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Red Robin Burgers

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I know there's been Red Robin threads, but the closest one talked about specific burger selections. My question is about the QUALITY.

I've always heard GREAT things about Red Robin burgers so last week I had one, Swiss and mushrooms.

The meat was bland.

It was NOT juicy.....i've had juicier ones at Ruby Tuesday's.

I post not to rant but to ask, did I just have bad luck? OR are Red Robin burgers not juicy?

Thanks

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  1. On my recent trip "Down yonder" we tried RR.
    I had the bacon cheese burger and quite liked it. It's by far not the best burger I've ever had and was rather off put by the cost of said burger but for quality alone, I put it in the pretty darned good category.
    I thought that the onion rings should've been fresh made rather than from frozen since the make the burgers on site.

    DT

    1. I've had the same experience at RR. I ordered a regular burger with just lettuce tomato. Meat was bland bordering on dry. Maybe I got them on an off day, but have no interest in returning.

      1. We don't go to RR all that often (the price combined with ten thousand screaming kidlets tends to drive us to other places), but I've always had a good quality/flavored burger there. Never had a dry one except the one time I tried their turkey burger - won't make that mistake again.

        1. I've always had a good burger at RR. Their shakes and fries and onion rings are awesome too.

          1. maybe you should order your meat less well cooked?

            4 Replies
            1. re: fara

              the RR we went to a couple weeks ago wouldn't do anything less tha medium. DH didn't mind so much because it had a ton of stuff on it. He said it was good. I get the chicken in my sandwich, it's always been good.

              1. re: fara

                What's the difference, when they only allow Medium, not Medium-rare, and they are all grey in the middle no matter what you say? I haven't had a properly cooked burger at Red Robin in a couple of years. And, the price has gone up $2 since then. $9.49 for a so-so cheeseburger?

                1. re: Hensley

                  Weird. I have the opposite experience. They technically offer only "some pink" and "no pink", and even if I order "no pink" there's always been plenty of pink. They seem, at least at the one I've been to most, to take care not to overcook.

                  I tend to get a chicken sandwich though. At 9-10 bucks a sandwich it really isn't that great a value, no, but every once in a while it hits the spot because it's nearby. Kind of a wasteland out this way, nowhere better near the house to get a burger/sandwich of that sort (in the evening anyway; there's a new diner that's open only until 3pm), that I know of, plus even if there was, it wouldn't satisfy the veggie part. This is a key reason we go, so my girlfriend can get a concoction on a veggie burger that we wouldn't think of at home (and even then not have to make it). I suppose I could read the menu and re-create some of them, but sometimes it's just as much about not having to do any work....

                  1. re: Hensley

                    Yesterday we stopped at RR on our way home in the middle of a 4 hr. drive. I ordered the bacon cheese Burger and was asked some pink or no pink. I said pink and it came that way and was juicy. Not a bad burger after all, it did need some salt and pepper.
                    Danny

                2. I have to say, I've never tried a "plain" hamburger there. The ones I usually get have lots of stuff on them (my favorite is the banzai burger with pineapple and teriyaki sauce...yum), so I guess I've never noticed the meat being dry although it could have been.
                  Their burgers are definitely thinner than a Chili's or Ruby Tuesday burger, so maybe that's part of it. I also always choose the "pink" when asked if I want it cooked with a little pink or no pink, so maybe that has something to do with it too.

                  1. I've never had a plain burger there so I can't speak to the quality of the meat. I will say I've never noticed the burger to be dry, though. Do you order it "some pink" or "no pink?" I always get the Royal Red Robin "some pink" and it's usually very juicy. Maybe the toppings help keep it that way, but I would think if it was on the medium-rare side it would be good regardless of the toppings.

                    1. As much as it shouldn't matter, we've found that the best way to ensure almost properly cooked (I say almost since they don't do a proper medium rare) is to go at off hours.
                      I'm lucky in that my SO and I have flexible schedules and prefer to eat mid-afternoon and we've always had good luck getting good burgers at that time. Going at 6 pm though? No way. Ours is just too crowded and I don't think even the best cooks would be able to pay attention to the food that way it should be.

                      1. I've been to RR twice (once in the SF bay area years ago, once here in Las Vegas recently). Both times the meat itself was flavorless -- no char taste, no meat taste, nothing. Cooked to the ordered medium in each instance. The second try was just to see if the first time was a fluke. No matter how great the toppings might be, I won't be going back.

                        1. I cooked at a Red Robin many years ago. The burgers are not made on site, but are brought in frozen and pre-formed. As for the cooking process, the patty is placed on a conveyer belt at one end, proceeds through a metal box with a gas flame, and comes out the other side cooked. That way every patty is cooked exactly the same. If you want it a little bit rare, place the patty on the conveyer belt a bit further inside. More well done? Wait for the patty to come out, then place it back inside to run through another couple of minutes.

                          7 Replies
                          1. re: Tonka

                            That sure explains a lot -- Round Table Pizza cooking method.

                            On a similar note, a chef once told me that some chain restaurants serve steaks that come to the restaurant pre-cooked (grill marks and all, and frozen in a boiling bag. When the order comes into the kitchen, the steak-in-bag goes into boiling water for the prescribed amount of time, then they fish it out, tear open the bag, and drop it onto the plate. Can anyone verify this?

                            1. re: Tonka

                              When/where was that? I cooked at one in So Cal in the mid '90s, and we cooked all on a charbroiler and had to determine doneness on our own.

                              1. re: PommeDeGuerre

                                This was in Boulder, CO in the early 90's. A lot could have changed since then.

