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RESTAURANT OF THE WEEK
If you're a serious seafood lover, let's cut right to the chase. Don't bother with this place. It's not all bad, don't get me wrong, but knowledgeable seafood lovers will find the same flaws I did.
First, let's start out with the positives. Unlike so many buffet style restaurants that boast lobster on the menu and serve teeny, tiny slipper lobster tails from Asia, you'll find genuine, whole New England lobsters at the Boston Lobster Feast. But here's the rub. They all appeared to be "chicken culls." Having lived in Boston before let me explain. Chicken refers to the size of the lobster. Chickens are the smallest legal size that can be harvested. They average about a pound. The ones you're used to savoring at fine restaurants are usually "selects" and weigh between 1 1/2 pounds to 2 1/2 pounds. Culls are lobsters that are missing one or both claws. So here, you get the smallest possible lobster and it's missing a claw. Normally not a bad thing. However if my taste buds are correct, and I'd bet good money on this, these lobsters were cooked in New England and shipped frozen to the restaurant. I could tell because meat in the tiny claws was tough. I've had previously cooked and frozen lobsters before.
A couple of more positives before the hammer comes down. They use real drawn butter for the lobster. So many places in Florida use margarine and that really sucks. They featured really nice and plump steamer clams. They started out life fresh and were of great quality. The lobster bisque they had the evening we were there (the server brought it out from the kitchen) was a hit with everybody at the table. It was rich and creamy. And the Key lime pie and sticky, gooey, chocolate cake for dessert were great.
Okay now for the bad news. The peel and eat shrimp were small and Asianatic. The snow crab legs were on the small size, certainly a lot smaller than even the ones I buy on sale at my local super market for $4.99 a pound! The fried seafood was typical Mrs. Paul's fare including shrimp, scallops and clam strips. They had London broil but it was in a warming pan already precut up and looked pretty bad. They had a few salads that looked okay. In fact my wife tried some krab salad with fake crab and said it was tasty. Veggies looked right out of the can. And they had a roast beef carving station. The guy manning the knife didn't speak much English, I would assume, because when I asked him for the rarest piece, he turned the roast around and carved me a piece off of the back side -- the side that was extremely well done. I tried again to communicate rare and then gave up.
The restaurant was certainly not elegant. It was a tiny bit on the shabby side, we thought. Nice and clean and all that but it reminded me more a military mess hall. Then again I've never been in a military mess hall. Officers club dining room, yes, but never a mess hall!
We got to the restaurant at 5:15 and caught the "early bird special." The feast was normally $37 a head but we got it for $32 each. The early bird special is good until 6pm.
Here's my suggestion. Instead of going to this restaurant, keep your eye out for a good lobster sale. When they come down to $8-$12 a pound---and they usually do during some point in the season---head to your local store and buy a couple of nice ones each for you and your spouse and boil them at home. They're easy to cook and no, they don't scream when you throw 'em head first into the salted, boiling water! You'll save money over eating out at this restaurant and you'll savor the quality of freshly cooked lobsters. If you have any questions about how to cook one, just Google it! We've cooked hundreds in our lifetime while living in New England. Yum!!!!!
There are three Boston Lobster Feast restaurants in the Orlando area. We dined at the one in Kissimmee. For complete information on locations, hours, menu items, etc., go to their web site here.