GOODYEAR, ARIZONA -- So, we went to Red Lobster tonight, at 15311 W. McDowell Road, in Goodyear, Arizona. We have gone to this place since they opened, and really have always had a great time, until this year. We usually go about every two months, and have been there twice before this with crappy service. Now, we had a terrible time. We will never return to that restaurant. This was the final time we get poor service in a Red Lobster. Well, where to begin.
Let's see. I guess the first hint of how our dining experience was to go would have been the Hostess. My wife, 8 year old son, and I walked in, with no one in the waiting area, and straight in to the Hostess stand. She says to us "Oh, 2 of you?" Really? The Hostess either can't count or chose to ignore our son.
So, on to the table. The person seating us was very pleasant. I am sorry I did not get his name. He was very cordial, and made us feel at ease immediately. He sat us, and said that our waitress will be with us shortly. Well, shortly turned into about 8 minutes just for our waitress to come and take our drink order. Then, a slight wait for the drinks, followed by the biscuits. OK, so maybe this will not turn out so bad.. oops, spoke too soon.
After taking our appetizer order, the waitress came back to take our entree order. We told her we prefer to wait until getting our appetizer, and she seemed puzzled. OK. So, we sit, and wait and wait and wait. I see 2 other tables around us get seated, get drinks, get appetizers, and still we wait. Oh, here comes the assistant manager, to re-fill our drinks. Great. Now, we wait. And wait. So, here comes our seafood nachos. Hooray! Except..... they were kind of sparse. The shrimp and cheese sauce was sparingly applied, to say the least. Oh, well, it is a busy Saturday night, so we can make some allowances. So, let's dig in. Um, what is this?
Some of the nachos are kind of soggy. Like the chips sat at the bottom soaking up grease. Definitely not a good thing. OK, let that sit, and we can eat the other chips. OK, not bad, considering. Well, let's see how the entrees are. Once we order. Hmmm, where is the waitress? No, not over there. Well, let's wait. For 10 more minutes. Really? Now she takes our order? Must be really busy tonight but I keep seeing people seated around us and getting faster service. Starting to get a little upset now.
OK, we order our food. And wait for over 20 minutes now. So, where are our salads? Hmmm.. no, that's not them. After 10 more minutes here they are. Now, one of the things that used to bother me at Red Lobster was that the Caesar salad was served so cold I had to warm my hands after eating it. Not this one! Oh, no, this salad was at room temperature, for sure. So how long does it take for a salad to get that warm? So, now we are 48 minutes into dinner, and we have been served some crunchy biscuits, and some crappy nachos, and warm salads.
OK, so where are the entrees? Well, about 10 minutes more, and here comes the entrees. Being brought by a different waitress. What? OK, so she starts by handing out my son's plate, and remarking how she wondered about his because she didn't see him behind my wife. Not exactly a good comment, but whatever. I do notice as his plate is handed over that the fries seem a little off. Kind of like they had sat for a while. So, she starts handing me my plate, which should have been a combo of steak, shrimp, and salmon. But, there are crab legs on the plate. I tell the waitress this is not my order, and she asks if I am sure. What the **. Yes, I am sure I didn't order crab.
So, she looks at my wife's plate, which also has crab on it, which she didn't order. So, the waitress takes the plates away, and to the next table to ask them if it is theirs. And back to the kitchen. And we wait. Now we have had enough. We waited for about 5 more minutes, and finally flagged down the assistant manager. We tell her that we need to have the entree orders canceled, and the check for the app, drinks, and my son's meal. She said she will take care of it. And starts to leave. But now, here comes a surprise!
Our waitress, along with the other waitress, with the same meals. They explain that the crab was added by the kitchen, and that we can keep it and not be charged for it. Why, we don't know. But we told all three of them that we didn't want it, and they asked several times if we wanted them. Finally, we said yes, but when they put the plates in front of us, I noticed that the butter was already congealing in the bowl. So I touched all the food, and it was all room temperature. My wife did the same for her food, with the same results. Actually, her crab was stone cold in the center. Like just nuked for too little time cold.
So, we sat again, until the manager, **, came over. He seemed to be wanting to help, but would not listen to anything we said. He kept interrupting us with his version of what we were trying to say. Not acceptable. But, he tried. Told us he would comp our meal. OK. Not what we wanted. We asked several times for the check, but they would not listen. OK, fine. Then, here comes **, with an envelope with what he said were gift cards, to see if he could get our business back. Well, thanks, we will consider it. But, seeing as this is the third time in a row we have had crappy service here, I don't think we will be back. Ever.
And, as further insult, when we get into the car, my wife opens up the envelope and finds a $25 gift card. Great. So someone can get, what, a smaller entree and a drink? Please. This place has gone downhill the entire year, and we are tired of giving them chances. Never again.
There is a reason when people talk about Red Lobster they say "I had a craving for cheddar biscuits" or "Endless Shrimp is going on" and that is because nothing else is particularly remarkable. I've visited many of the Red Lobster locations in northern Georgia and Alabama and none really stick out from the others for good or bad reasons.
