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Saturday, August 4, 2007

Lunch Report: Red Robin at The Rim...

If they build a Red Robin even one or two miles closer to my house, I will weigh 350 pounds in about six months.

People, we have a situation here. Chilis may wish to restructure their finances, start washing cars or even fold all together. As light as I eat, I'm still good for at least 3 - 4 Chilis visits per month. This could create quite a situation for them.

So my wife had told me several times that she wanted me to go eat at Red Robin one of these days, and I always put things off. Today, there was no excuse as we were both hungry, were already over in the general area of 1604 and IH-10, and what the heck, I needed to get out of the rut of always eating Salad and Chili at Chilis everytime.

When we first walked in, it seemed pretty crowded for being almost 2PM, but then again, they are located directly outside of Fiesta Texas at the entrance of The Rim, so I imagine they are packed all the time. Not to worry, we were immediately seated and I was extremely pleased to see a huge staff of people and managers in action. When we sat down, I noticed a well stocked bar full of people and lots of imaging for the selection of beers and fufu drinks. I also noticed though that the crowd was almost exclusively families with kids, cranky from having been, no doubt forcibly ejected from Fiesta Texas.

As crowded as the place was, our waitress was to our table and taking drink orders immediately. My wife had a Raspberry Iced Tea, and I went with my standard unsweetened variety. Quite tasty and bottomless.

As we looked over the menu, I could not help but notice how the staff seemed to operate like a well tuned machine. Specifically, we noticed that not one person was standing around doing nothing at any time. If a waitress wasn't taking orders, she was helping prepare the sandwich baskets, getting drinks or taking out another table's food. I love to see a manager hit the floor and go table to table making sure people have been taken care of. The guy seemed genuine and not wanting to sit there and say something goofy. It was more like, "Have we taken care of you?" Yes you have. "Great. Thanks." And off he went to the next table.

I'm trying (not very successfully) to eat healthier these days, so I didn't order the huge stack of onion rings, but the presentation of the many orders that flew by our table was very cool. The onion rings were stacked largest to smallest, 13 high on a stand which made it look like a pine tree of rings. And they looked great.

The choices were many and the descriptions sounded all very inviting, but when we ordered, I had the 'Shroom Burger. According to the menu, it is "Loaded with fresh, plump, sautéed mushrooms, a hint of garlic Parmesan butter and topped with melted Swiss for that extra Mmmm. A mushroom lover’s dream come true." They were not kidding. The important thing to note is that this burger contained as much sauteed mushroom as it did beef. Awesome!

My wife went for the California Chicken Burger which, again, according to the menu is described as, "A tender, juicy charbroiled chicken breast topped with Monterey Jack cheese, zesty guacamole, hickory-smoked bacon, tomatoes, lettuce, pickles & mayo. This chic combination is beautiful & flavorful!" It looked great and my small sample was incredible.

We both ordered wheat bread which they didn't bat an eyelash at, and the honey mustard we got to dip our thick steak fries in was probably the best version I've tasted in a while.

Okay, so to my amazement, they had our burgers out to us in no time at all. I mean, the people at this place were moving. My glass of tea never made it below half-full and I suck down easily 4 to 5 glasses of tea in any restaurant I go to.

Oh, at the entrance to the ladies' they have an appetizing Costanza portrait, and the restrooms are equipped with TV's, so I'd imagine this place makes a good place to come in during an evening game - not the restroom, but the restaurant itself. They did have TV's
everywhere, but it wasn't obnoxious to the point of being a sports bar with TV's taking up every inch of space.

When the bill came due, I will tell you that it isn't McDonald's. The burgers we ordered which by the way are easily enough for two people to share, were almost $9.00 a piece. But I'm here to tell you, they were worth every penny.

On my Tasty Treat Scale, Red Robin gets top marks. Mmmm, Mmmm, Mmmm, Mmmm! (Okay, maybe I need to create a little Icon that says "Tasty Treat").


Sid said...

I'm salivatin' at the sight of those burgers! They look gigantic! Sounds like my kind of place.

Anonymous said...

Nice post, I really liked it. I am a current employee at the red robin you went to and am glad you enjoyed your experience. We try to make sure that every guest feels special every time and that your experience is exactly the way you want it. If you ever have or do come back, make sure you let our management staff know of your enjoyable experience.

Anonymous said...

I am in love with Red Robins california Burger. I eat it each and everytime i go there. BTW I live in PA. next time have your wife try it with sliced avacado instead of the guacamole. OMG to die for. Best thing in the world. Bottomless fries, drinks and and amazing burger (not burger, this one is grilled chicken) what more could you ask for. Oh yeah great servise, they got that too!!!

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I love to observe the odd things happening around me as I go about my day. I especially like it when I can get a picture of people being themselves. Here, I attempt to report the various people and events I have encountered in my neighborhood, and my city. I'd also love to hear from you. Feel free to e-mail your experiences and photos of life in San Antonio.

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