Momma Told Me: The Meaning of Lobster- And My Lobsterfest® Story

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The Meaning of Lobster- And My Lobsterfest® Story

The following content is intended for readers who are 21 or older. This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CelebrateLobster #CollectiveBias
#CelebrateLobster with Red Lobster's 2017 Lobsterfest® event for a limited time! #AD

My father and I have a thing. It's called lobster.

Now, before you jump to any conclusions, let me elaborate by telling you that lobster is more than a sea creature, a food dish, or even a memory. If you asked my father he'd tell you it's my thing- 'Jenna loves lobsters'. And, while I may have taken the image of a lobster and made it something special to myself it is undoubtedly a direct result of the special relationship my father and I have forged from the early days of my childhood. You see my personal celebration of lobster goes back to a single event, at age 5, but has continued through the creation of countless memories with my dad ever since.

Through the past few years my family has faced some trying times. It also happened that, during these trials, my father met and began dating a woman very special to him. After having my father to myself for over a decade, this daddy's girl had a bit of adjusting to do. I'll admit, I was a bit sad to see him lean on another for support, but equally happy for him to embrace someone who felt he was just as special as I do. While things have settled down in our family, we haven't been able to carry on one of our most treasured traditions quite as often as I'd like. So, for so very many reasons, I used one of our favorite restaurants, Red Lobster, and it's Lobsterfest® event as an excuse to steal a little time with my father.
My dad and I are no strangers to the seafood dining chain- even more importantly, to the staff at our local Red Lobster. As customers we have known the general manager for many years. Any staff who has been employed there for even a short length of time recognizes us, and those who do not often know of us (or are filled in by others working.)

We're not celebrities. We're not related to anyone at the chain, or restaurant location. We don't go in every week and order the same thing. (Though there are a few special events, such as Lobsterfest®, we can be counted on to stop in for.) But year after year we visit to celebrate special occasions, or even long over-due father-daughter dates, and the staff continually makes us feel ever so valued and special.
So, on one unusually overcast Southern California day I met my father, after work, at our Oxnard, CA Red Lobster for a special dinner with just the two of us. I'll admit I was just as excited about getting some alone time with my pop as I was about the 2017 Lobsterfest® menu. For lobster enthusiasts, such as myself, this is the best time of year to visit and truly taste some amazing lobster inclusive dishes and inspired drinks. Of course, when the waiter brings those delicious buttery Red Lobster signature Cheddar Bay Biscuits to the table before you can even order, you know you're in for a treat!

My father insisted we order the Seafood Stuffed Mushrooms as an appetizer, while I knew we had to try the New Chilled Shrimp and Lobster Cocktail. Shrimp cocktail is one of our favorite dishes, and this new lobster twist promised to be a real treat with the addition of sweet, chilled, lobster.
As a collector of all things lobster, I simply had to order one of the special Lobsterfest® 2017 fruit-based cocktails, New Island Lobster Punch or New Lobsterfest® Fizz, which is served in a collectible Coastal glass that guest get to keep (while supplies last)! I may or may not (I do) have a collection of glassware from previous Red Lobster events, but the tropical inspired Lobsterfest® Fizz cocktail made the perfect compliment to our appetizers. With Absolut vodka, mango and passion fruit juices, Sprite, Sour Mix and a Grand Marnier float this sunrise colored cocktail was sweet and tangy in all the right ways.
#CelebrateLobster with Red Lobster's 2017 Lobsterfest® event for a limited time! #AD
Our server was kind enough to time our appetizers, drinks, and salads perfectly after learning my father and I hadn't had a chance to catch up in a while. As we dined on the in-house poached Chilled Lobster and Shrimp Cocktail I reminisced about the start of our lobster traditions.

When I was a young girl my mother couldn't fly due to health complications so I'd visit my father's family, cross-country in New England, with my dad. It was a family tradition when we'd come into town for everyone to head on over to a local seafood hall for a grand feast- in particular an all-you-can-eat lobster feast. At the end of each brunch there would be a drawing where each participant would have a chance to have their ticket drawn for a basket of fresh live lobster to take home.

Around the age of 5-6 I drew my table's number. Then, on the next visit a year later, drew my table's number again. As you can imagine, being a New England family, this was widely celebrated both times, and well documented in family photos. That is the beginning of everything lobster for me (and my dad, even if he wont' admit it).
#CelebrateLobster with Red Lobster's 2017 Lobsterfest® event for a limited time! #AD
Often times I feel like I bring up lobster, the food, and people react as though it's something reserved for a special occasion. Whether it's here in sunny SoCal, or back East where I imagine lobsters fall out of the sky and people enjoy fresh lobster for breakfast daily. (Or so I used to think as a kid living a SoCal live and visiting the strange and magical East Coast.) Truth is, lobster is something to be celebrated, but there is a way around it. Find more reasons to celebrate.

