This Is Why Red Lobster's Cheddar Biscuits Are So Delicious

Red Lobster might be known for the seafood fare but their extra special bread is what makes the brand ultra famous. The free of charge Cheddar Bay Biscuits brought to every table at Red Lobster even have their own line of insulated fanny packs now. Yes, they are that legit. It's possible that some patrons go to Red Lobster solely for the biscuits, which are fluffy, cheesy, and layered with a delectable garlic butter. No Red Lobster meal is complete without a side of the biscuits, and they're definitely a bonus for someone dining with a shellfish allergy and limited menu options.

With legions of fans, the biscuits are nearing almost one million "likes" on Facebook and have been hashtagged almost 20,000 times on Instagram. There are probably underground fan clubs we don't even know about. What makes the Cheddar Bay Biscuits so on-another-level delish? We've dug deep to give you the lowdown.

Garlic makes everything better

What's the real magic behind these cheddar biscuits, which didn't officially appear on the Red Lobster menu until the early '90s? Red Lobster's head chef back then, Chef Kurt Hankins, replaced the traditional sugar in your standard biscuit recipe with garlic powder, and subsequently a star was born. We salute his genius. He also thought to add the cheddar, God bless him.

Of course, the garlic isn't just in the biscuit dough. The garlic butter that's brushed onto the baked biscuits is the last step in making the them so dang delightful. An alleged former Red Lobster employee confirmed in a Reddit thread the process for perfecting the beloved Red Lobster biscuits. The user wrote, "Basically, we have a guy whose sole duty is to mix the mix with water, roll the mixture into little balls, put them on a tray in an oven, take them out, and brush them with garlic butter." And if you buy the boxed Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuit Mix, it includes a pouch of their signature "Garlic Herb Blend" to add to the butter supplied by you. The biscuits would probably be just as good with plain butter, but the garlic is what really makes them shine, inside and out.

Medium cheddar cheese is the perfect pairing

Okay, we can all agree that in the case of Cheddar Bay Biscuits, in addition to the garlic, the cheese really makes the biscuit. Red Lobster uses the term "quality-aged Cheddar cheese" to describe the cheese, and an individual claiming to be a server at Red Lobster told a Reddit thread that it's "medium cheddar." Medium cheddar is sharper than mild cheddar because it has aged a little longer (the longer a cheddar cheese ages, the sharper it gets) but its sharpness isn't quite as distinct as sharp or extra sharp cheddar. 

So medium cheddar clearly provides just the right flavor for these biscuits, but it's got another quality that makes it a good fit — it melts well. The more advanced in age a cheese is, the less moisture, so that means more heat is needed in order for it to melt. Since medium cheddar easily melts when baked and tastes great when used in combination with the other Cheddar Bay Biscuit ingredients, it's another essential component to giving the biscuits their royalty status among chain restaurant bread baskets.

They're dropped, not rolled

While "drop" and "roll out" might sound like interchangeable terms for releasing a new album, they are actually two different techniques for baking biscuits. Those lighter than air Cheddar Bay Biscuits you devour every time you hit Red Lobster are dropped, not rolled out. A Quora user claiming years of experience cooking Southern-style cuisine explained the difference by saying, "Drop biscuits are wetter than biscuits you roll out which tends to make a lighter biscuit." (Side note, it also seems like a lot less work to drop rather than roll—we see you, Red Lobster, keeping that kitchen efficient).

You can also tell the Cheddar Bay ones are dropped because of the rippled texture and beautiful messiness, as opposed to the rounder, disc-looking kind you might pick up from the McDonald's breakfast menu. (It feels like blasphemy to even begin trying to compare these two biscuits but you get what we mean.) The dropped factor is just yet another quality that makes these delicacies so unique.

They're about as fresh as you can get

Nobody wants to gnaw on stale bread while they wait for their real food to arrive. You want the kinda bread that melts butter upon arrival to really get your money and mouth's worth. So part of why the biscuits at Red Lobster are so darn tasty is because they are pretty much always super fresh and piping hot when they land on your table.

