Friday, March 13, 2015

Red Robin Burger Works Food Review

Tavern Double Burger

When I first heard about Red Robin Burger Works, I mistook it for Red Robin Gourmet Burgers. After all, they practically share the same name. Unfortunately, that's about all they share. Red Robin Burger Works (at first glance/taste) is little more than a Burger King wannabe... only more expensive, and with better fries.

Those fries (steak cut) are mighty fine indeed, and generously seasoned with salt & pepper. They also cost $.30 more than advertised on their website ($2.49 vs. $2.19.) If the rest of the menu were half as good, this review might be a lot different. They also serve Sweet Potato Fries, which come with Thai Chili Ketchup... something I wish was available for non-sweet potato lovers as well.

Famous Steak Fries

Service at the L'Enfant Plaza food court was fast, friendly and efficient. Khalyia (my cashier) even remembered to offer me a Punch Card (buy 9 gourmet burgers, get the 10th free.) Trouble is, my Tavern Double Burger was close to terrible. Why buy more? The sesame seed bun was fresh and soft, and the leaf of romaine lettuce appeared quite fresh. Where it failed, was in the meat itself... Flat, tasteless discs that have no business being placed inside any bun (whether it's one, two or three patties.) I managed to close my eyes and finish a third of it, before tossing the rest away. Considering it cost $4.99, I'd call that a big waste of money.

This was only my first visit; so it's obviously too soon to write them off altogether... but this sure isn't a great start. Perhaps I need to sink my teeth into a Whiskey River BBQ Burger with signature bourbon BBQ sauce and crispy onion straws, or a Salted Caramel milkshake? I like to start off with the basics however, and good fries does not a great meal make. Red Robin Burger Works is opening their second DC location at 1028 19th Street, NW on March 23rd. A second review won't be far behind.

Atmosphere: C (It's a food court... What did you expect?)
Burger: D- (Good bun... Otherwise, an utter fail.)
Fries: B+ (Really, really good.)
Service: B (Impressive, especially for a food court.)
Value: D (I can live with 2½ bucks for good fries, but $5 for a lousy burger? No thanks.)
Overall: C+ (Too soon for a final verdict, but disappointed with my first burger.)