I have never been to a Red Lobster, none of my friends have been to a Red Lobster. Hell, I would be hard-pressed to tell you where the closest Red Lobster is to me. My knowledge of Red Lobster mainly comes from online and the people I’ve met over the years working in tourism. Without any first hand experience, I can say opinions range widely on the actual seafood, but EVERYONE loves their Cheddar Bay Biscuits.
Then again we never had a reason to since most of us had at least one relative that was a lobsterman. It’s like when tourists ask me where to get the best lobster roll…I wouldn’t know – I usually get the lobster from my dad or a friend and make it myself.
Most Americans don’t have this lobster luxury and for them, Red Lobster is synonymous with seafood. It has become an icon of modern American food culture and considering how expensive seafood can be, this chain restaurant is the closest they can get to what I used to take for granted.
About Red Lobster At Home
The “At Home” line of frozen seafood is made for Red Lobster by Chicken of the Sea. Thai Union is the company that owns Chicken of the Sea and many other familiar brands of seafood. They have been supplying Red Lobster for over 20 years and are now in a strategic partnership.
Where Does Red Lobster Get Their Cod?
I have to give credit to Red Lobster for dedicating so much real estate of their website to talk about where they source their seafood. I’m not so sure they were so transparent in the past, but to their credit, they now lay it out where and what kind of lobster they serve. Some of the criticisms I’ve read is about the use of langostino, which by FDA regulation can not be sold as lobster. But Langostino is good in its own right. It’s the scampi…in scampi.
Although I can’t vouch for the quality of any of Red Lobster’s seafood products, the fact that most of it is frozen is NOT a sign of inferior ingredients. Fresh is not inherently better than frozen seafood. If you are not within driving distance to the seacoast, frozen is the better option.
Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Cod: Packaging and Product
The Cheddar Bay Cod comes in a handsome, Red Lobster themed cardboard container. The side panel displays an impressive list of ingredients that made me a little worried about what this stuff will do to my gut. Inside the box was a sealed plastic bag of the frozen, breaded fillets. Not much different than the other big names in the frozen seafood section like Gorton’s.
The Verdict on Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Cod
On the good side, the flavor was pretty good. It was not overpowered with Cheddar Bay flavor and had the texture of a crunchy fish stick. I was expecting a garlic powder bomb from the breading, but the flavor was mild, and without the “fish stick” taste.
On the not so good side, it was still basically a glammed up fish stick. There was hardly any fish inside as well, it is about 50/50 fish to breading. I couldn’t tell if it was minced cod or just small cuts, but it was definitely cod through all that breading. I have to admit that although it tasted pretty good, it hardly counts as seafood.
The list of ingredients worried me due to my gastrointestinal issues and for a time I thought I dodged a bullet. However several hours after eating I was greeted with intense heartburn that overtook my Prilosec. I don’t think I will be trying any more Cheddar Bay style products, except possibly the actual biscuits.
Overall I will have to say if you like fishsticks or crunchy fish sandwiches, or Red Lobster in general, you will like these Cheddar Bay Cod fillets. I didn’t hate them, but they were not my favorite. I think there are better options in the frozen seafood aisle.