Some deep thoughts about the existence of Lobsterfest and “the dreaded “market price,” which is so astronomical it can’t even be listed, and is at the manager’s cruel whim.” [Because I Told You So]


Edit Your Comment

  1. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    Learn to make the cheddar bay buiscuts yourself! I found a great recipie for it, and make them whenever I make seafood dinner. The key ingredient is that they use their special scampi seasoning…so you can’t get it perfect, but you can get it damn close.

  2. B says:

    I’ve never been to a seafood restaurant that doesn’t sell lobster at “Market Price” although most restaurants will write it in chalk on the specials board. Also, Red Lobster is terrible. Rule of thumb for getting good lobster is if you can’t see the ocean from the restaurant, don’t order it.

  3. mdkiff says:

    That column should have included far more air quotes around the word “lobster” when discussing Red Lobster’s food….

  4. rdldr1 says:

    Here in my city’s “Vietnamese Town,” there is an Asian grocery store here where you can get three frozen lobsters for $13… if you are lucky enough to find them in stock. How about that for Market Price!

  5. rdldr1 says:

    @B: hey guess what, they have this new awesome invention called “refrigerated and frozen food transport.” It uses some sorcery that allows food to be shipped long distances, diminishing chances of spoilage!

  6. FightOnTrojans says:

    Puerto Nuevo FTW!

  7. B says:

    @rdldr1: If you’re willing to believe that frozen lobster tastes as good as fresh, I’m not going to shatter your illusions, but personally, I’ll be sticking to places where I know they can get the lobster fresh off the boat.

  8. Sian says:

    It’s a sea-bug that used to be a pest and low-class food until an amazing marketing campaign turned it into a delicacy, unlike say, King Crab which is actually worth the price.

    Delicacy: Food that tourists and rubes are convinced to pay way too much for. ex. Lobster, Fugu, Sea Urchin

  9. rdldr1 says:

    @B: FYI the majority of Americans do not live where you live. We get our food from grocery stores, not off boats.

  10. MercuryPDX says:

    @AlteredBeast: This version is “Damn close”. :)


  11. MercuryPDX says:

    @rdldr1: I have had “Flash Frozen” Lobster tails before, and they were just as good.

  12. OsiUmenyiora says:

    It’s a “sea-bug” that tastes damned freaking delicious! People pay for lobsters because they LIKE lobster. The same way they pay for fungus (truffles), goose liver (foie gras) and fish eggs (caviar). The market for lobster is what it is not because people were fooled into thinking lobsters are valuable but because they actually are valuable since so many people want them.

    But frozen lobsters!?!?!?!?! Yikes. I get them still living and boil them until they’re dead. Mmmmmm……

  13. jtheletter says:

    @rdldr1: I live in the Boston area and there are NO Red Lobster restaurants in the entire state. That should tell you something about their quality.

  14. forever_knight says:

    uh… what is this post? some random blogger’s musings? tell me why i should care and why it’s on consumerist.

  15. K-Bo says:

    @rdldr1: B never said they live at the beach, and I know many people who don’t live near a beach, and therefore they only eat seafood 1 week out of the year while they are at the beach. B was simply stating their preference for fresh seafood, which is fairly common.

  16. Oface says:

    I was born and raised on the Gulf Coast and it used to KILL me to see a line at the Red Lobster when there were so many local restaurants that had FRESH GULF SEAFOOD for a hell of alot cheaper. I hate Red Lobster and wish all of them would spontaneously combust.

  17. SaveMeJeebus says:

    Their lobster tails go through heated conveyor belts to cook anyway and get dried up. Buy it and grill it yourself.

  18. SmellyGatto says:

    Long story short. I used to sell radio advertising in a major market. Red Lobster was a client of mine (well their advertising agency) anyways, they used to bring all their radio, tv and media reps into a red Lobster once every Quarter to sample that Quarters menu so that we could get a good idea as what special promotions etc to do. Basically they sit you at a large table with 30 people and serve full size plates of appetizers, piles of cheddar bay balls of 1 ton dough, whatever alcoholic drink special they had for the quarter and large portions of the 5 or 6 entrees that they concocted plus 3 or 4 servings of dessert. And then they all hawked over you to make sure you ate everything and enjoyed it.

