The ads are everywhere on TV, or at least it seems that way. I was never a big seafood fella, but my wife managed to convert me by constantly getting various shellfish, crab, lobster... basically anything that lives in the ocean is fair game. Doesn't even need to be cooked (looking at you, baby squid, octopus, urchins, shellfish, sushi, and any other manner of ocean-dwelling creature). Needless to say, Red Lobster has been high on the priority list for quite some time, even though it's a giant chain. The closest one to Vancouver is just north of Seattle, in Lynnwood. If you are going to the Premium Outlets in Tulalip, it is only an extra 15-20 minutes south.
The interior was (un)surprisingly seafoody - and if that isn't a word yet, I'm making it into one. We got there nice and early, around 11:30am. Third group into the restaurant. What made me really happy though? The awesome car-seat cradle they offered us!
Yes, perks like this really do go a long way in improving my overall experience at a restaurant nowadays. Funny how that happens. Maybe this is the reason that I was smiling for the entire meal. As for the prices, I'm trying to remember, but it's going to be hard. Silly me for not writing them down. And I can't look them up either, since we got the Lobsterfest specials. Sigh. The overall bill was less than $60 for four of us ($30 for each couple) if I'm not mistaken.
Lets start with the easy.
Famous Unlimited Garlic Biscuits (Free with meal)
These were realllly, really good, but I'll admit I found them a little too buttery. I love my bread, and wish I could have had more than 2 1/2 of them. If they were a little less salty (due to the butter, I reckon), I would have eaten more of them. They were crisp on the outside, and soft and crumbly on the inside, which unfortunately did not lend itself to sopping up sauces very well. Nonetheless, for the price, I certainly can't complain.
Caesar Salad (Free with meal)
I find Caesar Salads to be really hit and miss, especially when they come with dinner/lunches. I think they are made with a little more care when you get them as a main course. These were no different! I thought the dressing was really good, but a little too heavy. It was almost like eating dressing with a bit of lettuce. The croutons were definitely pre-packaged, and hard as rocks. Not my favourite, but an admirable attempt. Again, for the price, I can't complain.
Lobster Nachos ($9.99 - I remember this one for sure!)
When these arrived at the table, I was a little hesitant. They are definitely not the most eye-pleasing nachos I have ever seen. Then again, I don't know what I was expecting, what with lobster being on top. The lobster wasn't really on top though; it was more of a warm lobster sauce, almost like an alfredo sauce. On the bottom of the plate was a pool of it, with melted cheese throughout. When we started finding chunks of lobster, we were pleasantly surprised. The only thing that didn't get completely eaten was the giant helping of sour cream, but we had a good go at that too. When we go back, if these are on the menu, they will most definitely be on the table as well.
Lobster with Shrimp Skewers ($17.99? 18.99? something like that)
Terrible picture, I know. Best I could come up with on the phone! I have to admit a little disappointment came with this dish ~ the lobster was just big enough for each of us to have one bit. It was, well, lobster. Nothing special about it; in fact it was a little on the chewy side. The shrimp however, were really good. I seem to recall there being 12 of them, so that was a pretty good deal. The potatoes were great, but once again, a little buttery, and the broccoli, was, well, steamed. We'd probably give this a miss on our next go 'round, especially after picking up a 5lb lobster from Osaka Supermarket for $35 the other day. That was a good lobster.
Lobster Stuffed Tilapia ($16.99? 17.99?)
This was really good, despite the lack of originality in the vegetable selection. The brown rice was really well done for a chain restaurant, which pleased everyone. The fish itself was very nicely cooked, and the sauce just made everything taste perfect. It was the only sauce that didn't make us want to wipe oil out of our mouths, and that made this the most popular of all the dishes on the table. Definitely one to order again!
Shrimp Alfredo ($15.99? 16.99?)
This is probably still on the menu: I'm just too lazy to go and look it up right now! The pasta itself was pretty good; not too thick, not too thin, and the shrimp were great. Some shrimp can end up being way to seafoody for my liking (there's that word again!), but these were just right. If it was just the pasta (cooked but dry) and shrimp, I would have liked it a lot more. Unfortunately for me, the sauce was added on. I love alfredo sauce. At least I love most alfredo sauce. I understand that they usually have a lot of butter in them, but I like mine without 5lbs of butter, which is what this must have had. There was very little of any other flavour in it, which saddened me. I was greatly looking forward to dipping the biscuits into the sauce. That would have been overload though.
In the end, we reallllly enjoyed our visit to this Red Lobster. If you are tired of the Tulalip Casino buffet, or just want to hit up the seafood joint, I'd say it's a safe bet. And they've got the really cool car-seat cradle.