HOME > Chowhound > Chains >


red lobster

i have to admit i'm the type that tries not to go to chains etc. prefer to go to local places- not just to support them but prefer the food but my parents do go to all the chains now that they're older. i guess they just like knowing what they're going to get, know the atmosphere, don't want to drive downtown where the more interesting places are etc
so we went to red lobster the other night and i had the lobster fest. and it was really good- i can't complain about any of it. it's usually a joke that i see something on TV (we're dieting so happens alot) and i tell my husband i want to go try that and he says no because it won't look like that. but my dinner really did look like the tv
i was very pleasantly surprised- unfortunately ate two of the biscuits and ruined the diet....

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Only two biscuits? Hey, that ain't bad - those biscuits are like crack. I haven't been to Red Lobster since I was about 15 years old. At the time, I thought it was great, but I fear if I go back now I'll ruin all the fun memories I had of this place. I honestly haven't heard anything good about RL in a long time, except for this post!

    5 Replies
    1. re: Melanie

      Many moons ago I was dating this lovely exotic woman of Brazilian and Japanese decent. During the first few months of courtship, we went out to many top restaurants in New York and New Jersey. When we dined for steak, we went to Peter Luger and when asked if she enjoyed the steak, she replied, " this is not as good as Argentinian or Brazilian Beef. When we dined @ Il Mulino for Italian fare, when asked if she enjoyed her meal, she replied, " This is not as good as I have had in Rome......you get the picture. for her birthday, I took her to The Palm for a five pound lobster. When I asked how how she liked her lobster, she said it was okay, but not the best she ever had. Now my curiosity and piqued and I had to know, so I asked her where did she go when she was in the mood for lobster.....her reply in a very straight and non emotional manner responded......"When I want good lobster.....I go to Red Lobster..........true story.

      1. re: fourunder

        HA! What was your reaction? I don't think I could have kept from laughing aloud!

        1. re: Melanie


          Of course I laughed out loud as I shook my head in disbelief.......and all while my drink was exiting through my nose......and yes, it was the last time I dated her.

        2. re: fourunder

          hmmm.. A lovely, exotic woman of Barzilian and Japanese descent. I don't suppose you could give me her number. Having a predeliction for Red Lobster is something I could get over.

        3. re: Melanie

          The biscuits are more than addictive ... sorry I love them.

          I normally would never like RL, but I ate there 2x in the last 2 months (clients) for lunch. Each time excellent. I know chain restaurant, but overall, not bad. Food was good, service excellent ... why not. I had no complaints either. It isn't gourmet, I didn't expect gourmet. But hey it was good.

          And I don't care what goes in the biscuits, I like them. I've made my own but preferred them. DON'T care.

        4. I have managed to avoid Red Lobster for many years and in December my son wanted to go there for dinner. We all agreed and the food was better than I had remembered. I had some sort of marinated fish and it had a lot of taste. Yes, the rolls are like crack and we even took a few home. My husband has said a few times since that he would return...anything to get our 18 year old out for dinner with us!

          1. i like red lobster, and am looking forward to getting there for lobsterfest. the cheddar bay biscuits *are* like crack (so i'm told about the addictiveness of crack....).

            toncasmo, which combo did you get?

            i'm looking at:

            Seaport Lobster and Shrimp
            Two wood-grilled petite Maine lobster tails, savory garlic shrimp scampi and a skewer of garlic-grilled jumbo shrimp. Served with wild rice pilaf. 24.50

            Roasted Rock Lobster and Grilled Jumbo Shrimp
            A roasted rock lobster tail paired with skewered, wood-grilled jumbo shrimp topped with creamy lobster butter sauce. Served over wild rice pilaf. 24.99

            Lobster Lover’s Dream ®
            A succulent rock lobster tail and sweet split Maine lobster tail, roasted and served with shrimp, lobster and langostino linguini Alfredo. 31.50


            2 Replies
            1. re: alkapal

              i had a rock lobster, a maine lobster and a skewer of shrimp- trying to not get anything too fancy or too fattening. i'm not sure what it was called

              1. re: alkapal

                I had the Seaport Lobster and Shrimp and it was *delicious*.

