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Randazzo's is awful

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Probably the worst meal I've ever eaten out. And I don't think I'm a food snob. The decor is great--old fashioned with lobster neon sign and nautical-themed decor inside--and it is the perfect large, diner-like space to take kids. There are so many positive chowhound reports; we had high hopes. Split the fried mixed fish platter and a bit of a kid's chicken nugget meal--the scungilli was rubbery and tasted like feet, all of the other fried food (shrimp, calamari, fries, chicken) tasted like the same bad oil it was fried in--the red sauce covering everything had an off-taste that somehow made me wish I could only taste the bad oil. We were there for about 45 minutes, and a pot with two lobsters floating at the top of the boiling water sat there the ENTIRE time...absolute sacrilege.

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  1. ketchupgirl
    I completely agree with you. I too have read so many positive reviews, especially about their sauce. I thought it was heavy, acidic and tasted as though they just kept adding new ingredients to the old stuff. Most of the posts have praised the sauce and condemmed the other dishes. That should have told me to avoid it. I'm sure some of my fellow Posters will disagree but to me, there is no such thing as a restaurant that has one great dish and terrible everything else.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Tay

      Could you believe Randazzo's was listed as the best seafood joint in Bklyn? I went there last week, ordered 2 soft shell sandwiches and one fried calamari to go for a mere 50 bucks. Again, the problem is a lack of quality seafood places in a borough of 4 million plus people. Sheepshead Bay was a good place to go 35 years ago. but not today!

      1. re: son of a butcher

        "Could you believe Randazzo's was listed as the best seafood joint in Bklyn?"
        I cannot imagine who came up with that brilliant assessment...
        Must be someone who knows nothing about seafood....Or good sauce, and is relying on information/evaluations from 20 years ago

    2. agreed- it is totally disgusting. the only possible redeemer might be clam on the halfshell... you are so right, and it is such a shame!

      1 Reply
      1. re: rootytootyfreshnfrooty

        I have never understood why this place has received high praise. I like Paulie, the owner, but the food sucks. All of the kitchen food is seriously over cooked and the shellfish from the raw bar is washed and drained of its brine. It's too bad. Randazzo's along with Joe's and a couple of others on Emmons were very goo places at one time.

      2. I have to chime in and bash Randazzo's a bit too. It's the only place EVER where I left a ton of food on the plate, paid, and walked out. Absolutely awful touristy crap is what best describes their food. Randazzo's, much like Lundy's, is a shadow of its former self.
        I don't understand why the raves here at all.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Cheese Boy

          The Daily News raved the other day, but I don't take my food tips from the Daily News. In a borough that is surrounded by water, I can't think of one place in "the bay" that has excellent seafood, for that matter excellent food. What a shame. The soft shell crab sandwich at $16.95 tasted good, but ....gimme a break.I think I'll stay home and make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

          1. re: son of a butcher

            son of a butcher:
            You can always come visit the "Isle of Staten" and enjoy much better seafood..I would hink of the $10 toll as an 'investment' in gastronomic satisfaction.
            Right over the VNB, the South Fin Grille is situated directly on the water and serves excellent, albeit it, pricy raw seafood 'towers'.
            Every time I dine at Real Madrid Restaurant I am surrounded by the contented faces of happy diners chowing down on fresh lobsters. Many of the restaurants out here pride themselves on offering fresh seafood. Having to Pay $17 for a soft shell crab sandwich iis highway robbery!

            1. re: Tay

              I looked at the menu for Real Madrid Restaurant and all I can say is wow! Do they cook all that stuff well? It's one of the FEW places where they actually show you the price of lobster rather than the typical M/P.

              1. re: Scagnetti

                Scagnetti
                I have had many very good meals at this simple but pleasant neighborhood restaurant. They serve very generous portions of well prepared food. Seafood is very popular and they have a steak special that is HUGE. I've never ordered the lobster but sometimes it seems as though everyone else in the place is eating nothing but lobster :-} The only thing I've had that I don't like is the insipid iceberg lettuce with the prerequisite rock hard tomato wedge. I always get the soup instead (Not the black bean, the other one).Their flounder in green sauce and chicken villaroy are also delicious. Although it's not up to Espana's level, their sangria, especially the white, is tasty. And those killer fried potato slices!...Now I feel like going tonight! :-}

        2. I agree 100%. Randazzo's has the look of a place that has been around a while, so the food must be good right. Randazzo's is best experienced from the street. If you are in Sheepshead bay I suggest going over to Brighton for Russian food. In Sheepshead bay the expensive Greek place might be worth a shot, Otherwise Roll-n-Roaster is the best value for the money, which being a fast food type place isn't much.

          14 Replies
          1. re: Geo8rge

            Randazzo's is taking it's knocks here. I'll take their fried squid, little neck clams on the half shell, and soft shell crab sandwich, when in season, any day. I find them all to be very enjoyable and reliable. Maybe Randazzo's reputation has been built up too much. Maybe their prices are on the high side. But it has been the pretty much the same each time I go for years now (except they take plastic now).

