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Red Lobster

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I am a massive seafood and lobster fan from the UK who will be in NYC in a few weeks.
I have a limited budget and have already planned some gorgous meals based on some other topics here.

I noticed there is a chain of restaurants called Red Lobster and their menu looks fantastic. I know its not high class gourmet seafood, but as I am on a tight budget, any lobster is better than none, and was wondering what their prices are like??
Lets say for an average meal price?


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  1. This is really not the ideal time of year to be eating North American lobster -- they're pretty watery during the cold months. You just might be able to find some early soft-shell crab. If you do, gobble them up, as they are truly a special treat (and one that you will never find in the UK).

    1. if you'd like to try a lobster roll which isn't quite as good as new england, but still pretty good, go to either pearl oyster bar or mary's fish camp in greenwich village. pearl is open for lunch (not sure if mary's is). they are NOT upscale places. however, since you already have high end stuff in your budget, i'd suggest looking there. oh - lobster roll = hot dog roll + (i forget how each serves it specifically) mayo+lettuce+lots of lobster pieces OR (not nyc way) lobster pieces already soaked in butter (no mayo)

      there also are periodic places which have "lobster bake" specials for around $20-25. that's 1 1/4 pound lobster and some sides (like french fries and corn, or something similar). the new england bakes have much much more, with an assortment of other seafoods like clams or mussels as well as sides.

      oh, both places are in greenwich village, and easily accessible by subway. or tube, if you wish.

      as a sidenote - red lobster's most redeeming quality is the little free rolls they give you with each meal, which are wonderful. i love certain seafood like lobster, shrimp, tuna and live 90 miles away from nyc (so there's no abundance of good restaurants up here), yet have gone to red lobster 2 or 3 times in the last 5+ years (only with coupons and other things cutting back the cost of the meal), and haven't had a whole lobster there in much much longer than that.

      1. Go to Kam Chueh at 40 Bowery Ste 1 (Cross Street: Between Canal Street and Doyers Street) and have a live lobster (of your choosing) cooked "two ways" - half with ginger scallion and 1/2 with garlic on a bed of ribbon noodles. I would not eat anything there other than the fresh seafood (shrimp/prawns and crab are great too). It is inexpensive and delicious.

        1. I know it's been controversial on this board, but El Quijote offers an inexpensive (around $20) lobster dinner. I can't imagine Red Lobster is much cheaper than that.

          El Quijote's lobster dinner comes with a delicious Spanish style soup and potatoes. The atmosphere is very old school, and it is right next to the Chelsea Hotel, which might be an interesting thing for a tourist to see.

          1 Reply
          1. re: littleguy

            Two weeks ago I was taken here by relatives, who love it, and I cannot complain! I had a two pounder and it was sweet and succulent and very well worth it, a good deal! ...friend had the paella and I tasted it, and cannot say great or less so, but loaded with lobster and shellfish. No, not fine dining, but fun...beware, lots of noise! And it seemed there were buckets of sangria. I think this may be fun for the out of towner OP.

          2. Please steer clear of Red Lobster and any other national chain while on your visit to NYC - there are just so many fantastic local places this city has to offer that it is a travesity the Olive Garden is full on any given night.

            You may want to check the Outter Burroughs board for some great seafood restaurants that are reasonably priced. In Manhattan as another poster mentioned Pearl Oyster Bar, and Marys have the best Lobster Rolls in the city. You could also try Tides, Grand Central Oyster Bar, BLT Fish or Ditch Plains. Several of the Chinatown restaurants will offer lobster as well; Pings and Oriental Graden are known for their seafood.

            1. I hear it is changing ownership, but "Cafe on Clinton" in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn (just over the Brooklyn Bridge) does very inexpensive nightly specials. One of those specials (maybe Tuesday's) is a 1-1/4 1b (approx. 500 gram) lobster with sides for something like $15. Anyone have more concrete info? Try asking on the Outer Boroughs board.

