I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Red Lobster. I received a gift card to facilitate my review promotional item as a thank-you for participating.
When I lived in Texas, my grandmother would take me to Red Lobster for my birthday. I really loved shrimp (such a refined palate for a young child!) and what better way to indulge my craving than a seafood restaurant? Now, I'm more likely to cook a shrimp dish myself, or eat at a local restaurant. But when Mom Central Consulting gave me the opportunity to experience the 12th anniversary of Endless Shrimp at Red Lobster on their behalf, I took it.
My diner and I headed over to the Red Lobster in Paramus, NJ. We both know that RL isn't a four-star fine dining restaurant, so we weren't going in comparing it to that standard. Since it was for reviewing purposes, my goal was to try all four varieties of shrimp offered in the endless shrimp promotion.
This ended up being my favorite. The sauce was light and not too salty, though obviously greasy since butter is a main ingredient in scampi. The garlic was not very prominent. Not much to complain about here.
Now, I will rank the dishes from best to worst:
1. Shrimp Scampi. Can't go wrong with a classic (well, that's a lie, but it was my favorite from Red Lobster)
2. Spicy Soy-Wasabi Shrimp, even though it was sweet and not at all spicy, and didn't really taste like wasabi or soy to me.
4. Hand-Breaded Shrimp and Shrimp Linguini Alfredo. I'd skip both of these.
For $15.99, endless shrimp might be a deal for you, especially if you stick to your favorite dishes (primarily, #1 and #2), but for someone like me I would be better off ordering an entree-sized portion of a shrimp dish I know I would enjoy.
Now for some facts about Red Lobster that I was asked to highlight, such as Red Lobster being the world's largest casual dining seafood restaurant. It makes sense if you think about how busy it always is (yes, I know you can get better seafood elsewhere, but dispense your haughtiness for now). Red Lobster is a division of Darden Restaurants, Inc., which we looked up prior to going (so is Olive Garden, hence why I wondered if they shared the alfredo sauce), as well as finer dining establishments. For three consecutive years, Darden was listed in the FORTUNE "100 Best Companies to Work For" list, and is the only-full service restaurant to be listed. (I was confused if this meant Red Lobster specifically, as I saw this sticker on the door, or if it was about Darden restaurants in general.) Finally, Red Lobster supports the local community by donating more than 60 million pounds of food across the country through the Darden Harvest Program. It may be a chain restaurant, but it's nice to see that they help out.