            1. re: dhs

              I've been eating their calamari for decades and it's my favorite. Their sauce is a bit different. Maybe not to everyone's taste.

              1. re: dhs

                I had clams they were ok. The person I was with ordered some sort of fish which was really crummy. And I mean crummy in comparison to the worst greasy spoon type restaurants. As far as there being a couple of things on the menu that are not crummy, they need to pair down their menu to what they can do minimally well. Or atleast draw attention to those things on the menu. BTW, the problem with their raw stuff is that when the rest of the meal is screwed up you wonder about what bad stuff might be going on with the raw clams. The fish that was ordered was so bad it ruined the unrelated clams. I personally am not in the least bit curious about the rest of the menu. Randazzo's 50's look is best experienced from across the street on your bicycle as you go to Roll-N-Roaster.

                1. re: dhs

                  i grew up in sheepshead bay
                  i dont ever remember randazzos being good

                  1. re: bruklinboy

                    It's alway been awful and yet, it remains open while much better restaurants have gone belly up. It's one of those little mysteries... Maybe it serves another purpose. :-}

                    1. re: Tay

                      not goin there
                      besides, there's no such thing as..............................

                      1. re: bruklinboy

                        Bring back Capt. Walters - the original near Alpine Sports (loved that chalet-type of architecture). They had one of the best Thursday night happy hours in the area.

                        1. re: bruklinboy

                          bruklinboy....
                          Of course, you're referring to the Tooth Fairy, right? :-}

                          1. re: Tay

                            um yeah
                            thats it
                            of course

                            1. re: bruklinboy

                              Bruklinboy, you are a riot!!!

                      2. re: bruklinboy

                        I agree. Even during Sheepshead Bay's hey day in the 50's and 60's, when there were many places to eat along Emmons Ave, Randazzo's was always one of the lesser lights. I truly don't know how they've survived all these years.

                        1. re: Scagnetti

                          That's probably because Joe's closed down or was it a fire. I forgot. I did go to Randazzo's often for their "bread and gravy." That was a real treat when I was young and broke.

                    2. re: Geo8rge

                      We found Limon to be very good for kebabs and the like. It’s across from R-n-R. Food and service are fine. I met their owner who sometimes goes table-to-table asking people how things are – a bit campy but a nice touch.

                      1. re: MShapiro

                        "a bit campy but a nice touch."
                        Good customer service and building a rapport with customers isn't campy...It's smart :-}

                    3. The quality is overall pretty poor, unless you're super hungry. Stick to the clams on the half shell.

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: Mr. Particular

                        Everyone keeps saying stick with the half-shells. Have they changed they way they're prepared? The last time I had cherrys on the half the shucker drained all the brine/liquor out of them and put them under running water, quickly though it was.

                        1. re: bigmackdaddy

                          Yes they do put the clams briefly under running water post shucking. I bet there is a story behind that practice.

                          1. re: dhs

                            Litigation or dumbing down no doubt.

                            1. re: bigmackdaddy

                              I doubt it

                              1. re: dhs

                                I didn't see them do that to my clams. (I was there 2 weeks ago for the first time.) Unless they were very sneaky about it...

                                1. re: dhs

                                  It's not to make them taste better. A bunch of places do this. Nathan's, GCOB, Pearl and so on. I can only surmise that people who don't know any better have complained about the brine being toon salty or some one had a bad brine experience and sued. I'm open to other explanations.

                                  1. re: bigmackdaddy

                                    They may have been rinsed because there was visible sediment or muck in them.....I find it frequently in the clams I shuck for myself. I don't think too many restaurant customers want to see some of the clams habitat in the clam they want to eat. Rather than trust the shuckers to only clean out the clams that need it, they are probably instructed to simply rinse each clam.

                        2. I feel your pain... I took my out of town family there during the week of Thanksgiving, based on reviews I read.

                          Those reviewers should be shot, and forced to give me my money back.... wait, give me my money back, then be shot.

                          1. The last time I ate at Randazzos I was a teenager, and that was 35 years ago. I've never been tempted to ever go back. It must have been pretty bad. I went by it just the other day too and my comment to my brother was how bad it could be, but that's all that's left of the old Sheepshead Bay.

                            1. I find that Randazzo's is usually good for the raw bar especially in the spring/summer time (clams and oysters are consistently very fresh because theytend to sell a lot more). However, if you want good seafood go over to Clemente's crab shack (5 min. away by car). I got turned off by Randazzo's when I ordered the steamed lobster and got something that smelled like gym socks. And then I noticed from sitting at the bar that they don't change the water for the food they steam. I witnessed them throw lobster after lobster into the same dirty, unseasoned boiling water. I understand that you can't change a pot of water every time you steam a new lobster but they should be able to cycle the water a little more often.