Pros: Bright, cheery atmosphere Great burger selection Good food
Cons: A bit pricey
Our first Red Robin Restaurant opened recently in the humble little city of Roanoke, Virginia. My husband and I eat out quite frequently due to time constraints, so we're always ready to try a new restaurant. Unfortunately, we also try to eat healthy which sometimes presents a problem with burger oriented restaurants. We've limited our visits to the classic fast food restaurants such as McDonald's and Burger King for this reason. Fortunately, Red Robin seems to have a few healthy alternatives on their rather vast menu.
Red Robin seems to be a restaurant that bridges the gap between the classic fast food burger chain and the more expensive sit down steakhouse format that emphasizes burgers. This is a nice niche for those who want something a little faster and more casual than an upscale restaurant, but with a nicer atmosphere and more thoughtful food preparation than a fast food restaurant offers.
The atmosphere was bright and open and upon entering the restaurant, we were enthusiastically greeted by the hostess who quickly seated us. We were there around 8:00 P.M. on a Tuesday night and there was no wait. We were seated in a comfortable booth and given time to peruse the menu.
The menu is quite extensive with burgers of every description from your classic beef burger with a variety of unusual preparations to chicken burgers, fish burgers, a garden burger, turkey burger, and even a lettuce wrapped protein burger for the low carber. If burgers aren't your favorite, you can find an ample selection of entree salads including a Burger 'N Greens salad that's basically a large salad topped with sauteed onions, mushrooms, sesame seed, Swiss cheese and a burger. Rather unique! There are also a variety of soups, wraps, and a few dinner entrees including a grilled chicken dinner and a gourmet macaroni and cheese with chicken dinner. Sounded yummy, but a bit unhealthy!
You can wash it all down with freckled lemonade (blended with strawberries and Minute Maid), berry limeade, monster milkshakes, and even a smoothie. You've got alot of choices here!
After studying the menu, I ordered the Grilled Turkey burger, while my husband ordered the slightly more decadent Bruschetta Chicken Burger. We both ordered the Freckled Lemonade which seems to be a popular choice at Red Robin. They even offer free refills!
Our meals were delivered in short order and arrived piping hot! We could hardly wait to try them! I have to admit portions are quite generous. My turkey burger arrived with lots of shredded lettuce and tomatoes and a generous serving of ground turkey, but the thing that made it stand out was the delicious Chipotle mayonnaise. I've had comparable turkey burgers at other restaurants such as Ruby Tuesday, but the condiment really made the difference here.
My husband's Bruschetta Chicken burger consisted of a nicely grilled chicken breast with lettuce and provolone cheese on ciabatta bread. Again, it was the bruschetta salsa and pesto that made his burger taste so good. These are truly gourmet burgers and shouldn't be confused with anything you've ever had at a fast food restaurant!
I'm glad there were free refills on the Freckled Lemonade as it was delicious! We must have refilled our glasses four times as we couldn't get enough of that sweet and tangy flavor. (strawberries are a great compliment to lemon).
I'm sorry to say we didn't have room for dessert/ The dessert menu was a bit limited with selections consisting of Mountain High Mudd Pie (probably would have been my first choice, but VERY decadent), a hot fudge sundae (seems pretty standard), or a hot apple crisp. You could have also topped off your meal with a Monster milkshake or malt.
All in all, I found the food to be quite good and of much higher quality than your standard burger chain. Service was quite fast and efficient, although we went at an off time. I've heard on busy nights, service can sometimes suffer. If I have one complaint about Red Robin Restaurant, it would be the price. When we finally paid for our meal, it came to around $33.00 with tax and tip. A bit steep for burgers and lemonade. Upon reviewing the bill, I noticed the cost of the Freckled Lemonade was $3.99 each, but it did come with unlimited refills.
All in all, we would return to Red Robin, but probably not on a frequent basis due to cost. You could have two full entrees at a standard chain restaurant for around the same price. But, next time we want a delicious gourmet burger and we're feeling a bit extravagant, we'll head over to our local Red Robin!