Unfortunate events= Good burger, homey lunch
It has been a while since I have been to the Oaks Mall. So you might know I arrived to a Sunday morning closed mall 35 minutes before high noon and on a rainy Sunday.
Since I appeared to be breaking all the brick and mortar shopping rules I decided I would give the Red Robin Burgers and Brews, in front of the shopping center opening onto the parking lot facing Newberry Rd., a second try for a good lunch. An early lunch seemed like a good idea as the restaurant wasn't very busy with bad weather looming and Mall shoppers waiting for the Mall to open.
I liked the idea of R. Robin having old fashioned table service and I didn't have to stand in line to order my lunch.
I have to be honest GLOBers. The GLOB Master is typically wary of franchise lunch opportunities. That said the Red Robin was scoring points on the high side with low lighting and a homey 'feel' to the restaurants dining area including table lamps, and framed pictures on the dining areas walls. Happily the piped in manufactured like rock & roll was turned down to a civilized listening level.
Meesh was my R. Robin server and she was happy being in Gainesville after spending her first two years of school in South Florida and Florida Atlantic University.
"Gainesville is different in every way," Meech said. "I mean trees every where, the slow attitude about life, I'm loving this town," Meech added.
Listening to Meech my eyes glazed over with the multitude of hamburger options. My best count came up with 26 different hamburgers. That's not counting an additional ten non-meat sandwiches.
All the hamburgers sounded delicious. I was taken aback with a somewhat higher hamburger price point for Gainesville hamburger until I saw the burgers are served with FREE Bottomless Steak Fries.
"That's because all the burgers come with the Bottomless Steak Fries Mike," Meech said.
Meech, short for michelle, is correct in fact they have a RR Special of five hamburgers with bottomless fries available for $6.99.
Chicken sandwiches, salads, appetizers are also available including a menu section called OTHER FUN ON A BUN that includes a fish sandwich and a meatless burger. A compelling sounding sandwich called the Bruschetta Chicken sandwich with salsa, roasted garlic aioli, Provolone, romaine lettuce and balsamic on a ciabatta bun. Pair with Angry Orchard® Hard Cider ($10.99)
There is a complete Red Robin menu at the bottom of the page.
Bottomless French fries. I could feel the color leaving my face as I contemplated eating multiple plates of plump, crispy French fried potatoes.
Looking over Meech's shoulder I sensed the wire rimmed eyes of the man in the painting staring at me, smirking, waiting for the answer to my all-you-can-eat carbohydrate dilemma.
The RR's Double Cheese Burger with cheddar and white American cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles, spicy mustard and catsup ($13.99) was my choice as I gulped again at the expensive hamburger price.
"You have your choice of cole slaw, Broccoli, or a salad if your refraining from the fries Mike," Meech said snapping me out of my all-things-white impasse.
Of course I ordered the French fries, smiling with glee at the GLOB Master being lunch time bad.
My lunch arrived quickly with an impressive presentation of a magnificent looking hamburger beautifully loaded on a soft textured ciabatta roll.
The crispy Steak Fries covered my plate in a Jenga like game piece manner each potato plank of whispering, "eat me first GLOB Master."
The hamburger was very good. I could taste each specific ingredient, and the meat patty screamed a smoky, grilled flavor. The cheddar and American cheese added a very nice 'goo-component' to my lunch, the spicy mustard bumped up the volume, and the veggies toppings did a noble job of making themselves noticed.
This was good lunch time killing idea. I was feeling good about being in the wrong place at the right time. Or did I get that backwards. Kudos to the GLOB Master because as wonderful tasting the steak fries were I never considered a second helping . . . this time.
Burger palace comes at you big, fast, LOUD
By Mike Sanford, GLOB Editor
I have two friends who are hard of hearing and sometimes I need to TALK LOUDER SO I DON'T HAVE TO REPEAT MYSELF. I was sitting at the bar in the new Red Robin Gourmet Hamburger restaurant in the front of the Oaks Mall for lunch when I asked the server, Jordyn, if they had any specials.
"I'm sorry," Jordyn said, leaning closer to me. "What did you say?"
"DO YOU HAVE ANY LUNCH SPECIALS," I said repeating myself in a louder voice, wondering if I was going to have to say it again because ...
