I still clearly remember the first time that I visited Red Lobster. I was about 6 years old and it was with a large group of family. My Mom ordered a HUGE Strawberry Daiquiri that I desperately wanted to try. My uncle let me try his lobster (which I had never had before) and I loved it. I had some delicious fried shrimp and french fries. Then there were the cheddar biscuits. The glorious, yummy, warm cheddar biscuits that to this day have not been matched by any recipe I have found. There aren't many 6 year olds that would list a seafood restaurant as their favorite restaurant, but Red Lobster was mine. To this day Red Lobster is still one of my favorite restaurants and the place I often request to go for my Birthday.
Red Lobster is making some changes to their restaurant. They are revamping not only their menu by adding new exciting dishes, but they are redecorating the inside and the outside of the restaurants. All of the Red Lobsters in the Tampa area (where I live) have already been remodeled. I was lucky enough to get to check out the new and improved Red Lobster.
I had already noticed the fresh paint and new sign on the outside of the building, but I was still surprised by the new interior. It is quite a bit different from the old interior and it is really nice. They have nice and clean neutral colors on the wall. Their are some nice paintings expertly placed throughout the building and the large (cool but tacky) hanging fish was removed. Red Lobster now has a nice New England warm and inviting feel to it. I personally love the new look and I thought that it was more appropriate for the menu and the prices then the old decor. Here are some pictures of the interior (note: these are not from my Red Lobster. We were seating in the corner, so I couldn't take any good pictures. These are courtesy of Red Lobster):
On to the food! Red Lobster has added several new items to their menu recently including New England Lobster Rolls, Maple-Glazed Salmon and Shrimp, and Pecan-Crusted Jumbo Shrimp. There are so many choices it can be hard to decide. We chose to start our meal by splitting a bowl of Red Lobster's Lobster Bisque:
This soup was really good. It was thick and creamy with chunks of lobster mixed in. I have never had lobster bisque before, so I can't really tell you how it compares. I can tell you that it is delicious. Do you know what makes it even better? This is a little childish for a nice environment, but dip the cheddar biscuits in the lobster bisque and you will be in heaven! The garlic, salt and fluffiness of the biscuits against the warm, creamy soup make an incredible flavor combination that will have you fighting your spouse for that last bite (However, I admit that I did give the last bite to my Hubby. I was saving myself for the rest of the food). Speaking of the incredible cheddar biscuits. I made quite a few of these delicious biscuits disappear:
I always have a hard time ordering at Red Lobster because I want to eat their Lobster, but I also want coconut shrimp and I want to try their new items. There are so many choices! I normally end up getting a combo dinner. For the purpose of this review, I picked something that was completely new. I decided on the Maple Glaze Salmon & Shrimp with french fries:
|The shrimp were hidden under the Salmon, but they are there!|
Here is the Red Lobster description of this dish: "Wood-grilled fresh salmon and skewered jumbo shrimp, topped with a maple-cherry glaze. Served over wild rice pilaf."
I really liked this dish. The Salmon had a nice flavor and a slightly crunchy crust from the glaze. The shrimp seemed to absorb less of the glaze then the salmon did, but it was still delicious. I was pleasantly surprised that the glaze was not overly sweet. You really couldn't taste the cherry in it and it didn't taste like maple syrup. It was super flavorful and just a tad sweet. It was a perfect complement to the seafood (particularly the salmon). The only thing that I was disappointed it was the french fries. They were bland and greasy. I think if Red Lobster improved their fries, it would be a huge improvement.
What did I wash my food down with? Well, I decided to go all out. I love Red Lobster's daiquiris and I love the pairing of daiquiris with seafood. So, I had this:
and then I had this...
I know, I am a lush! The Strawberry Daiquiri was heavenly. It is what I almost always order at Red Lobster. The second drink was a Berry Mango Daiquiri. I liked the Berry Mango Daiquiri, but it was super tart. You have to be a huge fan of mango to finish off this one. The mango unfortunately drowned out the taste of the berry. I suggest you stick to the classics and get the Strawberry Daiquiri (ask for the big one though...I forgot and got the smaller one).
Hubby decided to go with one of his favorite Red Lobster dishes (which is not a new menu item) the Seaside Shrimp Trio with broccoli:
The Red Lobster description of this meal: "A generous sampling of our Walt’s Favorite Shrimp, savory garlic shrimp scampi and shrimp linguini Alfredo"
The only thing I tried of the Hubby's meal was the Walt's Favorite Shrimp. They are fried shrimp that melt in your mouth. They are so good! Hubby has ordered this combo several times, so I know that he loves everything on it. His favorite is the shrimp linguine alfredo. He is addicted to alfredo and I don't like it, so he tries to order it out when he has the chance. Red Lobster is the only place he has ever ordered a seafood alfredo and liked it. So, it must be really good.
I would definitely recommend checking out the new Red Lobster and ordering from the new menu. It is always nice to try something new and Red Lobster never disappoints. We had an excellent meal with great service and a great atmosphere. Red Lobster is also constantly running specials and they even release coupons, so sign up for their emails and check them out.
Disclaimer: I received a $40 gift card towards my meal in exchange for this review. I was not compensated in any other way. All opinions here are 100% my own.