Since I have been traveling far more than I have in a while I am often forced by necessity to eat at places that I would normally try and avoid. I have found a few ways to make them bearable. First I save the steak and seafood meals for restaurants I know will deliver quality. Why order things that you know have a good chance of dissappointing? I stick to basics if I am unsure of a place. Soup or salad and breakfast food. I have often had an omlete for dinner. I find that soup or salad for lunch with maybe some grilled chicken breast on it is often all I will order. Boring but I do not get sick from old oil used to fry food.
Once in a while I will stumble upon a good non chain restaurant but they are often hard to find without local knowledge. In the world of the chains you normally get what you pay for. Sometimes a good server will help but the food is what it is.
More than fifteen years ago, SWMBO and I were in Orlando, FL and went into a seafood joint off of Peach Blossom Trail (since we had seen it on the way from the interstate to Randall Knives
). I think it was called the "Duck Inn" or something. Now, in those days that section of PBT was kind of rough; adult entertainment joints, motels with nap rates, lots of bars and shootings on the news weekly. But the "Duck Inn" was great, a typical family run coastal fresh seafood joint with lots of original atmosphere, and it took a while before I read something that explained it was the origins for the Dead Lobster chain. Never really have cared for DeadLobster/Olive Garden/Outback/Bennigans/etc. Unfortunately, when we went back to the "Duck Inn" five or six years later, it had had its makeover and was a Dead Lobster right down to the greasey cheese bread *sigh*
In some place that's not Canada ....the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
Nov 13, 2001
In Vancouver, BC, the only way to have lobster is to go to Amarcord and have the special Lobster dish with Spaghetti. They cook the lobster, and then cook the Spaghetti noodles in the lobster broth, and they also add a bit of tomato flavour. It's absolutely amazing...the noodles pick up all the flavour; it's unbelievably good.
Service at Amarcord is excellent, and they are definitely one of the better Italian restaurants in Vancouver. They also have excellent soft bread, great for soaking up all of the great pasta sauces they have. When I had the lobster there I actually went through two baskets of bread haha...
Picture is courtesy of Senna4ever from Revscene.net forums.
I've been working as a server for a little over 2 years now. The restaurant is a modest scale italian place, pretty basic, maybe a step down from Olive Garden. We are also one of the largest restaurants the area.
From my experience, when something goes wrong, or not exactly pleasant service wise, its usually the luck of the draw. Our servers can get crazy busy and we all know it when something is not going to be optimal but we do the best we can. Sometimes the kitchen can get slammed and the server has no control of how fast the food comes out. With the checks-we use check presenters too but sometimes there are none to be found so you have to just drop that pathetic piece of thermal paper bare on the table.
I know some places couldn't care less about the service they give. The people I work with are great, some of the nicest people you could have waiting on you. So as a server I think its important to let people know that we have a harder job than some may think, most of us do our best. When something isn't going as planned I try to explain whats up so the customer isnt left clueless.
I never exactly understood the popularity of Red Lobster, I guess it makes sense if you live someplace that it's the only seafood restaurant around. It's not cheap because it's seafood. And it doesn't really have the high quality or charm of a local place. I guess you do at least know what you get will be pretty consistent from one Red Lobster to another. Living in Maryland now, I'll probably never head to a Red Lobster with so many local fresh seafood places around. I think "crab" is a food group here.
Same thing with Olive Garden really - I only went there once or twice when I was living in Chicagoland. It wasn't BAD per se, but with so many great little Italian places around, why bother with the big national chain? (though I'll admit I found Maggiano's and Buca di Beppo less offensive)
I'm glad I'm not alone in my dislike for Red Lobster. I have several friends who think it's great, but every time I've been there, the shrimp are either floating in grease or baked on stuck to the plate.