The staff is quite normal for a chain with about equal chances of getting a good waitress or one that hates her job/pay. This does mean though your food is just as likely to be prepared by a high school student as it is by someone that knows how to cook. The only thing notable is during their Endless Shrimp promotion it is even printed on the menu that you cannot pre-order more than one shrimp "refill" and you have to allow normal meal prep time to be served. Unless your waitress is great, in which case she deserves a nice tip, you are likely going to go through about an hour of eating 5 pieces of shrimp and waiting 10 minutes for 5 more pieces of shrimp.
The problem is their quality. Obviously being a chain most of their food comes in prepared and frozen. This wouldn't be too much of a problem except the quality of this frozen seafood is around the same as you can pick up from a bag in a Wal-mart freezer section. This old seafood coupled with the general lack of actual cooking means that sensitive lobster usually turn out rubbery, and anything fried is devoid of any moisture or texture. This is often overlooked by visitors because the seafood experience in this region is generally limited to Captain D's.
The pricing and portion sizes reflect this almost arrogance at being the defacto "fancy" seafood in the area. Meals range from between 13.50 and 28.50 at dinner. The only chains in this region that price higher are some steakhouses. Taste does not justify the charge as I discussed and neither does portion size. One example is the Admiral's Feast. This is typically priced at ~19 and comes with breaded shrimp, scallops, clam strips, and 2 fillet of haddock all fried. The fillets are the size typical of fast-food fish. The scallops are the size of popcorn chicken bites which pale in comparison in size and taste to the scallops served at most Chinese buffets.
The clam strips barely fill the palm of my hand and usually suffer the most from overcooking. You typically get between 4-5 pieces of shrimp which would be adequate if the other portions were better. The main issue when ordering that meal is it is still served on a feast-sized platter which at one time would have been full of seafood now just serves to show you half an empty plate and leaves you wondering where the other half of your almost 20 dollar dinner went.
I've tried all the "feasts" and all suffer from this downsizing. I was specifically irritated when an Ultimate Feast (at a 29 price tag) left me hungry because of the kid-size lobster tail and crab leg portions, and all of this after I was charged $3 for a substitution in what shrimp came with it even though I was substituting in a cheaper side of shrimp.
I cannot leave in a full complaint though. The locations have all been very clean and tables were spaced out nicely and gave good seating room. The non-seafood plates are actually of great quality. My wife specifically loves the Cajun Chicken Alfredo which in stark contrast to the seafood on the menu is not only one of their cheapest dinners but is served in very generous portions she can never finish. If their entire menu reflected this dish I probably wouldn't be writing this complaint.
After my past two visits I was not anxious to return. This is a Darden chain joint that does try but always seems to come up short. Guess I got weak after seeing those unending Lobsterfest commercials. I had a $50.00 dollar gift card from my C. C. points plus a 50% off coupon on the second dinner that they sent me. So basically the dinner was free.
We arrived on a Friday night at 6:30 pm and they were packed. We were told 45 minutes to one hour wait time. They hand you the little pager alerting you when your table is ready. We were seated in 30 minutes. Considering how busy they were the wait time was decent and we were in no rush.
Fast forward. I ordered the stuffed seafood mushrooms for $8.95 which was quite good. Then the house salad with Cesar dressing & garlic bread was decent. We both ordered the Lobster Lovers Dream for $30.00 each. This consisted of a rock tail plus a second tail that was smaller and more tender. The dinner also included linguini with shrimp in an Alfredo sauce. This could have been hotter. Two vegetables are also included.
Conclusion: Red Lobster on a busy night basically got this dinner right. The food was good for this inconsistent chain joint. We'll probably wait until the next Lobsterfest before we return. Google them for some good coupons if you want a decent dinner.
DANVILLE, ILLINOIS -- Slow service. After being seated, waited for 15 minutes before we seen our waitress. Then she shows up acting like she didn't want to be there. She took our drink order and 15 minutes later we finally got them. She then started to walk off. So before she walked off I said "we are ready to order." Then after we ordered we waited another 15 minutes for the salad and a half hour for food. Food came out wrong and all of us were minus our baked potato. She said it would be right out. Nope. Once the order was finally corrected we managed to eat the entire meal without the potato.
So we continued to sit there not seeing any sign of our waitress. Finally she comes out and says the potato is just about done. 10 min later she comes and says the same thing. So we just asked for our $130 bill, paid and left. This place is horrible. Never go there and I will never go back!
DUBLIN, OHIO -- My daughter and her husband took me out for Mother's Day dinner. I chose Red Lobster in Columbus, Ohio the Sawmill Road location. We went in around 8:30 pm. The Hostess attempted to seat us in a booth that was in a corner all by itself next to being seated in a closet... There was clearly other seating available. I had to ask for a table out with the other people in the dining area.
We ordered an appetizer lobster, crab and seafood stuffed mushrooms. My son-in-law ordered the NY Strip and Rock Lobster Tail, my daughter ordered the specialty Atlantic Salmon with asparagus instead of broccoli, I ordered a specialty dinner as well lobster tail, crab legs, garlic shrimp scampi with bake potato.
