Just as the kids and I fell into reviewing various pizza joints in the area (more coming soon!), my friend Beth and I have fallen into scoping out the best burger joints in our fair state. We already have the next spot picked out for the end of the month. Last year, when I saw there was a Red Robin opening up nearby, we made plans to give it a whirl and see how it stood up against a few of the other places we have tried (smashburger and Bobby Burger Palace are recent examples). Her husband Roger decided to come with … all the more opportunities to try more of the menu!
We all ordered different burgers (I went with their Bleu Ribbon Burger, Roger ordered the Whiskey River BBQ Burger and Beth I think went with the Patty Melt?), and added the towering stack of onion rings, along with their Chili Chili Con Queso Dip with Nachos. I really wanted to try their cupcakes just to make sure I wasn’t missing anything, but Beth scoffed at the idea.
The service was ridiculous. In a mostly good way. They checked up on us so many times that night that Roger actually politely asked the waitress to stop coming back. “Really, we’re fine. I promise.”
My burger arrives and I could barely find the bleu cheese on it. Beth’s order was all wrong, and Roger’s had nary a hint of BBQ. Two out of three went back. Their menu (and wait staff) boasts over 20 versions of “gourmet burgers,” making the decision that much harder. We all agreed, though, that the burger itself had little to no seasoning, and they are relying instead on all the toppings. It might have something to do with the fact that the restaurant has its own seasoning. If they’re relying on their seasoning to up the flavor, then they should mention it at some point. They don’t. Were they the best burgers ever? No. Not bad though.
The onion rings? Delicious. I’m very picky about onion rings and hate ingesting the fat and calories unless they’re stupendous. These were crispy and huge, coming with two dipping sauces. The Queso dip was thick and cheesy and, well, I’m not picky when it comes to melted cheese. You all know that already. The chips were crispy, warm and salty, just the way we like them. I could have made a meal just from the appetizers.
I went back a few weeks later with the kids because after a recent snowstorm we had some serious cabin fever. The mall (and Red Robin) was a welcome respite.
Both kids had shakes, super thick. And although I ordered one cupcake this time, I hate to admit it, but Beth was right. I knew she would be, but was hoping to prove her wrong nonetheless. Skip them. Trust me. And Beth. I did the research for you. Madeline wouldn’t even eat it.
On our second visit, I got the Royal Red Robin Burger, one that a friend swears is the best thing ever. Topped with an egg, it was definitely better than my bleu cheese burger, but it was the same theory getting played out. It was better because of the toppings. The meat alone? Tasteless. Any great burger starts with lightly but well-seasoned meat.
Would we go back? Sure. It’s a fun place that is kid-friendly, but my mouth is not watering based on talking about the dishes we had during our last two visits. And to me, that’s a sure sign that we need to go back. Right away.
Thank goodness these games guarantee a winner every time, because you know I couldn’t get out of there with the kids not having given it a try.
She asked me to take her picture in the bathroom. And then when I showed her, she decided it wasn’t good enough.
This one was Madeline-approved.
February 9, 2011, Photo #39
I swear my dashboard isn’t that dusty. Started the day freezing. Ending it much of the same. But I hear a heat wave is on the way for next week … 47 degrees for Valentine’s Day. Color me happy.
I’ve never had Red Robin but then I don’t eat burgers often…last time was May! Glad you’re going to get some “warm” weather! ;-)
Their turkey burgers are much better than the beef. If you return, try the Royal Red Robin with turkey. :)
I’ve heard of Red Robin but there are none in all of NYC…for some reason I thought they were a fast food joint (more like McD’s). It’s too bad the burgers weren’t the ULTIMATE that they could be. Although it seems like the onion rings were! Yum.
Just wanted to let you know, I tried my first Zumba class yesterday and LOVED IT. Thanks for the inspiration!
The Sister In-Law says
The b/f and I recently had dinner at Zinburger on Rt.3. Worth the try, I loved the burger andthe truffle fries, yummy!!!
Kris #40 says
Best burger of all time is the breakfast burger at Jefferson diner. Meat, egg, cheese. Hubby gets this every time we go
Kris #40 says
I’ll add another comment. Wasn’t impressed with mall red robin. The one on route 3 was much better.
Although I did see smashburger and the new Cups yogurt place yesterday. So if I go for burgers that way, it will be smashburger
We go to Red Robin at least once a year as part of our annual Hersheypark Candylane outing – they have one next door by the outlets. So, that’s the appeal for us – the tradition. I’ve always enjoyed whatever I’ve eaten there but I agree that the actual burgers are not anything special. Hey, if they were, who would need all those toppings? I usually get the Pot Roast Burger which isn’t really a burger.
I did get really sick once after eating the fish sandwich there. It was delicious and there didn’t seem to be anything wrong with it but I spent the night on the bathroom floor drenched in sweat. I had eaten a lot of other crap that day and I was pregnant so I can’t say it was the fish sandwich that made me sick but I don’t think I will ever feel like ordering it again.
Mine is. The car is for turning key, pressing petal and go. Sometimes go fast.
Our Red Robin is always hoppin’ — and yes, the onion rings are deliciously good! I actually never get burgers there . . . I’m not much of a hamburger girl. I absolutely love their wraps, though, and the BLTA — bacon, lettuce, tomato and avocado on a soft, buttery croissant. Highly recommend!
OMG…I have to agree with Anna about the turkey burgers. I love all things spicy and got the Burnin Love Burger but with the Turkey patty and skipped the salsa…just thinking about it has my mouth watering, it was sooo good!