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Impromptu Road Trip: Red Robin!

Posted by bronzechains on August 15, 2009

I was watching TV with my roommate last night, when the topic of conversation somehow landed on Red Robin.  Neither of us can remember how it came up, but once it did, we were doomed.  “I’m gonna go get online and see where the nearest Red Robin is,” Gabe said.  5 minutes later, I’m in the middle of changing strings on my guitar and he tells me there’s one in Carmel, which is just north of Indianapolis.  About an hour’s drive or so.  Thinking about a burger from Red Robin apparently lit a fire under Gabe’s ass, because he was practically already in the car on the way there.  All he needed was me to come along.  I hesitated for a moment, but I just couldn’t turn down the opportunity to have my first taste of a Red Robin burger.  I’d heard good things, and I’d always wanted to try one.  Little did I know there was one within driving distance!  So after a quick fill-up at the gas station, we headed up to Carmel for a meal that was sure to overload my stomach.  Seriously, I wasn’t even hungry.  The trip was easy, thanks to the super-sweet GPS feature on Gabe’s Iphone.  Trips to Indy can be messy for out-of-towners, but we had no problems at all.

Red Robin is a pretty badass place, visually.  There’s a seemingly random mish-mash of crap all over the walls, and it could easily be too busy looking.  But it worked.  In the waiting area (which we didn’t need since we got there at 9pm), there is a FREAKING TELEVISION IN THE FLOOR.  Yeah, an actual TV in the floor.  It’s protected by a thick layer of plexiglass, but you can sit and watch TV while you wait for your table.  The place was practically deserted, and we were seated promptly.  I ordered the Burnin’ Love burger, which is described on the menu thusly:

You’ll get fired up for the crispy-fried jalapeno rings, tangy salsa, and spicy Pepper-Jack cheese layered on top of our cayenne-seasoned burger.  It’s topped with shredded lettuce and tomato to cool things off and served on a jalapeno-cornmeal Kaiser roll with Chipotle mayo.

redrobin1

Anyone who knows me is aware of my inability to pass up an allegedly spicy food item.   If it’s hot and spicy, I’m on it.  The burger arrived medium-well, just like I ordered.  The meat was excellent, and had a great lightly seasoned flavor.  It tasted like it had been cooked on a grill in my backyard.  The lettuce and tomato were too much, and the tomato left the bun quite soggy as I neared the end of the sandwich.  I’m NOT a “lettuce and tomato” kind of guy, but I figured I’d take the burger as it was intended since this was my first Red Robin visit.  The massive amount of lettuce distracted me from the rest of the burger, but it wasn’t bad lettuce.  The fried jalapeno rings were devoid of heat, but were a nice flavor and texture addition.  The salsa wasn’t spectacular, but it was solid.  The pepperjack cheese was very good, but I could have used one more slice on the burger.  The mayo was a good, subtle addition, and didn’t overpower or “goop up” the sandwich at all.  Finally, the Kaiser bun wasn’t bad either.  It was big enough to support the sandwich, but it did begin to fall apart just a bit, due to the tomatoes.

redrobin2

All burgers include “bottomless” steak fries.  This, my friends, kicks ass.  They keep coming as long as you ask.  Red Robin’s steak fries are really, really solid fries.  They’re crispy on the outside, and fluffy on the inside.  There’s a very light dusting of Red Robin’s seasoned salt on the fries, but you can add more at the table if you wish.  I loved the fries so much that I ordered a second basket.  They’re not fancy at all, but that’s not what I look for in a fry.  I want a good, crispy fry that’s not dried out in the middle.  If it’s floppy, it can fuck right the hell off.  I hate nothing more than floppy fries.  Kudos to Red Robin for acing the fry test.  If Red Robin were an Ebay seller, and I bought something from them, I’d leave feedback that looked something like this:

A++++ SELLER!   WOULD BUY FROM AGAIN!  BEST ON EBAY!  SRSLY 4 REALZ.

Or something like that.  Gabe had the Whiskey River BBQ burger, and he enjoyed it.  You can check out Red Robin’s website for a description for that one, along with all their other tasty-sounding burgers and various offerings.  Based on this one trip to Red Robin, I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars.  I deducted the 1/2 star just because they drowned the sandwich with lettuce.  Good stuff, can’t wait to go back.

12 Responses to “Impromptu Road Trip: Red Robin!”

  1. Kel said

    Now I really want to eat there. Maybe I’ll have to make that road trip sometime!

  2. Ryan said

    It’s been probably a year since my last Red Robin visit. Love the Tower of Onion Rings and Banzai Burger. Those are some tasty pics!

  3. Awe man I soooo miss Red Robin!!! There isn’t any here in York, PA. There is one like 5 minuets away from Randy’s Parents in MD. We go there almost every time we all go out to eat in MD! MMMM I love the Whisky River BBQ Chicken Wrap! Dreaming of my wrap now.

  4. bronzechains said

    @Kel: Definitely worth the drive.

    @Ryan: Ya know, I *almost* got the tower of onion rings, but it’s 8 bucks by itself. If I got that and a burger, my bill would end up being almost 20 bucks. I stuck with the steak fries, and I wasn’t sorry! I’ll have to share the onion rings with someone next time!

    Erin: I’m gonna try the Whiskey River BBQ burger next time, fo sho! Don’t know about that wrap, though…

  5. bearsilber said

    You @#$&*^#$ (#*&$ #($*)&(*&#(*$& 9*#&$(*&$ (*#&$9083…..that looks damn #(*$^$#@ good and I want one right now. I hate you.

    Everything about that burger and place sounds awesome! There are so many good things in the description of the burger but the topper for me was the jalapeno-cornmeal Kaiser roll with Chipotle mayo.

    Damn you!

  6. cress said

    I have a Red Robin 5 minutes from here, but have not been yet. I want to try the Royal Red Robin burger. It has egg on it. I have never had egg on a burger, but everything I have heard about this combo says it works.

    “The 2009 Zagat Fast-Food Survey Named Red Robin as the Best Burger in the Full-Service Chain category. More than 6,000 consumers placed their votes and Red Robin’s high-quality gourmet burgers came out on top.”

  7. bronzechains said

    Yeah, the Royal Red Robin burger does sound pretty amazing. The “fried egg on a burger” idea seems like it would work really well.

    And Bear, I’ll forgive your misdirected anger. But you owe me a free Pizza Party pizza if I’m ever in your neck of the woods!!! lol

  8. Yum Yucky said

    LOL! I’m loving the eBay feedback (which I’m famous for procrastinating to give out of pure laziness).

  9. bronzechains said

    Thanks! :D

  10. WIBIA said

    How did I miss this post? You need ot post more A-Bomb!!

    Nice work here, funny read. I like the garlic parsley fries and I like the all you can eat fry option. It costs the place pennies and adds a lot of good mojo. I have been to Red Robin twice, Pre blog…so 8 months ago. I liked it, but paying $8+ for a burger and with tax and tip and drink..you are closer to $14 and not sure if it is worth it. Culvers, the new MCD Burgers, 96th Street Steakburgers all satisfy my burger cravings, so paying 3x for Red Robin…ehhh….

  11. ZOMG> I wanna burger nowwwww… looks tasty with a peppery outside.

  12. Ryan said

    Dude…you know I visit your site at least once a week to look at these burger pics? :) Always makes me hungrier than I already am. I think a Red Robin is moving into my town. There is one about 25min away but 5min is a lot better.

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