Pros: Cheap, Some Items are Edible
Cons: Some Items are Gross, Cleanliness
I used to think that Long John Silver, was only a name that only Mrs. Paul called me. Like my other stage names T-Bone and Sir Loin, I figured there was no way that these words could apply to restaurants or food items. However, there is a fast food company called Long John Silver's, that has locations all over the world. Much like their competitors of Arthur Treachers and Captain D's, they provide a seafood dinner at a bargain basement low price. As the old saying goes, "You get what you pay for," which in the case of LJS is a quadruple bypass. This tends to cost a little more than their meals, which range from $3-7, and the HMO will not offer payment on the supersizing.
A lot of their locations are located in malls, but my closest one is off of a major intersection, behind the city dump.(The Department of Motor Vehicles)Since I was stuck in traffic with a bunch of warm and kindly holiday shoppers, I decided to get a bite to eat at this Long John Silver's. The menu is fairly extensive, so I decided to try something new. Since I'm a former New Englander, I always have a craving for some Purebred Charles River Lobster Tails. Unfortunately these are not popular in Virginia, which is known primarily for Grits, Scrapple, and Hard Tack.
Upon listening to my stomach grumble, I decided to try the Lobster Bite Platter. It cost $5, came with a piece of fish, fries, hushpuppies, and a soda. This seemed like a wonderful deal, but I was quickly disappointed when I bit into the lobster. Actually, I think it was lobster meat, although it had a strange resemblance to fake crab meat. The breading on these bites was flaky and undercooked, and the lobster meat was disgusting. While I don't expect to get fancy food at a Long John Silver's, I do expect to at least get a little bit of enjoyment from it. This "lobster" meat didn't taste fresh, and was as gross as Betty White without a shirt on.
The fried fish piece was decent, in a Gorton's Fisherman or Van De Camp's kind of way. It was a large piece, and I could swear I taste a glaze of Boston Harbor's chemical treatments on top.(Kind of like the Honey Baked Ham glaze, but with WD 40 instead) I really liked the French Fries, as they were thick, and had just the right amount of salt on them. They were really good when dipped in the Ketchup, and didn't leave me as thirsty as the Hush Puppies did. Make sure to get the large drink with these, as they will leave you like the characters of Spaceballs in the desert scene.
The other meal that I have ordered from Long John Silvers, is their Chicken Planks Combo Platter.($5) It is surprisingly good, and the amounts and sizes of the fried chicken pieces is enough to turn you into Dom Deluise. The breading is above average, and they are always served piping hot. This is the best choice on the menu, and the meal comes with two sides. I always go with their French Fries, and either the Coleslaw or Corn. They have some of the best coleslaw I've ever had in a fast food restaurant. It is fresh and creamy, and makes a nice "healthy" addition to one of their fried meals. The Corn on the Cob is a nice choice, and there's nothing healthier than lathering it up with butter, pepper, and salt.
Service with a Hook
Our restaurant has a stupid looking pirate out front of it. This led me to believe that some of the employees would be a little rough around the edges, and that there was a good chance of some of them being on "work release" from the local prison. "Arggggggghh Matey!" While I don't believe any of the staff members to be felons, or on active probation, they did remind me a bit of the crew from the Black Pearl. However, even with their rough appearances, they did appear to be pleasant enough to not put on of their hooks into my Solar Plexus. They seemd knowledgeable, friendly, and eager to assist in providing a healthy meal according to the USDA Food Pyramid. Perhaps this is because they want customers to keep ringing the restaurants bell, which signifies that you've been pleased with your dining experience. This reminds me of my experience on a dinghy.
The location I've dined at, and I use this term loosely, can become quite busy during lunch and dinner. Lines can form to the door, although I like their set up of having cashiers and service line workers. This does speed up the process, so you don't have to stand for longer than 5-10 minutes to get a fresh cooked meal. As soon as your meal is ready, they call your number over a microphone, so this gives you plenty of time to collect silverware, napkins, sauces, life insurance plans, etc. I like how their sauces are organized in the middle of the dining area, which guarantees less fights over the Tartar Sauce.
The dining area is spacious, and is usually kept fairly clean. However, at my location and one other that I've been to, I've been a bit shocked by how messy these places can be. Garbage cans are filled to the brim, trays and foodstuffs are on tables, and napkins and other debris are all over the floor. Its enough to kill your appetite by eating heart stopping fried fish and chicken, so this added misery can negatively affect your gourmet dining experience. Thankfully, they do a decent job most of the time. Bathrooms have been kept clean on most occasions, and stocked full of towels, soaps, and condiments.
If you are on a tight budget, or in the area, there are worst places than Long John Silvers. Its a lot like the frozen fish food section at the grocery store, as you know what to expect for this small amount of money. As for its competitors, its far below Captain D's, but much better than Arthur "Pass the Vinegar Jeeves" Treachers. If you are out with the family, you can easily eat here for under $20, and Junior will enjoy his "Finding Fried Nemo" Kids Meal. If you do eat here, try to limit the amounts, as there is nothing healthy on the menu. This is Fried Food Heaven, and many visits here will guarantee you a trip to the cardiologist. On that note, Happy Eating!