It's taken me 30 years and only now am I realizing that we, as humans, need to celebrate more. There are never too many excuses to enjoy a delicious meal, namely lobster, with friends or family. Lobsterworthy moments happen every day. I know my life is certainly the richer for moments such as this amazing meal with my father.
#CelebrateLobster with Red Lobster's 2017 Lobsterfest® event for a limited time! #AD
And, speaking of amazing meals- you're probably wondering what exactly did I celebrate by ordering? Well, yours truly enjoyed the new Lobsterfest® Surf and Turf featuring a split Maine lobster tail baked with a signature seafood stuffing, alongside a wood-grilled sirloin topped with shrimp in a decadent lobster cream sauce. I'd contemplated upgrading my steak to a N.Y. strip, but talked it over with our server, who told us that the sirloin was in fact her personal favorite, and went that direction instead. Let me tell you- the sauce my sirloin was drowned in was a heavenly buttery, cheddary, seafoody (I'm making it a word) mix that paired with my butter-soft steak in the best of ways. I dare say it threatened to outshine my lobster- until I actually had my lobster, perfection.
#CelebrateLobster with Red Lobster's 2017 Lobsterfest® event for a limited time! #AD
My father, notorious for devouring shrimp, is seen above in a rare snapshot (the last one I took of him was over a year ago!) insisting I put down the camera and let him eat. Who can blame him with the Ultimate Feast- a plate full of shrimp 2 ways, and a juicy Maine lobster tail. What's that? There are 2 lobster tails on his plate? Of course, because we do Lobsterfest® right! He traded in the crab legs traditionally featured on this dish for an upgrade of a seafood stuffed lobster tail, at an additional charge. Now that's a plate with everything a man could want!
#CelebrateLobster with Red Lobster's 2017 Lobsterfest® event for a limited time! #AD
#CelebrateLobster with Red Lobster's 2017 Lobsterfest® event for a limited time! #AD
As we ate I was further reminded of the importance of lobster in our relationship. Sure, I'd won hundreds of dollars worth of lobster as a young girl- but it was the image of the lobster which I so tied to my exclusive father-daughter time with my dad. It was also the image that came to mind when I, as a SoCal girl, thought of my father's little New England home town because the airport we always flew into in Providence had a massive store full of lobster tourist paraphernalia.

This was something that stuck out in my head so much that, as I grew up and was unable to fly back East for family visits with my father, I'd request he bring me back a 'lobster' as a memento of his trip. It didn't mean much in the beginning, really. But here, some 15 years later my father brings me back a lobster from every trip. And, it's so notorious of a request that when either of us vacation, regardless of the destination, we hunt out the 'lobster' of that region and bring back a memento as a gift. Sometimes my father gets pretty creative- he brought back a plush scorpion from Arizona once.
So, these memories, and traditions, coupled with the fact that him and I (and sometimes our family, but usually him and I) have been meeting up for special meals at our local red lobster for over a decade truly bring the meaning of lobster to a full image. Events such as Lobsterfest® are more than special limited time dishes and drinks, they're a reason to celebrate. Lobster brings us in, but the amazing staff and countless memories in those booths really hold a special place in my heart. And, thanks to the great flavors I have just another sensory element to really bring those memories to life.
Bananas Foster Cheesecake dessert at Lobsterfest 2017- Red Lobster. #CelebrateLobster #AD
My dad and I are both talkers- we're notorious for sitting in the booth at our local Red Lobster for hours even after the main course has been served. Those who know of us understand the food was simply a means for bringing us together. They never rush us. And those who don't try their best to enhance our visit every way possible- from offering post dinner Cheddar Bay Biscuits, to asking if we want to place an order to bring home to those who didn't come in with us.

So, as I sat there milking the last few bites of our Lobsterfest® Bananas Foster Cheesecake, feeling a bit sad that I would soon have to hug my father and head home I also felt a bit of a warmth in my heart. As the server picked up the signed credit card statement, telling us to come back again soon I couldn't help but smile. Of course we'll be back. Lobster is kind of our thing.

Want to experience Lobsterfest® for yourself? Everyday is filled with lobsterworthy moments so choose one and head to your local Red Lobster soon, this event is for a limited time! Learn more and stay up to date with the chain on Facebook and Twitter. Do you have a #Lobsterworthy moment? Share your story on social media with the hashtag #Lobsterworthy.


  1. What a great connection you have with your father over lobster. This post makes me want to call my dad and invite him out for a Red Lobster dinner date - for a "just because" lobsterworthy date with my favorite guy. Your meal looks amazing! #client

  2. As a fellow daddy's girl, I completely understand everything about this post. We did a road trip just last November, and we're already planning the next. My mom always tells people if they mess with my dad, they have ME to deal with, not her. LOL! I love everything that you've shared, and I hope you get to experience even more with him!

  3. You have such great memories with your Dad. I enjoyed reading the sweet way you wrote about them. That yummy lobster though...I almost died of hunger looking at your pictures. ;)

  4. You and your dad ave something so special! I hope my kids have such strong ties to us. Better take them to Red Lobster and make some memories.

  5. Wow! This kind of foods are really delicious and yummy! I want to go that place and taste that awesome food!

  6. I have a few restaurants that are special to me in that way as well. I think it's not necessarily the place but the people we share it with.

  7. omg that looks amazing sooo yummmy

  8. Pam Harrington - NJApril 5, 2017 at 12:24 PM

    I've been to many Red Lobster restraunts and NONE of them have served food like is pctured here or pictured in their print and TV ads.