If you like shrimp and lots of it, this news is for you: Red Lobster's Endless Shrimp promotion is going on now until November.
The deal allows hungry -- hopefully, very hungry -- guests to mix and match an unlimited number of shrimp dishes, served with a salad and a side, for $18.99 a person.
I was lucky enough to embark on an Endless Shrimp journey of my own this month, and the experience was nothing short of crispy crustacean heaven. Red Lobster's signature cheddar biscuits (also endless) were flowing, shrimp were multiplying upon the table, and my friend and I were elated to sample shrimp prepared in creative ways we'd never imagined.
The seafood chain's new shrimp dish, Nashville Hot Shrimp, is the highlight of the special menu. Fresh shrimp are crusted with panko breadcrumbs, fried and tossed in a sweet and spicy mixture of brown sugar, cayenne, paprika and black pepper. The spiciness in each fiery bite is quieted by a pleasant honey drizzle.
Our other favorite was a selection from the secret menu: Cape Cod Kettle Chip-Crusted Shrimp. Generous flecks of the popular potato chip coat each shrimp in a superbly crunchy crust -- a welcome twist from your run-of-the-mill fried shrimp. These pair well with just about any condiment, but creamy tartar sauce adds a delicious tang to the super-savory shrimp.
Once you've completed your first course (salad, side and choice of two shrimp dishes), you're free to order additional shrimp preparations one at a time. The menu includes Mediterranean Shrimp -- a grilled shrimp skewer with juicy grape tomatoes and green onions in a white wine, garlic and lemon butter sauce -- as well as classic Garlic Shrimp Scampi -- shrimp sauteed in a rich sauce of garlic, butter and white wine.
Those with a taste for simplicity will especially enjoy Hand-Breaded Shrimp, served with cocktail sauce, and Shrimp Linguini Alfredo, a creamy pasta dish featuring plenty of shrimp and Parmesan cheese.
Also available on the not-so-secret menu are Panko-Crusted Red Shrimp, Coconut Bites, Popcorn Shrimp and Garlic-Grilled Shrimp Skewers.
Realistically, you will feel quite full after your first round of shrimp (and, by then, several cheddar biscuits), but you'll want the option to sample at least one bite of each tasty preparation. The bigger your group, the more stomach real estate you'll have to split between your 10 shrimp options. Thus, the more, the merrier.
And because no restaurant meal is complete without drinks and dessert in my book, we also took the opportunity to try one of Red Lobster's new cocktails: the Peach Long Island, a wonderfully boozy blend of vodka, gin, rum, peach schnapps, peach puree and Coca-Cola.
We also took on the tough task of dining on dessert, selecting the sinfully scrumptious Chocolate Wave: a warm chocolate layer cake with fudge frosting, vanilla ice cream and rich chocolate sauce. I suggest you enhance your meal the same way.
You can bring a friend to any Red Lobster for Endless Shrimp from now until November, though Red Lobster has not announced an exact end date.
Can't make it to the restaurant but want to enjoy the food? You can also order Endless Shrimp to go; there's just a limit of two shrimp refills.