                              2. re: Tonka

                                Well, if you're right (and I don't think that you are) Red Robin is lying through its teeth on its website on which it claims "Red Robin makes its gourmet burgers using the freshest, never frozen, 100% grain fed, ground beef."
                                http://redrobin.com/redrobin/home/abo...

                                1. re: ccbweb

                                  Ah, but it doesn't say that they don't freeze them before they get to your plate, just that they MAKE the burgers from fresh beef. It's all in the wording, right? They "control the temperature" all the way to the resto... doesn't say what the temp is tho!

                                  1. re: jujuthomas

                                    "never frozen" certainly would seem to indicate that they're, well, never frozen.

                                    1. re: ccbweb

                                      good point. :) my brain's only working on 1/2 power today. haha

                              3. I love the Royal RR burger. It has an egg on it and is never dry. Unless you know the place well I would never get a burger with any pink. I do not know of any places that grind burgers on site. Remeber the movie fast food nation?

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Buyit

                                  No, but I remember the book. ;)

                                2. I really dislike Red Robin. One of my good friends thinks I am insane for thinking that their burgers are overpriced and bland. Yes, they're edible, but we live in an area with much better and cheaper options...and yet she still LOVES the burgers at RR. I went there once, and don't remember the burger at all. I somewhat remember the french fries, because they were not unlimited like they were supposed to be. I don't enjoy their food, and would prefer to go to somewhere that at least had better service and more choices.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: milkyway4679

                                    The fries were not unlimited? That's a change. As I posted above, I cooked at one many years ago. The steak fries were pretty tasty and unlimited.

                                    On a side note, we had a couple regulars that would come in requesting wings as hot as we could make them. We made our own concotions as hot as possible. It was a fun challenge between the cook and patron.

                                  2. The very first time I went to Red Robin, probably 8-9 years ago, the burger was so huge and juicy. Just wonderful.

                                    I went to a new one that opened in my town a couple of weeks ago and the burger was so small and so flavorless and dry.

                                    I don't care about "bottomless fries." So, I will stick with the grilled chicken if I am forced to eat there again.

                                    1. i just tried out red robin yesterday since i was craving some juicy red meat- i skimmed thru the menu and decided to try the santa fe burger. with guac, ancho peppers tortilla strips and a chipotle may how could this burger have not flavor? surprisingly it managed to.

                                      it had absolutely no flavor! it flabbergasted me! i can't believe how something with that combo of ingredients could manage to taste like nothing. the meat needed seasoning, the toppings seemed like they had been devoid of any taste. definitely not worth the 10 bucks and most certainly not the calories!

                                      a whopper would have been better than this

                                      1. I gave RR a second chance after an underwhelming first experience. I totally agree that the patties resemble meat colored styrofoam. I ordered the mushroom and swiss burger, and ALL the components were dry. I had to resuscitate the poor thing with a good dousing of A1 steak sauce. I don't think I would be able to talk myself into eating there again. Thankfully there is a Five Guys close to the RR and I can get a burger with real personality there.
                                        There is currently a commercial on TV for Wendy's where a waiter in a TGIFridays style restaurant is delivering a plate of whatever, and the price rises as he walks through the restaurant. The premise is that you pay for the "flair". That's how I felt at Red Robin. That burger wasn't worth ONE dollar, much less $9+.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: momay30

                                          I personally don't think Five Guys holds a candle to RR.

                                          1. re: steakrules85

                                            You must have a good Red Robin and a bad 5 Guys. Thankfully I have the opposite problem.

                                        2. I go to my local Red Robin when I am in the mood for a decent burger, great fries, and a good time out with friends. I always get my burger with some pink, and have always gotten a very juicy, tasty burger (and I order just a cheeseburger...nothing fancy). No, it isn't like the burgers at the local places, and it sure isn't like going to an upscale restaurant and ordering a fancy burger, but it's a great date place because it's casual, pretty affordable, and all of the food is tasty.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: milkyway4679

                                            I agree. Their shakes, fries, and rings are always awesome though!

                                          2. Unless you travel to unknown places a lot don't patronize chain restaurants. The one thing they all have in common is their sacrifice of quality for profit.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: momay30

                                              A couple hundred Hounds might disagree with you.

                                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1893...

                                              1. re: momay30

                                                Are you going to post this in every thread in this forum? Have any specific expereinces in mind, because generalizations don't fly. I've had fine meals at chains and non-chain alike.

                                              2. A few years ago I had the Sante Fe burger and it was magnificent. I don't eat there anymore because it's too calorific.

                                                1. I looked this up because my boyfriend thinks RR is the very best. A new one opened in Gainesville Fl where we live. I thought it was bland and he thought it was great. I have determined that different people look for different things in a burger. No matter whether is great or not unless its a steakburger it should not cost $10. I preger Five guys also.

                                                  1. I've had plenty of burgers at Red Robin, and while they aren't my favorite hamburgers by any means, there's two words I would never use to describe them: dry and bland.

                                                    They've always been extremely juicy and very flavorful.

                                                    1. As long as this thread has been revived, I last ate at Red Robin a few years ago. The bun seemed like it had been in the cooler so the burger was even cooled down.

                                                      Last weekend we made a roadtrip and stopped for lunch at a small town cafe. The beef the cheeseburger was made with was 'beefy' and juicy. I complemented the owner and discovered they get their ground beef from a lcal meat market, the same meat market we had just been to. We bought pork belly, pepper bacon, kielbasa, and what my father always called weasel peters.