Monday, January 3, 2011

Red Slobster

I met up with my sister, niece and brother-in-law at Red Lobster this evening, for My mother's 90th birthday dinner. My brother-in-law was already there when I arrived, so we chatted in the lobby until my sister and niece arrived with mom. By last summer, my b-in-law had gotten over his grief over the loss of my sister, and decided he needed a new woman, so he went to and found a new girl. He also likes to travel, and has made recent trips to the Virgin Islands, Florida and upstate New York. So naturally knowing my b-in-law, our conversation revolved around him talking about those things, and then asking me if I had any travel plans. I told him that traveling without someone to share it with is no fun, so he said, "Well I like women and like to spend my time with them", and then he asked me if I had any plans to get a girlfriend! Now he has know me for 29 years, and I have never once had a girlfriend in all that time, so I was little irritated by the question, but I just passed it off by saying, that I like women too, but I have never been successful at relationships with them. I'm so sick of conversations with him, because if you are not into whatever he is into, there is simply nothing to talk about, and it quickly degenerates into a one way conversation.

After an uncomfortable quarter of an hour, my sister and niece mercifully showed up with my mother, and I no longer had to talk to him. I handed my mother the birthday card I picked out especially for her, and as soon as she opened the envelope, I knew I had made the right choice, because she immediately started laughing. Mom has always had a penchent for bathroom humor, and the card I got her had a picture of a pantless toddler, with fingers between butt cheeks. Inside, the card said, "To wish you a Happy Birthday, I needed a card, so I picked this one out just for you!"

As I suspected, getting a table on the Monday after New Years Day weekend was no problem, and we were all ushered back into the dining room. Menues were distributed and selections were made. We started with two appetizers. One of calamari, with broccoli and sweet peppers, with dips of seafood sauce and ranch dressing, and another of mushrooms stuffed with shredded shrimp and mozzarella. A couple of baskets of cheesy biscuits were also brought to the table. For me, the appetizers and the salad were the best part of the meal. I wish I could say the same for the entree that I picked. I've come to the conclusion, that when dining at Red Lobster, stick to the fried seafood because thats all they know how to do. I made the mistake of ordering a New York Strip steak, with lobster, shrimp and asparagus in a butter sauce over mashed potatoes. I was asked what kind of side order I wanted with it, and was given the choice of mashed potatoes (Nope, already getting them in the main course!), french fries (Why, would I want french fries when mashed potatoes are part of the main course?), or a baked potato (Again, why would I want baked potato, when I'm already getting mashed potatoes?). So I asked if I could get some other vegetable, and the waitress suggested broccoli, to which I said yes. When my order arrived it was delivered by another waiter, and my plate had my steak with two servings of mashed potatoes and no broccoli! There is no point in sending an order back in an establishment like that, because by the time you get your corrected order, you will either be dead from starvation, or all of your dinner companions will be on their desert.

When Red Lobster mentions butter in their menue description, rest assured that your meal will be swimming in at least a half a stick of melted butter. There will be no scrimping on the salt either. The result is that the flavor of the meal's individual components, will be completely obscured. A salty unctuousness will coat your tongue and palate, and that will be your lasting impression for hours afterward. My order was no exception. The one good thing about the meal, was that the medium rare steak was cooked perfectly. The sparse few pieces apragus, and the bits of lobster and shrimp were mostly consumed, along with half of the steak. Nearly all of the greasy, salty mashed potatoes were left on the plate, and the remaning half of the steak was taken home in a doggy bag.

In spite of it all, my 90 year old mother enjoyed her seafood platter and the company, and after all, that's what it was all about. Thankfully, for me at least, we only have to go to Red Slobster once a year!

Melissa XX


Anonymous said...

Despite your distaste for the board of fare... your post left me ravenously hungry. Thanks, Melissa :P

In all seriousness, I'm glad your Mom had a good night out and, at 90, she deserves it, and like you said, that really is what it was all about.

Just stick to trite nonsense conversation with your b-in-law... sometimes family can be the hardest people to talk to. I can talk to strangers on Hollywood Blvd for hours, but find it hard to string together three words when talking to my brother or Dad :P


Stace said...


Congratulations on your mum's 90th.

Shame about the food and some of the company, but as you say at least she enjoyed it.


Natasha said...

I know what you mean about Red Lobster. Like a lot of chain restaurants, it doesn't matter what you order, it all tastes pretty much the same. Red Lobster is especially guilty when it comes to anything in a butter sauce. I just won't go there if I want to eat fish (although their cheese biscuits are quite good).

But,like Elizabeth, you've still gone and made me hungry... :D


Halle said...

I have an uncle who resembles the b-i-l. My saying about how I behave with him: "nod and smile". People like that do not appreciate a conversation anyway, so why bother?

Ah Red Slobster.... we are so lucky up here in Canada because of our geriatric alternative: The Swiss Chalet. They have been serving charcoal grilled chicken for over fifty years and it is consistently reliable. The good items at the Slobster are their cheese biscuits and the chowder... after that, as you suggest salt floating in butter.

You made your mother happy, and that is so good.

Anonymous said...

Having always lived on one coast of North America or the other, I've never been to Red Lobster. For seafood, I've always been to local establishments or at least local chains. Lucky me! What I might be tempted to do it make a meal out of appetizers, especially if those are what you like best.

Glad your mother enjoyed it anyway.

Amy K. said...

Damn, you've got me hungry for some lobster now, or better yet, the 2 1/2 pounds of king crab. Oooh, so yummy. I'm surprised they didn't offer you rice pilaf as a side though. I always order that. Oh, and I never let restaurants get away with anything. I would've had them come back with the broccoli on a separate plate. ;)

As far as your brother-in-law, he sounds like my brother... when he does anything besides grunt, I mean.

Jenny said...

Melissa dear, you have missed your vocation as a restaurant critic!

chrissie said...

Yep, I second that!!


Calie said...

I can just imagine how uncomfortable that period was prior to the rest arriving.

90 years young! You have good genes, Melissa!

Calie xxx

Ellena said...

Happy New Year

Anonymous said...

Hi Melissa
been a long while since I ate at Red Lobster. I used to travel to the US and Canada more when I was younger. I also remember good o'l Swiss chalet! Wow! I am seriously glad I have revised my diet these days. Not that I complained about the food back then, it was cheap, fast and filling and to be honest that's all I needed it to be. :)

Now I have to watch my figure so carefully I cherish everything I eat and have become extremely particular. Im glad that you had that time together though. Time moves so fast nowadays.

Thinking of you
helen xx