The unlimited specials at Red Lobster make it a popular place to eat, but is it worth it? For the price you’re paying for endless shrimp, you’d have to eat 2-4 times the initial platter – that can be a lot of shrimp, especially when it’s fried. 

Fresh Lobster For Cheap

Yes, you can get fresh lobster at Red Lobster, but beware – insiders warn that the only way to get it fresh is to order a whole lobster. That usually goes for the market price, which can still be steep even at Red Lobster. 

Does Red Lobster Serve Fake Lobster?

Instead of lobster, many of the “lobster chunks” at Red Lobster come from langostino, which is a crustacean that is related to lobster but is not quite the same. Red Lobster can’t fake a whole lobster or even a lobster tail, but anything with lobster bits or chunks is probably langostino meat which is cheaper.

There Are Better Places For Fish Than Red Lobster

The fish dishes at Red Lobster are limited. There are a few salmon dishes, trout, flounder, and fish and chips. It’s also usually smothered in sauce or battered and fried to mask the lack of freshness. 

If you live in Florida there is no reason to go to Red Lobster for good fish. There are many excellent seafood places that serve fresh locally caught fish and serve them however you want: blackened, grilled, fried, or broiled.

Rather than going to Red Lobster where the fish selection is limited, you could get fresh grouper, snapper, mahi-mahi, and more at one of Florida’s local seafood spots.

Red Lobster Is Known For Its… Biscuits?

If you know about Red Lobster, you’ve heard of its incredible biscuits. Our country is beset with Cheddar bay biscuit fever – they are so popular they even have a fan page associated with them. But do they live up to the hype?

Yes. Everyone raves about them, and they have spawned a host of copycat recipes all over the internet. However, they are also a convenient way to fill you up before the meal so you are less likely to make the most of your Endless Shrimp. 

Pro tip: You no longer have to eat at Red Lobster to get your hands on these delicious treats. The restaurant now sells cheddar bay biscuit mix that you can prepare at home, or you can try one of the many recipes on the internet.

The Verdict

Red Lobster has become such a staple of American suburban life that it’s even gotten a nod in a Beyonce song, but is it good, actually? Unfortunately, the answer will differ from restaurant to restaurant since the individual franchise owners are in charge of the quality of their spot.

While good seafood is delicious, it’s a reality that it will be more expensive than your standard fare. If you really want a place to celebrate, go to a local restaurant that serves fresh seafood – you’re bound to be happier with your meal. If you are looking for affordable seafood, go to your local crab shack or fish house – that will be a cheaper alternative to the fancier seafood places.

So is Red Lobster good? That’s subjective. If you have been to Red Lobster before and you loved it, then don’t be ashamed, you can keep going back! But if you are looking for a true seafood experience or you happen to find yourself somewhere where you can get locally sourced seafood, then you can skip the trip to Red Lobster – no matter how good its biscuits are. 

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