The appetizer was a total disappointment, a rip-off. When our salads were served they were a mere small handful of lettuce with two very thin slices of roman tomatoes, a small piece of onion and I got one crouton with dressing. Another disappointment. Steak was awful son-in-law said it was at the top of his list as worst steak ever, lobster tail was rubbery and tough, my crab legs were dry my baked potato looked sorry. My daughter's salmon was thin & tough not flaky and moist as should have been. Her asparagus was over cooked. The lobster tails, crab legs and salmon I feel were reheated in a microwave?
If they want to charge the prices we paid they need to serve food worthy of their price. I have seen the lobster tails they served us at our local grocery stores for a few dollars in their frozen food case. I think it got later and they just used up what was on hand rather than waste what was lying around their kitchen... I would not recommend them. A very sad experience... When we were ready to leave our waitress did not come back for a full twenty minutes.. I missed my movie...
Had a manager stopped by to ask about our food I could have given an earful, I would have told him to pull up a chair and sample a few bites.. I have no problem paying their price but I would like to leave thinking how good my meal was and planning on my next visit. Not leave knowing I could have prepared this meal so much better at a fraction of the cost...
GRAND FORKS, NORTH DAKOTA -- Pasta was extremely oily. Order side of crab- NO WAY it was 1/2 pound- served cold and contained hardly any meat, smallest “crab leg” I have ever been served or purchased at any location. My boyfriend had the walleye which he said was the worst walleye he had ever had there- soggy and very disappointing. Contemplated asking for our money back but with the screaming baby kicking the back of my booth and the two groups of 10+ sitting 2 inches from our booth- kids running around the tables taking pictures, we wanted out.
Had card out 2 minutes after food was received, wanting to leave, boxed 98% of food to go which later was disposed of.. Seat/host and Manager seemed to have better things to do then sit us before our waiter arrived- Host talked so fast we couldn't understand him and left before we could ask any questions. I am 23- it was not my lack of hearing ability.
Server was fantastic and clean cut- tipped 18%-waited for bread and drinks 8.50 lobsterita- think they forgot the liquor- I have been a bartender/waitress for 5 years- it wasn't busy- there was a general feeling that no one wanted to be at work that day, maybe gossip was more important to the manager, it was like a high school. When we walked in it was like- sigh* how many? Will never return to this Red Lobster -very angry at the 63$ I spent on one of the worst food experiences at Red Lobster, was loyal customers for many years with tabs always over 50-100$. From MN. I moved to ND three years ago and have found the experience at this restaurant to decline every visit.
This will be our last time at this establishment and now discourage all our friends and family from dining at Red Lobster. I am being harsh but I am being honest. I'm still very angry. Want reimbursement of some kind. Never have contacted an establishment with a complaint like this. What a waste of money.
LANHAM, MARYLAND -- My family and I had the opportunity to visit Red Lobster on Wednesday April 8, 2015 at 6:45 pm. We were greeted by a hospitable hostess who seated us within ten minutes of our arrival. Our first observation was the cleanliness of the restaurant, followed by the warm salutations from our server. Our delicious dinner was very hot, appetizing and with low sodium. Unlike some other restaurants, we felt like royalty.
Our choice to dine at Red Lobster was somewhat cautioned because of the previous unfavorable remarks we had discovered. We are indeed pleased that we elected to embrace this opportunity without any great expectations; and, we were totally misled. Thanks Red Lobster for a Memorable Dinner Experience! We plan to revisit your establishment very soon!
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA -- My wife and I have a date night 2 to 3 times a week. I know she had been wanting Red Lobster for a while so we went to the Red Lobster on valley view just off the 95 for dinner. Not busy just average only 5 min wait 45 min serve time food came incorrect no salads. They said "Sorry we forgot." They forgot my wife's shrimp scampi and my chicken was so over cooked it was like leather. For dessert we had the molten cookie and for a hot dessert the core was still frozen. All and all this food chain is forever removed off our list and will never go to from servers to food horrible and if there was a negative star i'd have given it to this place.
WHITEHALL, PENNSYLVANIA -- Customers be careful charging your dinner at Red Lobster. Review your charge on your computer. We had given a generous tip & paid for our dinner on my Capital One Visa. Noticing a $2 (more) difference from my copy of the dinner bill and what has been posted on the computer.
I called the restaurant to inform the manager that we had dinner there 2 days ago, and told her about the error. It seems the original bill has already gone to Headquarters, & I had to deal with headquarters. It's not the money but the principle. Knowing the red tape I had to deal with I decided not to contact Red Lobster's headquarters. Just think if this is done on all charged dinners. Again watch your bill.
LIVERPOOL, NEVADA -- So we went to Red Lobster for my daughter's birthday yesterday, and let me tell you, the service was ridiculous! First of all, they refused to seat us for an hour even though they told is fifteen minutes max and slowly seated every other patron in the lobby. Seriously? Not okay. Then, since we explicitly told them it was my daughter's birthday and we witnessed them giving a free slice of cake a song to two other birthday-celebrating patrons, what do we get? A bill and a nudge to go home. That's it, no cake, no song, no seats. Is it because we're Chinese? Is it because we look foreign? I have no idea but this is ridiculous. So if you are a minority, never, ever go to Red Lobster.