This is admittedly a little bit different — I don’t often tend to review stuff that requires me to cook it myself, but because you (both of you) demanded it, here we are.
One would expect a company named “Red Lobster” to be best known for, if nothing else, its lobster. Or maybe even its seafood. However, it could be argued that is not the case; instead of being best known for any high-priced item, perhaps the most recognizable — if not iconic — food they’re known for isn’t really even on the menu. That, of course, being the baskets full of Cheddar Bay biscuits that they continue to bring to your table for the duration of your visit. Some may argue that filling up on biscuits before a not-inexpensive meal is the furthest thing from ideal, but I’ve always been fine with leftovers.
The only real problem with these delicious delectables is that, well, you have to make a trip to Red Lobster to get them. But while that’s a trip I’ll always happily make, it’s not one I’m able to make often. Fortunately, the fine folks at Golden Gate Capital saw the issue with this and have devised a solution: Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuit Mix, available in grocery stores!
I have to say that here in Canada, finding this was a real coup, as “biscuit” typically brings to mind something else. Case in point, from when my wife found them at our local Metro:
DAVID: "You Canadians don't know the first thing about American biscuits."
ME: "Now, that's not true. You're exaggerating–" pic.twitter.com/fg9aOlpqC7
— Nadia Oxford (@nadiaoxford) April 15, 2017
As I pointed out in my review of KFC’s Boneless Original Recipe Tenders, even KFC Canada doesn’t have the signature buttermilk biscuits synonymous with the chain south of the border. Fortunately, things have gotten better since I moved here: Popeye’s has their biscuits on hand, at least, while Tim Hortons features an interesting hexagonal biscuit breakfast sandwich. Heck, I’ve more recently even been able to start acquiring bags of Bisquick at Dollarama stores!
Oh, and Red Lobster has had their unique Cheddar Bay version the entire time, of course.
Like I said at the top of this review, this is an interesting review for me, as I usually tend to review food prepared by other people — I believe this will be the first time I’ve reviewed something I’ve actually prepared.
Preparation is pretty easy. In addition to the ingredients in the box, you’ll need a half-cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese (I wound up using what was on hand, which was marble cheese, which is a type of cheddar), 3/4 of a cup of cold water, and half a cup of butter. For the biscuits, you just stir the water, cheese, and included biscuit mix in a bowl until you’ve got a consistent batter. This should give you enough to scoop out eight to ten portions onto a prepared baking sheet or pan, which you’ll then bake at 425° F for around 14-16 minutes (I went for the low end, because my oven gets pretty hot; adjust accordingly).
While that’s going on, you’ll want to prepare the herb butter sauce by melting your butter in a microwave-safe bowl, then stirring in the garlic herb blend from the enclosed packet. Once the biscuits are done, you’ll want to spoon or brush (I brushed) the butter on right away. The box says to apply one teaspoon of herb butter sauce per biscuit, but I basically just brushed it on until there wasn’t much left.
Not too shabby, by the look of things. As you can see, I went with the option for eight biscuits instead of ten, and I’d normally use a biscuit cutter for my Bisquick biscuits, but Red Lobster’s normally seem a little more irregularly shaped, so I just plopped them on here to keep in the spirit of things.
As for taste, they were spot on. They were fluffy, if a little burnt on the bottom, but that tends to happen to just about anything that goes into our oven. The size was also bigger than their restaurant norm, but those factors aside, I wouldn’t have known they didn’t come straight from Red Lobster’s kitchen had I not baked them myself (even if I did use a different type of cheddar).
I’m looking forward to getting another box sometime, and do recommend it, especially if you enjoy eating the Cheddar Bay biscuits at Red Lobster. While you can even buy those on their own for a quick carry out, they aren’t made to last, so this is definitely the better option if you don’t want to rush things. And if you’ve never had them before, this is as good a reason as I can think of to try them!
David Oxford is a freelance writer of many varied interests. If you’re interested in hiring him, please drop him a line at david.oxford (at) nyteworks.net.