Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Half-Assed Gourmand #10 (Red Lobster II: Lunch Harder)

Since I haven’t featured a tale from the blogosphere’s most famous expert on fine cuisine* in quite some time (I think the last one was in February…probably because it took me so long to get over the effects of Gumby’s Pizza) I thought I’d take a moment or two to talk about a nice lunch I had with the ‘rents last week…at a jernt that I’ve discussed here in the past, the infamous Red Lobster. Judging from the many comments that I received, it would appear that the popular seafood restaurant chain is not everyone’s particular cup of crab bisque. (On the Lobster web site, they crow about being ranked as the #1 seafood place by…and while I don’t know who Zagat is or what s/he does when they’re not tending bar I have a sneaking suspicion some sort of what is often referred to in the restaurant bidness as a “bribe” may have exchanged hands.)

The optimal word here is “popular”—I have no idea why this is so. Every time I go into the place and order something to eat, I end up being disappointed beyond my wildest expectations. So I have to say I was surprised the other day when Mom, Dad and I went in for a nosh around lunchtime and enjoyed a pleasant if unremarkable meal. Normally, anything past the soup and salad is a risky bet but I gambled on one of their “quick starter” lunch specials, shrimp jambalaya, and it was pretty tasty—although I generally don’t put celery in mine. I mean, the celery addition didn’t freak me out (sister Kat would have went wiggy, however) or make the entrée unpalatable…I guess I’m just not used to it.

Mom ordered fried flounder, and she nonchalantly tossed a small portion of it on my plate—after sampling it, I kept coming back to what my old Morgantown compadre Nick used to say about food that fell short of his expectations: “aggressively average.” (But, hey—she ordered it, and if she was happy with it that’s okay-fine by me.) I forget what Dad nibbled on—I believe it was a soup and salad combo, with clam chowder and grilled shrimp on the salad—but I do recall him chomping down on a cheddar biscuit or two, much to my mother’s annoyance.

I was somewhat taken aback when Mom invited me to lunch with her and Mr. Shreve—and when I mentioned this to my best pal from high school, the Duchess, she became concerned that there was bad news looming on the horizon and that the ‘rents were going to use the lunch to soften the blow. As it turns out, America’s favorite wacky parents just wanted to use a Lobster gift card that the old man received as a Christmas present from sister Debbie.

Normally, I’d transition into another topic with a smooth-as-glass segueway but since I’ve got nothing, I thought I’d throw up a few TV-on-DVD announcements that come courtesy of TSOD says that Volume 2 of the fourth season of the wacky sci-fi classic Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea will be out before the end of the year courtesy of 20th Century-Fox Home Video. This will come as a relief to fans of the series, who have been waiting for closure since last year when Volume 1 was released in March.

Shout! Factory will release the fourth and final season of yuppiesomething thirtysomething November 9th. (I guess these sets sold well because the company did not have to resort to their evil Shout! Select program to get this cult series into the hands of its many fans. I will now stop here before I get into any further trouble.)

Here’s a TV-on-DVD release that’s going to make you want to run to the kitchen, grab a bowl of Kellogg’s Sugar-Coated Whatever-Strikes-Your-Fancy (“the best to you each morning!”) and plop down in front of the TV for some Saturday morning memories: Sid & Marty Krofft’s Saturday Morning Hits. This single-disc release (due out September 28th) will contain one episode each of such favorites as Electra Woman & Dyna Girl, Wonderbug, Bigfoot & Wild Boy, H.R. Pufnstuf, Lidsville, Sigmund and the Sea Monsters and The Bugaloos. (Some of these shows have already been previously released—I know Pufnstuf, Lidsville and Bugaloos were—but I think those collections are OOP.) As a Doonesbury character once memorably observed: “Far freakin’ out…”

Space: 1999 is coming to Blu-Ray on November 2nd—for the benefit of those who want this cult classic in an upgraded format. (Personally…Pasadena.)

Finally, let’s close out this post with a look at the cover art for the upcoming Gunsmoke: Season 4, Volume 1 release due out October 5th…

Until next time…happy viewing and bon appetit!

*As always, this is a wild exaggeration.

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