Grub — Red Robin

I know, I know, I should probably confine my restaurant roaming and tavern travels to locally owned joints. That would be a perfect world.

But I have small children. And occasionally, this happy/challenging  fact leads me through the doors of one of America’s successful/tiresome standbys. And, as anyone who lives here knows, you can’t swing a Bloomin’ Onion in this town without hitting a chain restaurant. Some are actually good.

Red Robin fascinated me because, until I moved here, I had never seen one. Turns out there are 350 of them, according to the company Web site, and the whole thing started in the 1940s at Sam’s Tavern on the University of Washington campus. Evidently Sam made a good burger. From there, a chain was born.

The best thing I can say about Red Robin is that it’s loud, very loud. It’s so loud that when my children raise the curtain on a full Broadway production of “Yelling, Singing, Crying and Pounding — The Musical” no one really notices. Crayons and balloons are also available. Bonus.  Just have something comforting ready to say when the balloon floats skyward over Home Depot.

Beers are available cold and big, which is also a plus. As for the food, well, it’s a chain. The place admirably focuses on hamburgers. And I give it points for not trying to convince me, like some of its familiar contemporaries, that it’s serving me high-end grub invented at the Tuscan Institute of Tastiness. Right.

Let’s keep our relationship on the level — fully cooked, no surprises, nice tip.

The burgers are good, maybe not $8 good, but good. I like the tangy relish they slather on them, and am intrigued by the burger that comes with a fried egg on top. I have not ordered it, but the part of me that thinks a heartbeat is overrated is tempted.

All in all, not bad. So I’ll probably be back, as long as my kids remain loud.


1 Comment

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One response to “Grub — Red Robin

  1. Doug

    Both wait staff and managers there are wonderful. Anything you need, they are on top of it. A functional restaurant these days is an amazing thing to pull off, and they do it well.

    I like the towwer of onion rings, but they can be greasy sometimes…I know, I know…they fry them in grease, btu sometimes they come out a little too moist with it. I usually have the Santa Fe burger, and my family has gone everywhere from the italian chicken, to fish, to the five alarm, all good.

    The two star of the show, one unsung, are the steak fries and the strwaberry lemonade.

    The steak fries are wonderful! We even had a fry this last time that was over 6 inches long…the strawberry lemonade made with Minute Maid Light and a strawberry and sryup combo was so good, I think I had eight glasses of it. I like that they offer a non-carbonated, low calorie alternative to water. 🙂

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