Monday, November 9, 2009

Leaves, Soccer, and Red Robin Burgers

We did not do too much cooking over the weekend as a result of catching up on errands in the extremely mild temperatures. Saturday was all about kids soccer games and raking the yard. I even used the patio fire pit which is always a good way to burn up extra yard debris. The Saturday sort of got away from us as I did not really have time to prepare something fun for dinner such as chops, ribs, or a roast.

Our minds were set on going out to eat as we all had cheeseburgers on our minds. I had read a review in the local paper about Chicago area burgers that ranked well. Most of the prize winning burgers mentioned in the Chicago paper were located at bar and grill joints in the city and we did not have the time or the patience to make that long of a drive. I also don’t think a bar would be the appropriate venue to bring in a six month old baby. We opted for plan B, which was a visit to a nearby Red Robin. Red Robin has gained the reputation as being a decent burger joint, so I had to find out if the buzz was legitimate.

We were seated immediately by a friendly waitress and provided our menus. The waitress wasted no time taking our drink order. The layout of the restaurant is very bright and cheerful. It is a great setting for families with children in tow. The host or hostess has balloons for the kids and there is even a small game section for kids to play. We skipped that step as we were all very hungry and wanted something sort of quick but not a fast food burger chain.

The menu was very extensive with such offerings as wraps, salads, and steak sandwiches. Our focus was on burgers. The burger menu is large as you can order just about any Pattie concoction you could think of. My wife went with the traditional Red Robin gourmet burger and I decided on the mushroom swiss. The kids went with the corn dog kids’ meal.

The food was brought forth very quickly. The burgers included the wider steak fry which was served on an “all you can eat” basis. We did not need to request more fries as the original serving size was quite enough. The burger review was a split decision at our table. My wife did not care for the traditional gourmet burger as it was underdone (medium rare when she ordered medium). Her large critique was that she did not care for the sweet relish on the burger. On the other hand, the mushroom swiss burger was pretty damn good. The burger is apparently cooked on a grill top and served on a buttered bun and topped with layer of swiss cheese and a large portion of sautéed mushrooms in garlic butter and hint of parmesan. I offered up half of this burger to my significant other, but she politely passed and endured her relish concoction. I do plan on returning to this joint for another burger, perhaps of a spicy variety, but will probably have to make this voyage alone.

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