    I had a sales manager who loved to eat and he’s laugh at me in the bathroom every quarter at some strange Red Lobster as I was gagging and bloated.

    The worst was the year they had, and I kid you not, Jack Daniels Vanilla milkshakes a as drink. I swear they were tasty as hell but after 3 of them AND all the food I puked a few dozen times that day.

  19. samurailynn says:

    I think I have only been to Red Lobster like twice in my life. Seafood at restaurants scares me a little. Unless it’s sushi at a good sushi restaurant.

  20. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    @MercuryPDX: That is the one I use!

  21. chiieddy says:

    I feel such pity to the people who don’t live in sight of water and have to rely on the crap that Red Lobster serves for seafood.

    I feel pity for people who don’t have a Father in Law who lives in Maine and lobsters and therefore do not get free lobsters. :-)

  22. Anybody who mistakes Red Lobster for real seafood is being victimized. First of it’s pronounced lawb-stah, the R is silent, yet people will buy from company that doesn’t know how their own product.

    @Sheargenius79: Reminds of a kid I went to summer camp with. I forget where he was from, but the camp was on Mt. Desert Island, Maine. He’d never had lobster in his life, and all us New Englanders were shocked. So one day they let us run wild in town in Bar Harbor. He reports that evening that he finally had his first taste of lobster. I asked him where, he responds: “McDonalds.”

  23. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    Also, I live near the beach, lots of touristy seafoord reasturants (some good, some overpriced) but there is a Bonefish Grill (Outback’s version of Red Lobster) that is ALWAYS packed. WTF? Why not eat fresh, local fish?? And this is packed with local people too!

  24. moore850 says:

    You can buy lobster for “market price” but the meaning of market price changes depending on where you are. If you are on the Wharf, “market price” is based on the price per pound of the lobster they caught that morning. At Red Lobster, “market price” is based on the price per pound of lobster caught last week, flown in from the ocean, kept in a tank and gawked at by 8-year old landlocked onlookers that morning.

  25. Oface says:

    @AlteredBeast: You from Pensacola too?

    @BayStateDarren: Wow. He’s special. In a short bus way.

  26. Orv says:

    The continued existence of Red Lobster in the Seattle area confuses me. I don’t know how they do any business when there are so many real seafood restaurants within easy reach. I suppose people would rather go to a chain they know than try somewhere new.

  27. chiieddy says:

    @BayStateDarren: Was that kid rich or something? My husband tells me when times were tought they ate lobster.

  28. @chiieddy: Yeah, it was a camp for rich kids, so he definitely could have afforded real lobster.

  29. Narockstar says:

    @MercuryPDX: No no no. You need old bay seasoning. How can you make cheddarBAY biscuits without old bay seasoning? It’s the key ingredient.

  30. mthrndr says:

    I went into a Red Lobster once. I waited about 10 minutes for a greeter to appear (she never did) amid a sea of blue-hairs. the place smelled like I imagine a 3 dollar whore would (I don’t make a habit of smelling whores, $3 or no). I’ve been to a hundred fresh seafood and sushi restaurants that smell, I don’t know, clean. I left, and never went back.

  31. DeepFriar says:

    Hold a second, there really are people that actually eat at Red Lobster?

  32. hwyengr says:

    @jtheletter: On the flip side, I’ve eaten at a Red Lobster in Maine. Just to save my soul, though, I also ate at a roadside lobster place on that trip, too.

  33. The Porkchop Express says:

    I’ve always wondered why we have Red Lobsters down here in Florida and how they stay open. While we can’t get Maine lobster as fresh as you yankees, we still have tons of places with fresh see food from our backyards. Why RL and bonefish??

  34. greensmurf says:

    DO NOT EAT AT RED LOBSTER, Red Lobster is the largest purchaser of Canadian seafood in the world. Canada supports the Slaughtering of Seals.
    This year over 300,000 seals – mostly pups less than 2 months old- were bludgeoned, shot, and skinned.
    you can go here for more info []

  35. The Porkchop Express says:

    @hwyengr: ouch. PF changs in china, taco bell in mexico, outback in australia,carrabas in italy….

    Actually, I think i just planned an awesome vacation/research trip. would the places closer to their origin (or perceived origin) be better than the ones in Utah (or some other place that has nothing in common with the origin)?

