Thursday, August 19, 2010
Lands End Restaurant in Georgetown
Good food starts with fresh ingredients, well prepared and seasoned. A good restaurant serves what is promised on it's menu. Unfortunately, Lands End fails on all fronts. The restaurant has been a Georgetown landmark for 20 plus years. It closed in November of 2009. It was reopened in May 2010 with Bobby Lance captaining the kitchen and Steve Howell navigating as general manager.
Georgetown is a seacoast town with a thriving fishing and shrimping industry. Our area boasts fresh shrimp, oysters, flounder, grouper, spot, crab. The farm community offers fresh seasonal melons, peaches, blueberries, salad greens. With all of that to choose from, you would expect Lands End to include fresh seafood, fruits and greens on its menu. The menus says it does but unfortunately our local bounty is not on the plate.
Our first post-opening visit was in August 2010. I ordered the signature dish "Low County Shrimp Salad" which promised creamy shrimp salad on a bed of mixed greens with seasonal fruit. The shrimp I had in my salad was unmistakably frozen and definitely not local. The tell-tale off-flavor of "Clorox" was not masked by the mayonnaise on the overdressed, unseasoned rubbery shrimp. The greens consisted on one limp leaf of yesterday's lettuce. The fruit: canned pineapple, unripe melon, including the rind, fridge dried strawberries and grapes, were neither fresh nor seasonal. Oh, and a stale mini croissant completed the offering. Wow, what a disappointment.
My dining partner ordered the jambalaya, one of the specials of the day. For what should have been a spicy dish it was amazingly under-seasoned and was made with the same rubbery shrimp. It was accompanied by a bland cole slaw and garlic toast.
A chef and staff may have an off-day warranting a further review. This, however, was not a off-day but a business plan. Cheap industrial products, long shelf-live through chemistry, and a serve-it-regardless policy is designed to maximize profits at the expense of quality. This is not a plan I wish to encounter again. So, sail on past Lands End.