Sunday, August 15, 2010

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers

I could not find the "gourmet" in the burger I had here at Red Robin Gourmet Burgers recently. Oh, it was an OK burger but pretty run of the mill as burgers go--I was expecting something different, something "over the top." And if you advertise something to be gourmet, wouldn't you expect it to deliver that? Well, Red Robin did not deliver the gourmet, they served me an average (good tasting but average) burger on my first visit to them. I won't say it's my last visit, as there were other things on the menu that looked good, but I would not go out of my way for a burger here.

My friend Tommy and I stopped here recently for a late evening dinner. I'd heard of Red Robin and seen the ads and was drawn in. They were somewhat busy when we arrived, but we were greeted and seated promptly. The menu mentioned micobrews so that piqued my interest. But apparently they don't know the definiton of microbrews, because when the waitress recited their beer menu, there were no microbrew on it that I could tell, just plenty of big brewery brews, though some were their specialty brews, but no true microbrews from smaller independent breweries. I was a bit disappointed. But no matter, I had a Kilians Red. See what I mean, not a microbrew.

We started with an appetizer, the tower of onion rings. Thirteen onion rings were piled on a tower and served with two dipping sauces (don't try to count them in the picture, we ate some as soon as they arrived). The onion rings were good, fresh and hot with a nice crisp coating. They were good onion rings. One dipping sauce was pretty much an ordinary ranch dressing, not bad, just not special. The other had a barbecue base and had a bit of heat--I liked this one a bit more. The onions were nice and thick and well cooked and server very hot. Yumm!  While waiting, we had a chance to look around a bit. The interior decor is very, very nice, warm and inviting, modern, with a friendly atmosphere. The colors were browns and reds and accented with some contrasts, all making for a very inviting atmosphere, a fun place to gather with a group, I'd think.

In due time our orders arrived. I ordered the Red Robin Gourmet Cheeseburger. The say it's "the orignal upon which we have built our fame." I ordered it medium. The burger was garnished with crisp lettuce, fresh tomatoes, pickles, onions and mayo. For cheese I chose the old standby: cheddar. Now, it was a good burger. It was cooked just a bit beyond medium but that's a minor point. But, with all the other toppings, it was a bit difficult to taste the burger. I'd think if you called something a "gourmet burger" you'd want that to stand out. Well, though it was a good sandwich, I did not find anything gourmet about it--it was just an average good burger, no more, no less. And with all the "stuff" on it, hard to even taste the burger itself. The burger was served with ther "Bottomless Steak Fries." They were just larger cut fries, not at all spectacular, just average. I'd say they coudl have used another 20 seconds or so fo cooking time to make them a bit more crispy. They were good, but just average.

Tommy ordered the Just-In-Quesadilla from the appetzer menu. These were flour tortillas filled with sliced chicken breast, mushrooms, applewood smoked bacon, pepper-jack and cheddar cheeses, fresh cilantro, and tomatoes. It was served wtih small sides of chipotle black beans, salsa, and guacamole with sour cream. They were tasty. A pretty good quesadilla actually. Tommy liked the quesadillas, and I had a taste and agree, they were quite good. I also liked the chipotle black beans a lot, they had a very nice flavor. This was a good choice, a nice quesadilla.

At one point during our meal a manger (at least I think it was) did check in on our. And our waitress was pretty attentive too. I'd say we received very good service overall. For fun you might want to compare my picture of the quesadillas to that on their menu...quite a difference, but then that's to be expected I guess. But overall, it was a good meal here, just not the gourmet burger I expected. You should deliver what you promise. For a great burger, you'll have to go elsewhere. But for a good--but average--burger and decent food, give Red Robin a try.
Red Robin Gourmet Burgers on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. I'd urge you to give Red Robin another try. I can't fault your review, from what you had, I'd say you're probably spot on. Bear in mind, the title gourmet burger is probably more reflective of the variety of burgers that you can get there. I'm very familiar with this chain, it's very popular out west where I'm from, and to be fair, you ordered the cheeseburger, which is par for the course.

    Granted, I haven't been to the one outside Daytona, but I would imagine the quality is similar to the ones I've been to prior. I'm curious to see if your review would be the same had you ordered the Whiskey River, or the Bonzai Burger. Something more adventurous. That cheeseburger probably made them famous, but like most eateries, you make your fortune on what's normal, and you build your reputation on what's unique.

    Just some food for thought.