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Red Robin

Remember when Red Robin was cool? Back in Junior High circa 1991, Red Robin was our place for crew dinners on Friday. Clucks, mud pies, and virgin margaritas were the staples of our diet. I remember the staff were hot, the restaurant was always busy and there were some cool patrons peppered throughout the restaurant. My friend and I had a hankering for some nachos and potato skins so we decided to take a trip down memory lane.

We weren't dissapointed, Red Robin is like a restaurant in a time capsule. I almost wanted to go home to put on my Pepe jeans and paisley printed shirt that stills smells of Eternity. The atmosphere is still the same as I remembered it from the 90s (80s prints, Star Trek posters and the same damn chairs), and the music couldn't be worse (Ini Kamoze - Here Comes the Hot Stepper - WTF). The only patrons in the restaurant this night were a group of ESL students celebrating their birthday. Surprisingly enough the Red Robin staff still sings awkward Happy Birthday songs to their guests. The menu has changed and the macho nachos and the potato skins have both been removed from, so now we are at Red Robin for no good reason. To avoid awkwardly leaving after already being seated, we decided to order the mushroom burger ($10.50) and mini crispy chicken burgers with poutine upgrade ($12.00).

The plates were the same from the early 90s (the famous red basket and some weird looking blue plate) and I think the bun from my burger was from the 90s as well. It was hard as a rock, like a kaiser bun that sat on the kitchen counter for a year. Because of my bun and my dry ass pieces of chicken in the burger I didn't even finish half of my mini burgers, however the server was nice and removed it from my bill. The mushroom burger was a little dry and could have used a little more cheese and sauce. The portion of fries now are a lot smaller even though it is still bottomless.

Red Robin was one of the first casual dining spots, but they obviously were unable to keep up with the Cactus Clubs and Earls of the world. There atmosphere is dated, the food is sub par, and the service was poor. Wouldn't it be cool if Cactus Club still had peanuts on the floor and Earls was still all about that albino rhino?

Red Robin
Various locations that you do not need to visit.

Red Robin (Broadway) on Urbanspoon

Matt

9 comments

Anonymous said... @ April 1, 2009 at 7:31 AM

My thoughts exactly.Don't waste a trip there.better off going to Dennys....

I Love Food Blog said... @ April 1, 2009 at 8:36 PM

I used to like coming here for their Mushroom Burger. And who can forget their Tower O Rings! For some reason, I just don't feel the urge to come here anymore.

Jackie said... @ April 1, 2009 at 10:23 PM

You're totally right about Red Robin as the first casual dining spot! When I was a kid, my parents used to take us there on special occassions, to the one in North Vancouver near the Oasis Car Wash and Capilano Mall Warl-Mart. I remember they had a smoking section and you always arrived home smelling like cigarettes and bacon. I also remember the kid's colouring menu of little cartoon robins. Somewhere in suburbia, there are dozens of Earls penguins shoved in the back of basement rec rooms next to stacks of old Toronto Blue Jays merchandise celebrating Roberto Alomar's golden years.

Anonymous said... @ April 2, 2009 at 11:43 AM

I'm just curious...do you ever say anything to the management when you have a disappointing meal?

Or do you just leave, not return and write about it here?

Gyromite said... @ April 2, 2009 at 7:15 PM

LOL
Alomar is a funny reference.

To Anon,

I dont think we spoke to the manager but we did speak to the server who was kind enough to remove the mini burgers from the bill. I did complain about the hardness of the bun and the fact that some of their best items were removed from the menu.

I did not talk about the fact that the atmosphere has not changed since the 90s, I am sure they are aware of that.
Matt

lyndsay said... @ April 2, 2009 at 10:34 PM

hah! Red's. we used to go there every weekend in grade 8. station square metrotown! super mems. clucks and greens...

Georgia said... @ April 5, 2009 at 6:38 PM

Red Robin used to be the bomb. The onion ring tower! But now it's so dated, and always empty. The prints on the wall are so old they've turned yellow. It's pretty depressing.

Anonymous said... @ July 11, 2009 at 2:01 PM

i got wicked food poisoning from the robin. barf-o-rama. fuck you red robin.

chai tee said... @ January 6, 2010 at 11:16 PM

It's quite sad about Red Robin. I remember the days it was a great bustle and hub for the best burgers. It should come up with some new exciting offers if it wants to come up.

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