About a month or so ago, I started noticing the commercials for Red Lobster’s Endless Shrimp promotion, which had returned as it always does this time of year. And I wanted to check it out because I, like most people, like shrimp. So I paid a visit to the Red Lobster in Times Square (as I’d not-so-secretly always wanted to do), ordered the Endless Shrimp, and strapped in. Here’s what to know beforehand.
1. You Start with Two
Even though there are five options, your first order comes with only two of those, plus your choice of side. It’s one at a time after that.
2. It Doesn’t Look Like it Does on Television
That doesn’t mean it doesn’t taste good. But the shrimp are quite small, and they most likely don’t bounce quite as majestically as they do on TV.
3. Your Server Won’t Be Happy
Think about it: Every time you request a new portion (about 15 fried shrimp, or about 8 skewered ones), your server has to enter in the new order, grab the order from the kitchen, and trek it across the dining room to you. But at most restaurants, a return trip to the kitchen is usually the result of multiple courses being ordered, meaning a higher bill, meaning a higher tip. With the promotion’s set price, more service doesn’t necessarily mean a higher tip. You’re eating a multi-course-meal; tip accordingly.
4. There's a Secret Menu
Even though there are only five shrimp preparations listed on the menu, if you ask for Cape Cod Kettle Chip-Crusted Shrimp, Panko-Crusted Red Shrimp, Coconut Bites, Popcorn Shrimp and Garlic-Grilled Shrimp Skewers they'll be more than happy to bring you some if there are any in stock.
5. It’s Tasty, But You’ll Get Full Fast
The new Mediterranean Shrimp is skewered and grilled, and is the only option that’s not deep-fried or served with plenty of butter (or pasta). It all tastes great, but it’s a lot more filling than you’d expect, especially if you fill up on Cheddar Bay Biscuits (you will) and sides. If you’re looking to go the distance, stick with an offering that's simply grilled. But definitely make sure you try all of the options.
6. You’ll Feel Guilty
Not just for sending your server back to the kitchen a whole bunch of times, but for the amount of shrimp that you’ve just eaten. The solution? Tip 30 percent, and eat a salad tomorrow. Don't forget to read up on tips for conquering a buffet, either.