The Sweet Season

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Places To Eat...Red Robin

20 March 2012

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Husband and I are no stranger to Red Robin.  I mean, what is a better way to celebrate a birthday than with a completely free no strings attached birthday burger?  In the past we have eaten at Red Robin's in Grand Rapids-MI, Portage-MI, Lansing-MI, and Myrtle Beach-SC.  We have never been disappointed before---- but that all changed when we visited a RR in Redondo Beach, CA.   

Our first clue should have been that this particular RR was attached to a mall.  Mall restaurants are (more often than not) a bad sign.  People in these restaurants generally have been shopping and are tired, cranky, loud and have no less than 5 children in tow.  I mean think about it-- when is the last time you drove to a mall to go get dinner without planning on shopping too. Exactly.  We came at the wrong time (mall closing on a Sunday evening) and the line was long.  We waiting for about a half hour before we were seated LITERALLY 12 inches away from the table next to us that contained a screaming, snot nosed, out of control child.  I know that restaurants want to fit as many guests in as possible but when tables are so close to each other than the table to your left and right can decipher your attempted whispering, its not a good thing.  Very uncomfortable.  Back to the waiting......  after thirty minutes I finally got a Dr. Pepper.

That is right. THIRTY MINUTE WAIT FOR DRINKS!  At every other RR we have ever been to out waiters have brought us a basket of bottomless fries after we ordered our burgers. Not here-- instead, when I asked our waiter rolled his eyes and I swear I heard him scoff when I asked for ranch to go along with the fries.  Strike 2.   The waiter finally brought our fries-- all nine of them-- seriously, nine. Check out the picture below.  They were still good and one of the only reasons I crave Red Robin.  The seasoning salt is where its at.  So good!

famous bottomless fries.  the seasoning salt is where its at.
 I ordered a new burger, the Prime Chophouse Burger described as:  "Distinguished and delicious, this juicy burger is layered with horseradish-sauteed mushrooms, gourmet steak sauce, Provolone cheese and piled high with crispy onion straws. Served on an onion bun with creamy Country Dijon Sauce". This burger left me really disappointed.  Flavor was lacking, it was actually very bland.  It didn't help that it was cold and also cooked well done when I had ordered it medium. I wouldn't order it again, and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. Bummer.

prime chophouse burger

Husband ordered the Royal Red Robin Burger described as: "The aristocrat of all burgers because we crown it with a fresh fried egg. It's topped with applewood smoked bacon, American cheese, crisp lettuce, fresh tomatos and mayo".  Husband ordered his medium and it was brought out well done too but that didn't stop him from downing it.  He loves the fried egg.  Personally, I don't get it but to each their own!

royal red robin burger

a clearly well done hamburger.  boo.
Because we have dined at Red Robin's in the past, I wouldn't write Red Robin off but if this was my first experience I don't think we would ever go back.  Between the slow and unfriendly service, getting our orders wrong and the sub-par food it was terrible.  Add to that the noise level, and uncleanliness (the floors were covered in food, napkins and spilled drinks, the bathrooms were worse!) and we were very unhappy people and glad when the check came so we could leave and never come back. If you are in the area do yourself a favor and head to the local In-N-Out!

Overall we give the Redondo Beach Red Robin a 2/10.  But we give Red Robin (in general) a 7/10.  If you go I would suggest some winners that I have tried in the past like the Banzai Burger (sweet teriyaki sauce and pineapple) or the California Chicken Sandwich (fresh, light and heavy on the avocado).

**update:  Within 24 hours the general manager from Red Robin in Redondo Beach called me back and talked to me about what happened.  He apologized and explained he just took over this restaurant and they are working to bring it up to standards of the other Red Robins.  We will be returning and giving this RR another chance before we leave LA...  to be continued! 

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  1. I'm not a big fan of chain restaurants but Red Robin does have a good chocolate malt :)

  2. Brandon and I went there last week before miniature golfing and the "bottomless fries" were the same thing! We got seven of them. Seven. But dang, they are good.

  3. I love Red Robin because even though there are screaming children running around, you can still order a beer. I swear all Friendly's are going under because no one wants to take their kids out to eat and not be able to get a real drink.

    I always got the Whiskey River BBQ Chicken Burger, but now they make it in a wrap, which is even better!

  4. South Bay chain resturants are so bad, but sometimes you crave them! We've been to the Cozumel's there and had the same experience as well as with Chilli's. I hate paying for such crappy service and food!

  5. Aw, bummer you had a bad experience! I've never been to the Redondo Beach Red Robin, but the ones I've been to in San Diego are a favorite for sure!

  6. yeah i've gone to a few red robins in the LA area and never get that many fries. Ten tops, probably. And service, regardless of whether it's busy or we're one of the few people there, is always slow. And I've never seen one not attached to a mall either.

  7. I LIVED at Red Robin when I was pregnant but I've never had good services at them.

  8. Thats tooooo bad! I've been to Red Robin (yummmm) my fair share of times, and I've always thought the food was good but took awhile getting to me. :D

  9. hah, now I've got the Red Robin jingle stuck in my head ("Red Robin...yummm"). I've actually never ate there before.

    also, In-N-Out is the best thing since sliced bread, really.

  10. I love Red Robin! We really don't go a lot there, clearly as I was unaware of this Birthday Burger!? Umm, I must inform the husband of this being his B-day is in a couple weeks and mine is coming up in MAY! WOOT WOOT!

    Love their fries!!

    Sucks of the bad experience, but at least the GM made the effort to reach out to you.

  11. devastating. I LOVE RED ROBIN (enough to post it twice, one on your fb an donce here) BUT you dined in Redondo.....which makes sense now why it was a bad offense Redondo..but still

  12. OMG! I live right outside of Redondo Beach, and I'm embarrassed for my neighbor city!! BUT I totally agree. This one is totally gross and the service sucks. Better luck next time thought ;)

  13. If you're ever in the LA/OC area again... you have to check out CROW BURGER in Newport Beach. It is worth the traveling to get to. They do the crazy fried egg burger combo thing there too, and it's UNREAL. So so good.

  14. My first RR experience was a lot like that, so I've never really liked it. Everyone seems to love it in Alaska, but I always have something against it based on that first experience. It's weird the way experiences do that to us!
    I'm glad the manager contacted you. That's promising!

  15. I've never really had a problem with RR, but I can totally see what you mean about the in-mall restaurants! Oh and my boyfriend ALWAYS loves the fried egg on his burger/steak and I NEVER will understand it. Must be a guy thing! xo

  16. Mmm! You've gotta love those Red Robin french fries!!

  17. I agree with you about the ones attached to a mall. I went to one about a month ago with my sister and they weren't that busy when we got there. We ended up sitting right next to where the servers came out of the back and we were ignored for about 15 minutes. Finally some guy came to get our drinks but it took forever to get those and our food. Then a bunch of screaming kids came in and we were just over it. I mean, I do like their food (the whiskey river bbq chicken wrap is my fave) but they definitely are not known for their speedy service. And the time before that I asked the waitress for some bottomless fries since they came with my meal, and she came back with literally 7 fries in the basket. So I had to keet asking her to refill it.

    Hopefully your next experience with them is better!

  18. Yikes! that does sound like a pretty bad Red Robin experience -random fact: my husband tried his first Royal Red Robin burger at the Portage, MI Red Robin lol

  19. I agree on the "bottomless fries". It's so lame to get a tiny handful of them. One time, I ALMOST said "those are my bottomless friends? Seriously?", but I refrained from being rude haha

    I'm sorry this experience was LAME.


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