Red Lobster is launching its biggest menu revamp in a decade on Oct. 15. The chain plans to expand the number of non-seafood items and boost the number of lighter options it offers to broaden its appeal.
Here's a look at excerpts from the Florida-based chain's first menu in 1968. The reference to the restaurant in 1945 in the menu introduction is for another establishment owned by the founder.
Items you won't find on the chain's menu today: frog legs and oysters on the half shell. Then again, diners back then didn't have Spicy Buffalo Chicken Bites or Shrimp Nachos.
"The Red Lobster is a Harbor for Seafood Lovers. We Specialize in Fresh Florida Seafood, but some of our Seafoods come from distant points of the compass, such as Maine, Maryland, Alaska, Peru, Chile and even South Africa to name but a few. Each dish is prepared from knowledge gained and recipes developed dating back as far as 1945 when our first Seafood Restaurant was established in Florida."
OYSTERS ON THE HALF SHELL — half dozen for 65 cents, or 1 dozen for $1.25
OYSTER STEW —Chuck full of plum oysters in half and half milk. 85 cents
CHOWDER — Steaming bowl of New England cream style Chowder. Chuck full of tender clams. Cup 25 cents
MARINER'S PLATTER — Fried Shrimp, Oysters, Fillet of Flounder, Fried Crab Claws, Deviled Crab Cake, Hush Puppies, Choice of Potato and Cole Slaw. $1.95
NEPTUNE PLATTER — Fried Shrimp, Oysters, Fillet of Flounder, Frog Legs, Scallops, Deviled Crab Cake, Fried Crab Claws, Hush Puppies, Choice of Potato, Cole Slaw. $2.50
BROILED FLORIDA LOBSTER — Whole Florida Lobster, Drawn butter, stuffed with our special dressing. With Hush Puppies, choice of Potato, Cole Slaw. $2.35
FOR THE STEAK AND LOBSTER LOVER — half a Broiled Florida Lobster and Char-Broiled Choice of Sirloin Steak, Onion Rings, Served with choice of Potato, Cole Slaw or Tossed Salad and Garlic Bread. $2.95
CAPTAIN'S STEAK, ONION RINGS — $2.55
SNAPPER FINGERS (Fried Only) — $1.25
FISH-ON-A-BUN — Fish-on-a-bun — Golden fried Flounder on a bun, tartar sauce. 50 cents
FROG LEGS — Deep fried with Hush Puppies, choice of Potato and Cole Slaw. $1.95
PITCHER OF BEER — 95 cents
WHISKY SOUR — 65 cents
COFFEE — 15 cents
MILK — 20 cents
SOFT DRINKS — 15 cents