Although this restaurant chain has shown staying power and it continues to be popular, Red Lobster is not high on my ‘go to’ list of restaurants. Still, they’d been bombarding our TV screen with commercials pushing their “limited time only” “Lobster Fest”. So what’s a guy to do when he needs to do what he needs to do! We even had a little $4.00 coupon…
This is the Red Lobster in Knoxville Tennessee. Red Lobster opened its first location back in 1968. General Mills bought the company in 1970 and greatly expanded it. Darden Restaurants Inc. bought Red Lobster from General Mills in 1995. Currently, there are about 674 Red Lobster restaurants operating in the United States.
Darden Restaurants Inc. also owns a few other familiar restaurants… The largest and best known is Olive Garden (786 locations); then there is LongHorn Steakhouse (386 locations); Bahama Breeze (30 locations); Season 52 (23 locations); the upscale Capital Grille (46 locations, and; Eddie V’s Prime Seafood (11 locations). Sales/revenues in 2011 were $7,500,200,000 and the company employed roughly 180,000 people!
This is the bar area…and Laurie did order a before dinner Vodka and Tonic, tall with 2 lime wedges. Other than the fact that drink as delivered was short, not tall, it did contain Vodka and 2 lime wedges!
The dining area was OK…although I did think that it could us a bit of a facelift. Despite this photo showing empty booths, the restaurant was quite busy. We had a 10 minute wait at 4:30 PM on a Sunday afternoon.
Our waitress started us out with 5 nice Cheddar Bay Biscuits! We’d just experienced these great biscuits at Big Dude and Bev’s house the previous week. (http://bigdudesramblings.blogspot.com) Red Lobster markets the mix and Bev had wanted to see if they’d come out as nicely from the mix as they do in the restaurant. She made hers a little bigger and they were excellent!
This was Laurie’s salad. I thought that the salads were just so so… There were too many big chunks of iceberg lettuce, just a couple of croutons, a bit of tomato and a little cucumber, plus a spinach leaf or two.
As I mentioned at the start, Laurie really likes Lobster and she’s done a great job of putting up with me…so this is the meal that I envisioned for her from Red Lobster’s “Lobster Fest” menu! It’s the Lobster Lover’s Dream ($29.99)
The meal consisted of a rock lobster tail plus a split Maine lobster tail, roasted and served with a side of lobster and shrimp linguini Alfredo. Laurie had ordered the petite green beans but the kitchen got the order wrong and she ended up with a ‘free’ premium side of asparagus, normally an extra $2.25. The asparagus was cooked just right too! She didn't mind at all!
While this wasn’t fresh lobster from Maine or Atlantic Canada, Laurie really enjoyed her meal. (However, she did mention that she could have eaten a couple additional lobster tails…) She didn’t really taste the lobster in the linguini…thought it was crab and shrimp…but she did enjoy it as well, though couldn't eat it all!
This was my Red Lobster entrée… I went with the ‘healthy’ dinner! This is the Admiral’s feast. ($17.99) It included Walt’s favorite shrimp, bay scallops, clam strips and flounder…and to accompany this fried feast, I added French fried potatoes.
Everything was quite good…with the 8 fried shrimp leading the way! The flounder was nice too. The bay scallops are the tasty small round bits mixed in with the fried clam strips. I went with cocktail sauce vs. the usual tatar sauce. My only negative is that there were more fried clam bits than there were fried clam strips… There was certainly plenty of food to eat!
The ambience or lack thereof was a bit of a turnoff. Service was adequate although both Laurie’s drink and her veggie were misses…even though the latter was in our favor. Red Lobster #0047 is located at 8040 Kingston Pike in Knoxville Tennessee. Phone: 865-693-4651. Red Lobster’s website is at www.redlobster.com.
Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…
Thanks for stopping by and experiencing this long lived restaurant chain with us!
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave