Since Beyoncé debuted the music video for "Formation" on Saturday, something weird has happened at Red Lobster. People have been eating there. Like, on purpose.
Supposedly, it can all be traced back to the following lyric: "When he **** me good I take his ass to Red Lobster, cause I slay/If he hit it right, I might take him on a flight on my chopper, cause I slay." On Sunday, Red Lobster sales were 33 percent higher than they were the same day the previous year. In a Tweet just before midnight on Saturday which has since garnered close to 15,000 likes, the Lobster's social media team redubbed its beloved Cheddar Bay Biscuits as Cheddar "Bey" Biscuits.
Yesterday, I sped over to Houston's Northwest Freeway location to scope out the crowd. What I found instead, was this.
The handful of middle-aged-plus patrons, some in cowboy hats, were likely not influenced in their dining decision by any good loving, with a pop icon or otherwise. Nor did they arrive in a chopper. I didn't either. And in fact, I was feeling pretty old myself, when I realized Bey's new song had somehow managed to get this jingle stuck in my head.
My server Yoko, whose English was limited, wasn't able to tell me if she had recently fed Beyoncé, or if she had seen a spike in sales since "Formation" dropped. She did sell me pretty hard on Lobsterfest, particularly the side of lobster mac-and-cheese.
But I was curious about the flounder on the "fresh" section of the menu that purports to include fish that are "never frozen and are flown in, or sourced, from nearby waters to ensure freshness." Was the flounder from the Gulf? Yoko wasn't sure what I was asking, and pointed me to the lobster mac again.
She didn't convince me on that, but she did manage to get me to order the non-alcoholic version of a cocktail called Red Lobster Sunset to enjoy with my Cheddar Bey Biscuits.
I hadn't been to a Red Lobster since I went in full makeup between performances of South Pacific when I was 10. I had never experienced those biscuits. I think I came to them a little too old to get the thrill my colleagues prepared me for. They were just cheesy dough balls with some raw flour in the middle. But that made them an ideal pairing for the cocktail, which I'm fairly certain was composed of Kool-Aid and grenadine.
I asked Yoko for rice pilaf with my fried flounder and here's the result.
A coworker who saw the above photo referred to it as "cafeteria food." That's not inaccurate, except that this was a $12.99 cafeteria plate. I packed up half of it to go, and disappointed Yoko with my refusal to order dessert. But if that's how Sasha Fierce celebrates, then it has to be good. Or maybe not. I hear that she just used Red Lobster for the rhyme. In reality, she's more of a Pappadeaux girl.