Per the folks at Red Lobster, the batches of those mouth watering Cheddar Bay Biscuits are mixed by hand and going into the oven every 15 to 20 minutes. Red Lobster says that means that across the country they're cranking out about a million biscuits a day! If you pull a stale or cold biscuit out of that basket, you better notify the management because someone is slacking on the job. Looks like the only real guarantees in life are death, taxes and fresh Cheddar Bay Biscuits during operating hours at your local Red Lobster.

They're customizable

The brushed on garlic butter definitely gives the Cheddar Bay Biscuits their zing. But they're also delicious without it. In fact, if you're watching your fat and salt intake, consuming them without the garlic butter might be your best bet.

A supposed current Red Lobster worker reported to Quora that he enjoys them just as much without the added garlic butter. He wrote, "My favorite way to eat a biscuit is right from the oven without any garlic topping, and you can have them this way too. If you're concerned about the salt and fat content, just ask your server if you can have your biscuits without the garlic bread topping. You'll get the very next batch out of the oven, still steaming and almost too hot to eat." Okay, you got us, we would like to try both versions on our next trip to Red Lobster. Knowing they're delicious with or without the buttery garlic adornment makes them that much tastier in our mind.

It's all in the name

We hate to break it to you but, there is no such thing as Cheddar Bay. It's not a real place brimming with marine life, y'all. It is, however, a very clever way Red Lobster concocted to make their cheesy biscuits seem special and in keeping with the restaurant's seafood motif. It's a straight up genius marketing tactic. In fact, the infamous Red Lobster free appetizers were actually called Cheese Garlic Bread until 1993. The then head Red Lobster chef Kurt Hankins said the new title was "created to bring the biscuits to life, embody the seaside theme, and emphasize that these are not your typical biscuits."

It's true, a biscuit from Cheddar Bay does seem a little bit more interesting and appealing than plain ole' cheesy garlic bread. Bread is bread but a biscuit? That's something to get excited about, especially if it's from a fictitious bay that might or might not be full of cheese.

You can make them at home but they won't be the same

We think part of what makes the Cheddar Bay Biscuits so good is that they're a Red Lobster speciality and staple, so you're only going to get the real deal when you get them from the restaurant. Yes, there are boxed mixes you can buy but it will never be exactly the same.

First of all, the actual recipe is still a privately guarded Red Lobster secret. Secondly, the boxed mix still requires you to add your own butter and cheese. Red Lobster probably uses specific brands of butter and cheese that complement the biscuits just right, and they won't confirm what those exact brands are. That means that more than likely, you probably won't be using the same butter and cheese as they do. The Cheddar Bay Biscuits in a box are certainly a viable alternative, but we're pretty sure the biscuits are in their purest, most delicious form when they're plopped on the table in-house at Red Lobster.

Beyonce has endorsed them

A lot of family style, chain restaurants have struggled to stay afloat the past few years. Red Lobster isn't one of them. Their sales went up 33 percent in 2016 thanks to a Beyonce lyric. The boost definitely proved that pop culture can affect big business. Queen Bey gave the lobster peddlers a shoutout in her song "Formation" from the now iconic album Lemonade, and peeps started heading to Red Lobster in droves. Cheddar Bay Biscuit makers were no doubt working overtime. Hey, if we could afford to wine and dine our lovers at Red Lobster night after night, we'd be bragging about it too. 

At the time, Red Lobster started trending on Twitter for the first time since...well, ever. The company responded with a tweet, "'Cheddar Bey Biscuits' has a nice ring to it, don't you think?" The Internet hated it but we aren't really judging them — they sell lobster, not jokes. Somehow knowing these biscuits are enjoyed by Beyonce (albeit, not when she was prepping for Coachella) makes them delicious on a whole other level.