Sunday, May 16, 2010

Red Robin still up to it's old tricks - not good ones either

When your mascot is a red bird holding a burger, you know the whole thing is for the birds.  We have given the Red Robin in Mooresville 2 previous tries.  The first was when it was brand new, and the service was poor.  Chalk that one up to being new at the time, and our daughter easily convinced us to take her again later.  Still, unimpressed.  I am not big on chains, let alone ones that really don't make their mark in society.  Chili's is a stand out brand, Five Guys is a stand out brand, Red Robin? Fuddruckers? Texas? Lone Star?  They all lack a specific character (not speaking of this red bird), so they lack any real niche appeal.

With that said, let's get to the food and the visit on Saturday.  We arrive and stand for a few minutes to get seated in an otherwise quiet afternoon of service.  We were put in the hack, next to a table of about 8 kids.  We passed countless empty tables; instead to get bunched up with a lot of other tables.  Our server arrived promptly to take drink orders and to see to her other larger tables.  That was the highlight of our service.  Soda, tea and water - 3 of the hardest drinks to get (HAHA) and it was easily pushing 10 minutes before they arrived.  Our daughter was interested in a soup and salad combo.  For a child, it needs to be KISS - Keep It Simple Stupid.  They have chili, chicken tortilla soup and chowder.  I did not think we were in the southwest so what gives?  If you are going to have soup choices, have soup CHOICES.  The chicken tortilla soup was nothing more than a white chili with chicken.  It was overly spiced for most pallets.  Needless to say, she went with the Cobb Salad instead.

My wife ordered the Harvest Apple Salad and I ordered the Chili Burger.  It was billed to have so much chili, they serve it open face.  Too much to handle I would imagine.  Well sure enough that was not the case.  By the time their salads were done, my chili burger had been under the heat lamps for over 5 minutes.  Nothing about it was even hot anymore.  The chili was about a 2oz. scoop on top of the patty.  I could see the entire beef patty.  For "decoration", my top bun was cut in half and left to the side.  What was the point?  I could have easily put it on the burger and picked it up.  The chili had black beans - something I thought was cool - but lacked any flavor.  I noticed chili powder flavor and nothing else.  At least the fries are bottomless, so you can't leave hungry.

The chicken on the Apple Harvest and Cobb salads were billed as "grilled".  Let's rephrase please, to griddled.  They have to be precooked, soggy chicken breast that meets a flat top griddle for a few moments on each side.  They had a little golden sear to them AND NOTHING ELSE.  No flavor, no texture, just a white slice of mush really.

Neither of them finished their salad.  At $10 a piece, this was a crying shame.

I have given many places 2 and 3 tries to earn my business.  I would hope someone would do the same if it were my restaurant.  I am 100% done here.  There will be no more.  Pack it up Red Robin, fly away and let someone else come to town and try in your place.

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers on Urbanspoon

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