Story time! When I was a junior in college, I did a brief stint as a server at the Red Lobster in Silver Spring, Maryland. It is largely for this reason that I will always, always leave great tips when dining out because servers ARE the real MVPs. I’m pretty sure I dropped an entire tray of margaritas on someone in my first week on the floor.
‘The Lobster,’ as I called it, was quite the place to work. It enabled my complete and other devotion to eating as much available shellfish as I can at any and every time, and it also allowed me to eat salmon more than a broke college student typically would. Alas, I didn’t really have what it took to withstand the rigors of Endless Shrimp, which is one of the most glorious times of the year. During the promotion, which comes to a sad end this Sunday, diners can eat an unlimited amount of the tiny crustacean that tastes like a perfect cross between a lobster and crab. This year’s varieties include Parmesan Shrimp Scampi, Hand-Breaded Shrimp, Garlic Shrimp Scampi, Shrimp Linguini Alfredo and Coconut Shrimp Bites, plus a new favorite, Sriacha Grilled Shrimp.
On a recent visit with one of my BFFs (and longstanding Endless Shrimp partner-in-excess), we made the difficult decision to avoid those amazingly buttery Cheddar Bay Biscuits, in order to make more room for shrimp. It wasn’t easy. (We were trying to keep our carbs down in general, but I broke and had a Sunset Passion Colada, because when else do I get to have an Alizé Pina Colada?!) No side dishes, no salad. Just so many shrimp. The original plan was to pay homage to the famous Pimp C line by writing “iodine poisoning” in shrimp tails, but we decided against it.
We started with the Sriacha Grilled and Parmesan Scampi varieties. The sweet Sriacha aioli on the side of the former is fantastic, and the hot, crispy cheese atop the latter is equally decadent. In the interest of not dying of a heart attack right there at the table, we mixed up these selections with servings of plain, unbuttered shrimp. I’d hoped to shut the restaurant down, but we were only able to make it through five rounds—an admirable bounty nonetheless. Next year, I’m thinking of fasting for a day in advance so I can justify throwing some of those Hand-Breaded beauties in the mix. Or maybe even a biscuit!
Endless Shrimp is available at Red Lobster locations nationwide until Sunday, November 2nd. Find your nearest restaurant here.