              2. I find the quality at Red Lobsters pretty location-dependent. I've had some pretty decent meals at some (the one near the Deptford Mall in Jersey, for example, and while roadtripping out to the midwest), and some godawful ones (worst being one in Silver Springs, Maryland, where everything was just drowned in oil and grease.)

                Basically it's a place I find it better to stick as simple as possible--grilled or broiled fish & lobster, or once I remember getting something like a New England bake that was shellfish & lobster with corn on the cob that was really decent. Anything fancier or the pasta I tend to stay away from as too heavy and greasy for my tastes.

                2 Replies
                1. re: sockii

                  Same here. They start out with a decent-for-mass-markets quality of fish that requires a certain delicate hand in cooking and is far easier to screw up than Olive Garden fare is. So if you get one where the management is with it and the grill cook is careful, they can be pretty good. But their margin of error is a lot smaller than other general fare chains and indifference from the management and kitchen staff shows up pretty blatantly in the final product.

                  1. re: sockii

                    Totally agree on the location dependent. The ones I have access to have been terrible so I have pretty much written off the whole chain.

                  2. I too love the biscuits. They also have a lobster pizza that has a cracker-thin crust. Perfect with a glass of Pinot Grigio and about 8 of those biscuits. A light lunch.

                    1. It's been years and years since I've been. I DO remember EVERYTHING being bathed in butter! The potatoes, the lobster, the steak AND vegetable side! So yeah, the secret's out on how they pack so much flavor in their food.

                      8 Replies
                      1. re: NewDude

                        I go to Red Lobster maybe once a year. It is the bF's "date" restaurant of choice. When we go we inevitably forget and order an appetizer. (yes soaked in butter). By the time we eat the crack biscuits, salad and appetizer... no room for the entree, which ends up coming home. He saw the ad for lobster fest recently, so I imagine we'll be visiting them again soon.

                        1. re: Firegoat

                          let's re-name them "crack bay biscuits."

                          1. re: alkapal

                            lol fine with me! They could call them feces biscuits and if they still came to my table hot and full of their deliciously buttery/cheesy goodness I would STILL eat them.
                            They always have those taste-alike recipes for them all over the internet... but it just isn't the same.

                            1. re: Firegoat

                              oh firegoat, now i'll think of that <ahem> "alternative" name for the biscuits as they arrive. but, i don't think that will stop me from digging in, either!

                              i think those copycat recipes are missing something, too.

                              btw, aren't the red lobster servers ALWAYS slow to bring more biscuits?
                              geesh, feed the pig already! {;^D.**

                              ** that reminds me, i need to update my thread on "i'm a complete hog when it comes to eating [blank]......"

                              1. re: alkapal

                                Perhaps the missing ingredient is the crack?
                                Those biscuits can't be THAT good.... I wonder how long you have to work at a Red Lobster before you hate those biscuits...

                                1. re: Firegoat

                                  well, one college festival weekend, i served haagen-dazs ice cream. all day. and of course, being me, i ate a lot, too. somehow, it did not serve to turn me against that ice cream.

                                  and those red lobster biscuits: biscuit, cheddar, garlic, butter. how could i tire of those? they are four of my top food groups.

                                2. re: alkapal

                                  What you do is take your first biscuit each, wrap the others in a napkin and put in your purse and then say "oh, can we have more biscuits please?" They reheat great!

                        2. I have never foregiven that chain for knowingly contracting for spiny lobsters from divers in Belize and Honduras who squirted bleach to blind the lobsters in their coral reef crags to make them easy to capture. The scars on the reefs are only now healing.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: Veggo

                            wow, i've never heard about that. That's awful.

                            1. re: Firegoat

                              i still want a cheese biscuit tho... :(

                              1. re: Firegoat

                                Just make one of the recipes off the net. When you find out how much fat goes into them, you might not want them as much.

                                1. re: salsailsa

                                  Well then, I am definitely going to hell...I will still eat there. Their crack biscuits are my life... One consolation, I don't eat their lobster....but, bad business practices (and yes, that's pretty horrid) aren't going to stop me...well, off to hell in a handbasket...

                          2. IMO....the biscuits are not that tasty at RL. You can hardly taste the cheese or garlic. I use a copycat recipe and add more cheese and garlic......after making my own, I am just not impressed with RL's when we eat there.........

