Monday, April 13, 2015

Red Lobster in Sanford/International Drive

A few months ago Red Lobster was going to have a blogger tasting event to try their new menu. For whatever reasons, this event didn't happen. Instead, Red Lobster offered to send me a gift card to try the menu on my own time. It had been quite a while since I had eaten at Red Lobster and I was interested to see if there were any major changes since the chain is no longer owned by Darden. I took them up on their gift card offer and first ended up at the Red Lobster in Sanford for lunch. The meal started with a basket of their Cheddar Bay Biscuits.
My meal was served with a side caesar salad.
I ordered the Create Your Own Lunch. This menu option allowed you to pick two different dishes and a side. I went with the Garlic-Grilled Shrimp Skewer and Garlic Shrimp Scampi. Out of the two, I preferred the shrimp skewer. The flavorful, good sized, grilled shrimp were served over rice. The scampi consisted of several shrimp oven-broiled in a garlic butter sauce. I picked the mashed potatoes as my side.
My dining companion for the afternoon ordered the Rainbow Trout Lunch with beans and a baked potato.

Red Lobster on Urbanspoon

I used the rest of the gift card at the Red Lobster on International Drive near the OCCC. The Seaside Sampler appetizer was ordered to start the meal. It came with Lobster, Crab, and Seafood Stuffed Mushrooms, Parrot Isle Jumbo Coconut Shrimp and Chilled Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail. I'm not a big fan of mushrooms, but the stuffed mushrooms were the tastiest item on the sampler. The coconut shrimp followed, and the shrimp cocktail was my least favorite. Cold shrimp don't do much for me.
For my main course, I tried the Salmon New Orleans. This consisted of salmon topped with shrimp, served with mashed potatoes and broccoli for my sides. The did enjoy the sauce that topped the salmon and shrimp.
The side salads that were supposed to come with this meal didn't arrive until after the main course, after being pointed out that we never received them. Looking around, it seemed like salads at other tables in our section of the restaurant were forgotten as well. This was the only hiccup in both of my recent visits to Red Lobster, and the problem was quickly remedied.

Red Lobster on Urbanspoon

Red Lobster seemed like the same restaurant that people either love or hate. I noticed no major discernible differences post-Darden. I know they have new menu items, but as a very infrequent Red Lobster diner, I'm not sure if I would have noticed the changes. The food I tried was tasty and I was full after eating, so I suppose that's the important part!

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