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Fresh whole lobster or lobster tails in MoCo/NOVA

Mother's birthday coming up. She wants lobster or lobster tails. Fresh, cooked-to-order. Any suggestions, other than Freddy's? Bonus points for getting close to Rockville.

Anticipating why not Freddy's: 1st, we've tried it three times and I'm not eager to return, although reviews say the lobster is great; 2d, the woman is impossible to please and I know she won't like the Freddy's atmosphere; 3d, uses a walker so we really need a place that is easy to navigate, inside and out, and Freddy's is pretty crowded.

I've found places that have lobster as a special but obvs that is a problem if they don't happen to have it the night we take her out.

Thanks, all.

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  1. The Palm Tyson's Corner, valet parking, no steps, great lobster and other food, very seasoned professional waiters who will make her feel special.

    1. Do you mean cooked, restaurant?

      Otherwise, H Mart on Georgia Ave in Wheaton.

      1 Reply
        1. re: Hue

          Thank you but as above - we want a sit-down restaurant, not take-out.

        2. What about Golden Bull in Gaithersburg? Sounds like the atmosphere will suit Mom just fine, they always have lobster tails on the menu (2 as an entree or as an add-on to any entree), and you can get their very decent prime rib.

          6 Replies
          1. re: DanielK

            Looks like a good choice. That's her style. Thanks very much.

            I haven't been to O'Donnell's since they moved (and only once before they moved). At the time, my comment was "how could anyone do this to good seafood?" alluding to the gloppy sauces. But they do have lobster and lobster tails. Have you been there recently?

            1. re: Just Visiting

              O'Donnell's has been in Kentlands since 1997. Maybe it's time to put it in the rotation?

              1. re: GraydonCarter

                Something that far out will never be in the rotation but besides that, the one time I did go to the Bethesda location, I was maybe one of 4 people under 65 (and glad to say I am still under 65) and I thought the seafood was horribly abused by glopping on all those 1950s-style sauces like Newburg. I grew up in NJ where the downscale shacks served great fresh seafood with little more than maybe a bit of butter and a squeeze of lemon. We avoided the places with tablecloths because they insisted on putting sauces and such on the seafood and fish. Now, this is for Mom and not for me, but she also appreciates good, fresh fish and seafood and if O'Donnell's is the same as it was in 1997, it probably won't do. It just struck me as a Sysco kind of joint.

                Have you been there recently? What did you think of it?

                1. re: Just Visiting

                  It's O'Donnell's in name only, a pitiful parody of the original. Even the signature rum buns are closer to something you might find in a 7-11. Red Lobster with dim lighting.

                  1. re: Just Visiting

                    I actually went there today and walked past the delivery truck unloading fresh fish. I forgot the name of the vendor, but it certainly wasn't sysco.

                    My scallops were big and beautiful.

                    My only problem with the place is that they must offer a large discount to seniors, it is always packed at lunchtime.

              2. re: DanielK

                Golden Bull is good. Dutch's Daughter in Frederick is better. Worth it, if your mom can stand the ride.

              3. Ruth Chris in Bethesda has it. IIRC sometimes they run a special on lobster for two.

                1. Reporting in. We chose Ruth's Chris because Golden Bull had only lobster tails (I called to be sure). Well, let me warn everyone to avoid Ruth's Chris at all costs. I've lived here 25 years and had never been there. It must have been good at one time, because a lousy restaurant with high prices doesn't usually have much of a chance in a town with so much competition. So perhaps they are coasting on former glory.

                  Off to a bad start when we called to ask if they require jacket/tie for men. We were really surprised that they said yes. Bethesda on a Sunday. Really? Lots of grumbling from husband, and even more so when we got there and he was one of two men with jacket and tie. Others were in jeans and polo shirts, casual shirts, or sweaters. I spoke to the hostess and she said "oh no, it is business casual." That was one hour after we'd called. Business casual is slacks and a polo shirt or sweater. Big diff when you are married to someone who has worn a tie only four times in 15 years.

                  The place is empty. Only two tables occupied. They seated us near the door (yes, this was before I spoke to the hostess, so it wasn't revenge). It was a distance from the entrance, which had a double door so I thought it would be fine. It wasn't. Fortunately, the door didn't open very often. Because at no time were there more than three tables occupied.

                  Time for drinks. They have cocktail made with Woodford Reserve but the waitress isn't sure they can give me a Woodford Reserve neat. So where does the Woodford Reserve in that drink come from? The bartender managed to pour a Woodford Reserve neat for me.

                  Now time to order. They don't have any lobsters under 3 lbs. Large lobsters are chewy, and that's too big for mother in any case. Worse. They won't broil it. They won't roast it. Has to be steamed. I can't imagine why not except that maybe the guys in the kitchen have never been taught how to broil or roast a lobster. She decides to have something else. I am about to get up and leave and go to McDonald's. She decides to go with the lobster after all. Husband and I each order a special - seared scallops with lobster sauce.

                  Eventually they bring some bread. It has a nice crust but is flavorless and mushy inside. Our Caesar salads arrive. Hardly fresh romaine topped with sub-par pecorino cheese shavings.
                  Then, one hour and fifteen minutes after we were seated and a full hour after we ordered, the entrees arrive. I like a leisurely meal but this was ridiculous. And when it arrived, we wished it hadn't. The lobster was not water-logged (thank goodness!) but it was indeed chewy. The scallops were charred, not seared, and lacked the sauce. On the 500-degree plate (we'd been warned - this apparently a claim to fame at Ruth's Chris - sizzling plates) were some things that looked vaguely like snow peas and carrots but looked definitely unappetizing. The roasted brussel sprouts were cold. Not lukewarm. Cold. The fries I'd asked for "crisp" were anything. They were limp and soggy.

                  We couldn't wait to leave.

                  The only bright note was a terrific waitress who tried her best. She tried three times to convince the kitchen to broil or roast that lobster. She checked in a couple of times to let us know she had checked on our entrees. However, the busboys were horrible. No one ever filled our empty water glasses and they left serving trays blocking the aisle so two very large gentlemen from the next table had to squeeze by us, which they did without even bothering to say excuse me. It really isn't all that much fun suddenly having someone's flannel-shirt clad large belly in your face, though I suppose it is better than the other side.

                  Complete waste of $200.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: Just Visiting

                    Sorry to hear it was so disappointing!

                    1. re: Just Visiting

                      told you to go to the Palm. they routinely broil their lobster, you can wear whatever you want, the food is consistently great and the wait staff well trained and professional. Nevertheless, I have had nothing but excellent experiences at Ruths Chris Bethesda and am very surprised at your experience. I had a similar experience once at the Pikesville Ruths Chris where the food and service was so bad that they comp'd the entire meal and gave us a $100 gift certificate for a return meal.

                      1. re: dining with doc

                        I wanted to take your advice but mother will not go downtown at night (it is not safe, she thinks) and will be upset if we go to Tyson's (it is in another state and therefore too far, and no, showing her a map has not helped - irrational can't be fixed by maps, odometers, or other facts).

                        What I really should have asked for is a restaurant that offers whole lobster, valium, and a good shrink (for me).

                        BTW, I see that the Palm does have whole lobster, but the smallest is 3 lbs. With lobster, bigger is generally not better.

                        1. re: Just Visiting

                          their lobster has always been tender. 15 min ride from rockville. next time just tell her its a surprise and take her where you want to go

                          1. re: Just Visiting

                            Yes, the Xani-bar Pez dispenser does make a lovely holiday gift. Better luck next year.