                            1. I am not a fan of chains, and after a disatorous trip to Maggiano's I had a choice of Red Lobster or Olive Garden, again with a gift card. We chose Red Lobster and went on a Saturday afternoon at 1 PM after reading some local reviews about shaky service. We were greeted promply, the restaurant was maybe 25 percent full, and the employees seemed to outnumber the customers. Our greeter infrormed us, as well as the party behind us that it would be a 5-10 minute wait. Strike one. After exchanging puzzled glances both parties were seated immediately. Right after that a group was seated next to us complete with squealing child, although not the restaurant's fault, our bad luck. Strike one and a half. Our meal was being subsidized, and after reading some chowhound reviews, we got the Lobsterfest special of grilled rock lobster and split Maine lobster tail with a seafood fettucine, plus a lunch wood-fire grill mahi-mahi. The salads were nothing special, the baked potatoes real but a little smallish, and the entrees were quite good, I was pleasantly surprised. The biscuits are like crack. I was able to limit myself to one and a half. Overall, it was a good experience, as I was expecting the worst especially following the bizarre greeting, being seated within seconds after being told there was a five to ten minute wait in a nearly empty restaurant.

                              27 Replies
                              1. re: James Cristinian

                                I swear I go to Red Lobster and order an entree only so I can eat the biscuits. And I only do this when I am travelling on business alone. It's my little secret.

                                To compensate, I usually ask the waitstaff to bring only 4 at a time and ask them beforehand not to bring me seconds. I get weird looks but they are very addictive.

                                Does anyone have a recipe?

                                1. re: caitlink

                                  if you google red lobster biscuits there is a recipe online that's supposed to be the copy cat recipe. i haven't tried it so don't know how close

                                  1. re: toncasmo

                                    When I worked there years ago, the biscuits were made with General Mills biscuit mix with shredded cheddar added, and brushed with Whirl (butter substitute not real butter) mixed with garlic spice mix after baking. Hope I'm not bursting anyone's bubble!

                                    1. re: coll

                                      the clone recipes i've seen use bisquick (is that general mills?) and use shredded cheddar, then brush garlic powder-melted butter on the top. i don't recall any other spices. now, i've got to get to the "slobster" -- my affectionate name for it -- before lobsterfest is over.

                                      1. re: alkapal

                                        Yes it's General Mills and probably was Bisquick, it came in labelled as Red Lobster biscuit mix. So there you go!
                                        I never ate at Red Lobster before or since I worked there, but I ate lunch every day I was there for three years, and there was nothing wrong with the food at all. Their fresh fish was flown in daily and was as good as any (don't know if they still do the daily fresh fish specials?) And you can never go wrong with their lobster, they know what to do with it. Like everyone said, it depends entirely on who's on the line in the kitchen cooking (but they don't wear chef's hats like I think I saw in a commercial recently). We had a lot of old-timers who did everything perfectly.

                                        1. re: alkapal

                                          I'm sure I'm repeating, sorry it I am

                                          2 ½ cups Bisquick baking mix; ¾ cup cold whole milk; 4 tablespoons cold butter (1/2 stick); ¼ teaspoon garlic powder; 1 heaping cup grated cheddar cheese

                                          Bush on Top:
                                          2 tablespoons butter, melted; ¼ teaspoon dried parsley flakes; ½ teaspoon garlic powder; pinch salt

                                          Oven to 400 degrees. Combine Bisquick with COLD butter in a medium bowl using a pastry cutter or a large fork. Don't mix too thoroughly. There should be small chunks of butter in there that are about the size of peas. Add cheddar cheese, milk, and ¼ teaspoon garlic. Mix by hand until combined, but don't over mix. Drop approximately ¼-cup portions of the dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet using an ice cream scoop. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes or until the tops of the biscuits begin to turn light brown. When you take the biscuits out of the oven, melt 2 tablespoons butter is a small bowl in your microwave. Stir in ½ teaspoon garlic powder and the dried parsley flakes. Use a brush to spread this garlic butter over the tops of all the biscuits. Use up all of the butter. Makes one dozen biscuits.

                                          My friend who said when he worked there he took a spider and dipped the biscuits in the butter top to bottom. I don't remember that much butter but who knows. They obviously they cooked in a bit different oven, also kept in warming trays where the butter would be absorbed. I tried the butter on top and they don't quite taste the same. But still good.