              1. You should try Fairway supermarket. They have live lobsters in all sizes and for not so much money that they will cook for you (at least the one in Red Hook does) , you can go impromptu and bring the lobster/s back to your hotel and eat it there. Fairway also makes great lobster rolls for around $9. In fact if the weather's warm when you get here you might want to go out of your way to the Red Hook (in Brooklyn) Fairway and take the lobster and other food (they have steam tables, cheese, coffee, soda, etc,) out on their patio. It's a great view of the Narrows and Statue of Liberty and you can walk around the docks where the new artist shops are located. I have bought 3 pounders for $9 a pound, steamed and they were delicious. Tell them not to clean it though, the roe and coral are the best parts.

                3 Replies
                1. re: bigmackdaddy

                  I had no idea Fairway made loster rolls! That is great news indeed.

                  1. re: JoLi

                    The Fairway in Redhook does. I'm not sure about the Upper West Side or Harlem.

                    1. re: JoLi

                      Please PLEASE do not go to Red Lobster. A nice inexpensive Manhattan lobster roll can be has at the lobster place in the Chelsea Market (9th Ave/ 16th St). You can eat it on stools outside the store. With wonderful fresh oysters. For a real restaurant go to Pearl Oyster Bar, get a grilled lobster. Worth 10 times the price of a Red Lobster meal and won't be that much more costly. You can't go wrong with anything else there, either.

                  2. Thank you so much littleguy, mr seabass and pikawicca , bobgaj, you definitely have made my mind up for me not to bother going at all, and thanks so much for all the recommedations!!!

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Nexxi

                      I also like the lobster roll at Mermaid Inn on 2nd ave in the East Village. It is a buttered toasted roll and chunks of lobster with clarified butter. no mayo to cover the taste of the lobster.

                      1. re: Nexxi

                        Thanks to everyone else for their additional recommendations. Ive printed off some menus - ta very much ;)

                        1. re: Nexxi

                          You might want to add one more spot to your list. Tides is a teensy seafood "shack" on the Lower East Side. Their menu includes whole lobster (market price), as well as a lobster roll that differs in style from places like Pearl's and Mary's. Lots of other fish and seafood choices. Cozy with sleek decor and a very unique ceiling.


                      2. Folks, as a friendly reminder, please limit your comments to where great chow, including lobster and seafood, can be found in Manhattan. We try to keep these regional boards tightly focused on local chow. Discussion of national chain restaurants like Red Lobster are off-topic for this board. Feel free to discuss Red Lobster on the "chains" board.

                        Thank you!

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: The Chowhound Team

                          But the OP's question was specifically about RED LOBSTER (a chain) in MANHATTAN, as pertaining to a Manhattan visit.

                        2. There is a place called called Black Pearl that has the best lobster roll I've had in NYC. It used to be a little place in the back of a bar named Julep, but it recently reopened on 26th and Broadway. I liked it better when it was hidden in the back of Julep, but the lobster roll is still packed with lobster and covered in butter. Delicious.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: jrossettie

                            There is a lot of controversy over Black Pearl, so I wouldn't recommend it to the 'hound from across the pond.

                              1. re: jrossettie

                                lots of people have had not-so-good experiences and average food. there is a thread on it somewhere.

                          2. Haven't been myself, but I think City Crab (19th and Park Ave South) might do the trick...

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Odelay101

                              mmmmmmmmm City Crab is less than stellar....

                            2. Every couple of years I think City Crab will be good. I feel like I could order anything on the menu and be happy. But it always underwhelms. It just has a great location. (but i havn't been in about ......... 2 or 3 years!)

                              1. Definitly avoid Red Lobster, but I'm just wondering, what do you consider to be a "tight budget"? Cause good lobster usually leaves a decent dent in my wallet even when I'm not on a tight budget.

                                1. I have no problems with Red Lobster, it might be more interesting for someone that has not eaten in one before. Hint: Order the Lobster and maybe something off the drink menu.

                                  If you want to try something more expensive I like Palm:

                                  1. No massive seafood and lobster fan should miss a visit to the Grand Central Oyster Bar. It is truly unique and historic, and the restored Grand Central Station is worth seeing also. http://www.oysterbarny.com/oysterbar/... You can go at lunch and sit at the counter for a more casual meal. Skip a meal to save money if you have to, it would be sad if you based your idea of America seafood on a visit to Red Lobster, with it's cheap fast food product.