  36. MercuryPDX says:

    @Narockstar: Maybe that explains why they’re “damn close”. I’ll try adding that next time.

  37. m4ximusprim3 says:

    I was given a red lobster gift card once. I spent it slowly over time on takeout baked cheese mushroom apptizers- I couldn’t bring myself to waste it on “lobster”.

  38. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    @Sheargenius79: Nope, I’m at the Jersey shore. Regardless of what people say of Jersey, there is plenty of fresh fish coming in. Bonefish is a new thing up there (I’ve eatten there when in Florida), so perhaps people don’t realize it is a chain.

  39. radio1 says:

    I’m from the Ocean State and I live in MA now. I’ve never seen a Red Lobster around these parts. But you know what? I don’t really like lobster.

    When I was a younger man, I went on a date. We went to Christie’s in Newport and had lobster. It was alright, my date raved about her lobster, so I knew it had to be good… But I was like, well, anything dipped in clarified butter will taste good. Hence, my love for steamers!

    But seriously, my problem is not so much with the quality of the foods… I mean if you in Iowa, what the hell you gonna do, if you want seafood? Find a Red Lobster, of course. No issue there.

    My real issue is with these national chains passing off other shellfish as lobster.

    Rock Lobster != Lobster.
    Langostino Lobster != Lobster.

    And charging real coin, because they think people won’t notice it was not caught anywhere off the New England or Long Island coasts.

  40. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    What’s wrong with the phrase “damn close”? O_O

  41. Amiga_500 says:

    Lobster are the cockroaches of the sea…

    But darn tasty!

    I went to a Boston Lobster Feast in Florida once, (close to the beach). $25 for all you can eat Lobster, oyster rockefeller, raw oysters, ext…

    Do those still exist?

  42. marsneedsrabbits says:

    @rdldr1 said:
    Here in my city’s “Vietnamese Town,” there is an Asian grocery store here where you can get three frozen lobsters for $13… if you are lucky enough to find them in stock. How about that for Market Price!

    The Asian Market here sells them live & per-pound, but it is still 6-8 dollars per-pound cheaper than the next cheapest store in town. The Asian & Mexican markets are great for veggies, fruits, other-than-wheat flours, and cuts of meat that aren’t Western.

  43. OsiUmenyiora says:

    I get my lobsters at a Korean market in Queens and then cook them myself at home. They don’t speak English at the market so you just point and hold up fingers to let them know how many you want.

    Last time I was in Maine, we drove to Bar Harbor and there was an Exxon station selling lobsters for $3.69 (I can’t remember if it was $3.69 per lobster or per pound). I thought it was odd to sell lobsters at an Exxon station.

  44. I am so glad I don’t live in a place where “Red Lobsters tougher to get into than Studio 54 in the 70s”. Not because I have any desire to go there, but because we actually have real seafood restaurants.

  45. HeartBurnKid says:

    @BayStateDarren: It’s only lawb-stah if you’re from Baw-stan. Those of us in the English-speaking world call it lahb-ster.

    In other words, don’t mistake your accent for proper English.

  46. ChuckECheese says:

    @marsneedsrabbits: Exactly. If you live in Oklahoma City and places like that, get your seacritters and slimy floppy finned things from the Chinese/Vietmanese markets and restaurants. They will have live seafood, fast turnover, and good prices, and the best quality available. Or you can just eat more beef.

    (I wrote “Vietmanese” on purpose).

  47. props_nyc says:

    more like dead mobster…

  48. scarletvirtue says:

    @OsiUmenyiora: Lobster sold at an Exxon station? That’s about as bad, if not worse than, 7-11 selling sushi!

  49. bjcolby15 says:


    The closest Red Lobster to Boston is in Wethersfield, CT, right outside of Hartford. The next closest is Bridgeport, CT. I suppose if you’re going to New York or coming back from New York to Boston, it’s worth a stopover, but Boston’s a huge haven for seafood anyway. Much better to get the real thing, but market price has almost always meant “so fresh you can slap it, before it slaps your wallet.”

  50. Chairman-Meow says:

    @HeartBurnKid: Bah! Us Bostonian types have been here since 1630. All of you out beyond our borders adopted *our* accents. Unlesee, of course, you hail from those pesky Jamestown colonies.

    As for Lobster, Rock Lobster has no flavor at all. Yick.