The loud environment might be a theme Red Robin is trying to achieve as a part of recreating an old-fashioned soda/malt shop feeling with cool rock-n-roll music, memorabilia from the 1950s era of good times, and good food.
I don't know GLOBers. The Red Robin was filling up with customers and there was a line of customers at the door, as an army of server frantically moved about the dining area. This lunchtime experience had me thinking of the old a 1950s tune "Rawhide." You know, the western where they hustle the cows off to the market? That was Frankie Laine singing, "Move 'em on, head 'em up, head 'em up, move 'em out, move 'em on, head 'em out Rawhide!"
I swear I heard the manager yellin', "ROLL 'EM UP, GET 'EM UP, MOVE 'EM OUT, THERE'S MORE CUSTOMER OUT SIDE!"
Red Robin has an extensive menu that includes fish, prime rib, chicken platters, salads, wraps and soups and an alternative wheat/gluten/non-allergen menu. You know, just like the hamburger shop on the old Happy Days TV show. Wasn't there a show where Fonzie was torn between the veggie wrap and a veggie patty cheese burger? All right this Red Robin is a, 'modern day we have everything kinda malt shop.'
But come on GLOBers, this is the premier, like-it-was-in-the-old-days hamburger palace sporting 19 different hamburgers including the 'Burnin' Love' Hamburger, and the 'Banzai' Burger. You can look for the other burger choices on the menu at the Red Robin web link below.
Jordyn mentioned they had a featured burger they called the '5 Alarm Burger' that had pepper jack cheese, fiery salsa, fresh jalapeno peppers, chipotle aioli, and tomatoes stacked on a fire-grilled burger patty. I mentioned that, as a rule, most of these "spicy" burgers are never quite as spicy as you think they are going to be. But I ordered the '5 Alarm Burger' anyway -- with the Bottomless Steak Fries.
My burger arrived when server #23b walked up behind me and served me lunch. The Five Alarm Burger was a good looking burger, image above. Plus with the different heat suppliers it did have a certain smack in some of the bites. I could taste the jalapeno peppers, and the chipotle aioli was also piquant and flavorful.
The big, fat steak fries were very tasty potatoes. I was never asked if I wanted more fries. Maybe I was getting close to my limit at the bar. I was asked several time if I needed anything else.
Sometimes I do feel like I am repeating myself but I am a downtown kinda guy. And there are a lot of really good hamburger stands between downtown and the Oaks Mall, and I know for a fact I DON'T HAVE TO SHOUT IN SOME OF THOSE BURGER STOPS!
The Pluses and Minuses of Red Robin Gourmet Burgers.
Red Robin+ indicators: Good burgers, andentree selection.
Red Robin - indicators: LOUD, corporate-driven, franchise personality and the GLOB Master paid over $11 for a hamburger and french fries!
Be the first to offer your GLOB comments, lunch photographs and opinions about Red Robin Gourmet Burgers. Please identify your opinions with a PLUS SIGN (+) for positive comments, and a MINUS SIGN (-) for your negative comments. - THANKS!
- Phone Number: 332-2861
- Address: 6419 Newberry Road, Gaineville, FL
- Urban GLOB Location: Newberry Road
- Web Site: Red Robin Gourmet Burgers
- Latitude: 29.658133
- Longitude: -82.41102
Michael Thursday, 26 February 2015 17:07 Comment Link
the place is loud and obnoxious. some may even say expensive but if you get one of their member cards you get a free burger on your birthday and every few months they will send me a 2 or 3 dollar off coupon deal. i go 3 or 4 times a year but i never pay full price.
Laura Thursday, 26 February 2015 09:10 Comment Link
(-) I have eaten at Red Robin a few times, and each time have been disappointed. Their menu items look good, but the product that comes to the table just doesn't add up. Also, the last two times I was there, the service was horrible, and the place was practically empty (lunchtime). There was no excuse for the bad service.
(+) Their onion rings are fantastic, as are the dipping sauces.
Jon Rose Tuesday, 23 April 2013 17:05 Comment Link
No burger is worth waiting in a line for. It's loud and expensive. I agree with Scott. Hit Ruby Tuesday next door for a better deal.
Scott Tuesday, 23 April 2013 11:16 Comment Link
It's a BIG chain food restaurant. They have been around since the 1980's - nothing new or exciting -- and guess what, Ruby Tuesday's also has bottomless fries - big deal!!