                                          1. re: kchurchill5

                                            >>>>My friend who said when he worked there he took a spider and dipped the biscuits in the butter top to bottom.<<<<<

                                            k, i can believe that!

                                            1. re: alkapal

                                              Maybe why so good. Not sure. But they are that good.

                                            2. re: kchurchill5

                                              I gave these a whirl last night (I did not add crack) They tasted good to me. I halved the recipe since there was just two of us, still made 8 good sized biscuits. I swear I only had one. Good thing the bf is thin... he inhaled 7. Thanks for the fun recipe. (I just brushed the butter on top, rather than dipping them... although that sure sounds like a good idea)

                                              1. re: Firegoat

                                                Addictive aren't they! I'm not sure if they dip them, my friend did, but regardless, they still come out good either way. Glad you enjoyed.

                                                1. re: kchurchill5

                                                  There were actually 2 left when I went to sleep last night.... apparently the bf could not resist them as I discovered them missing when I went to have a crack biscuit breakfast! He was impressed, even if I had to cook them in my little toaster oven on the counter as my oven gas line hasn't been hooked up yet.

                                                  1. re: Firegoat

                                                    Hey apparently you did great! Amazing how you can cook almost just as good with pretty much anything. Make do with great results. Hope you get your gas line hooked up soon. Does make life a bit easier. I remember several weeks with home repairs and living out of a micro, toaster oven etc. You tend to get very creative. Yeah I make those biscuits for dinner parties and for some who never have gone to red lobster they think they are the best ever. Just give me a salad and a basket of biscuits. :)

                                                    1. re: kchurchill5

                                                      just imagine some deep fried florida lobster sandwiched in those (crack) babies. yeah!

                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                        ANYTHING is good sandwiched in those!
                                                        The bf tried to blame the corgi for the missing crack biscuits... he eventually fessed up when it was pointed out that the corgi was a) too short to access and b) sleeping with me (I did smell her breath tho.... just in case)

                                                        1. re: alkapal

                                                          I've gone to heaven. A remoulade sauce lightly spread on the rolls with some nice fresh arugula or spinach. Ok, I'm gone ... :)

                                                          1. re: kchurchill5

                                                            I'm thinking some salty virginia ham thingly sliced would be nice...

                                                            1. re: Firegoat

                                                              Some melted gruyere, hickory smoked bacon, some roasted tomatoes and grilled onions.

                                                              1. re: kchurchill5

                                                                Can I come over? I promise the corgi will stay on the floor.....

                                                                  1. re: kchurchill5

                                                                    Please can I come over? And please can the corgi stay on the floor?

                                                                  2. re: Firegoat

                                                                    Oh yeah, toasted bun, Lets see a good ale, of course and roasted sweet potatoe fries with a chile mayo. Desert??? Have to come up with something good :)

                                                  2. re: kchurchill5

                                                    Thanks, everyone for the recipe. Really appreciate it.

                                                2. re: coll

                                                  What point in the cooking process do they add the crack?

                                            3. re: James Cristinian

                                              Unfortunately, it is Red Lobster's corporate policy that each server only be assigned three tables and no more than three. So lots of staff, but each can only cover three tables, which might have accounted for your wait.

                                              1. re: spellweaver16

                                                Actually, there was no wait, we were told there would be a five to ten minute wait, and we were seated in about thirty seconds. I'll give the manager alot of credit, he was constantly checking on his staff, being sure they were on top of things.

                                                1. re: James Cristinian

                                                  They use the same theory as Disney World, always overestimate the wait and then when it's sooner, the guest will be amazed and happy. That's the theory, but guess it doesn't always work the way they figured, at least in your case.

                                                  1. re: coll

                                                    I used to wait tables in Boston at a known small chain seafood restaurant - a real tourist magnet. We were told in no uncertain terms to *never* tell a potential/waiting customer that the wait would be more than hour even if we knew it might be two or even three. Since there were so many tourists where could they go - especially in Boston traffic? We had a lot of p*&&d customers but management didn't care.

                                                    As for Red Lobster - I give them a solid "B". Unlike beachmouse I have found them to very consistent. They are generally fairly accurate on wait times, and with kids that's important. And they have those fun beepers.

                                            4. anyone know when lobsterfest is over?