I Went to Red Lobster. No, Really, I Went to Red Lobster.
Years and years ago, I dated a man who was (and probably still is) a PI. -As in Private Investigator, not Process Integration or Protease Inhibitor, as you might initially think. This particular handsome (thought not as handsome as my husband) and ridiculously amusing (though nowhere near as amusing as my husband) fellow occasionally had really bland investigating assignments in Bakersfield and Fresno and Stockton; things like staking out suspected naughty husbands who were really just working late, and "following" plaintiffs of personal injury cases who were too hurt to leave the house, and most fun and odiferous, stealing people's trash to sift through it for clues. (As an aside, is it theft if they have already thrown it out?)
On occasion, I got to go along for the ride and take a lovely weekend trip to scenic Fresno and stay in a plush-lacking La Quinta Inn, and eat the food that fuels the private investigations industry: Red Lobster. We were really living it up. What high rollers we were in those days.
Well, who would have thought that the most luscious of chain restaurants would again present itself in my culinary circle? The lovely SL brought it up the other day when we were driving to Target.
The conversation went like this-
SL, in rapid-fire excitement-induced speed-talk: "OMG! You have a Red Lobster in your neighborhood! They have THE BEST cheezy biscuits. Really. Have you had them? They are so good! I want SS (her husband) to go with me, but he never will! OMG! Do you want to go to Red Lobster?? I worked there all through high school and part of college, I was even a team lead and would train other waitstaff- Did you know their fish goes through 7 steps of quality control to ensure that it is fresh and of the highest quality? It is never frozen, and their cheezy biscuits are insane, they are so good, we have to go! I bet you would like the shrimp basket. We can get that! And some cheezy biscuits!"
We went to Red Lobster. The cheese sticks were amazingly crisp on the outside, and this crispiness camouflaged their very high grease content well. The marinara dipping sauce was not terribly robust, but was pleasant.
I had the scallops and fish, with coleslaw and a salad. The coleslaw was nice and crunchy, and innocuous in its seasoning. I don't think it had any onion in it at all.
The fish was flaky and not overdone or rubbery, and the scallops were strangely delightful. They were pretty good, just like everything else was really just kind of pretty good. Was it just the butter flavoured sauce that coated my tongue in a lab-perfected film of gustatory OKness? Was the lack of any stand-out feature blinding my culinary judgment? Since everything was just so adequate, did that deafen me to the actual mediocrity and make me think everything was really somewhat good?
Our waiter, Ethan, was a doll. He even posed for a picture and refilled my Arnold Palmer without my asking.
We did partake of a basket of cheezy biscuits, which were pretty awesome.