Red Robin Burger Works impressions
It’s Red Robin, but, like, smaller
Published: Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Updated: Thursday, November 1, 2012 11:11
Finally, a new restaurant now exists on the Auraria Campus, even if students’ cries of ‘healthy options’ have gone unheeded for the moment.
Yes folks, for almost two months now Red Robin’s Burger Works—a name that sounds more appetizing than the Old Spaghetti Factory yet less than the International Sweatshop of Pancakes—has been open at Metro’s new Hotel and Hospitality Learning Center. It’s exciting for a number of reasons, number one: this location is something of an experiment for Red Robin; only four other Burger Works exist. Wow, we’re just like lab rats!
Number two: Red Robin is providing 50 grand and a scholarship fund to the Hospitality school and has pledged to hire plenty of Metro students. But the real question is, how’s the food?
The surprisingly diminutive Burger Works replicates the Red Robin experience to a stunning degree, for good and bad. Those onion straws on the Whiskey River BBQ burger you know and love? They taste exactly the same here. The Gardenburger ($5.99) that sucks at Red Robin? Well, it sucks here too! The menu offers four of the Robin’s signature burgers, like the Royal© (how the fuck did they copyright that word?) and the ‘spicy’ 5 Alarm©, both $5.99.
Those scare quotes are there because the 5 Alarm© isn’t terribly spicy at all, despite fresh jalapeños and chipotle mayo. Most of the food is a little on the slap-dash side, additions of bacon go forgotten, and it tastes fresh from the Sysco freezer truck. And if you’re seeking a healthy salad, head to Alfresco Greens because both the salads here are either drenched in ranch and barbeque sauce or topped with fried chicken.
It’s not a total disappointment though. As a whole, the burgers are pretty respectable, satisfying, and cheap, with a ton of condiments you can slap on there. Lets not forget the buns. The buns! The one item where Burger Works gets a leg-up on the competition is those pillowy, savory buns. Also worth the walk across the parking lot is an order of steaming hot onion rings ($2.99).
If you love the Red Robin experience, then the Auraria Burger Works is an excellent facsimile. Then again, if you truly ‘love’ Red Robin, you might just have a problem—back away from the Bottomless Steak Fries©, sir.