Our first trip to Red Robin was postponed due to the one hour minimum wait for a table. Apparently their advertising campaign — “Yum” — was effective.
Our second trip behind the Mall of Louisiana, however, had us in out of the cold in no time and seated in a booth with leather seats in the bar area of the restaurant where large TVs were visible from all angles.
Our server was prompt and we started with a combination of cheese sticks and fried mushrooms ($7) as a appetizer. Served in a cute raised stand with marinara and ranch sauces on each side, these were warm and tasty and kept us going as we waded through the large and slightly confusing menu of different types of burgers and other choices. There are gourmet burgers, many different choices served on sesame or onion buns; Red Robin’s finest, these three seem to be served only on ciabatta buns; and tavern burgers, which seem slightly smaller around but with two patties (but the menu says you can also get a big tavern).
We tried two burgers, a sandwich and “other fun on a bun” — a California chicken sandwich ($9.99) with sweet potato fries ($1.99). The chicken was moist and juicy and the bacon provided a smoky crunch, but we wish there had been much more guacamole provided to counter balance the strong red onions that overpowered everything else. The sweet potato fries were thin cut and a good choice. We tried a cup of French onion soup ($2.99) with this sandwich and enjoyed the beefy broth and loads of stringy, salty cheese.
The prime rib dip ($12.99) had a generous amount of the thinly sliced beef served on nice soft bread with lots of caramelized onions and melted Provolone cheese with a horseradish sauce, though we couldn’t detect that pungent flavor at all. Served with a small bowl of au jus for dipping and a small serving of vinegary coleslaw plus steak fries on the side, this was a good sandwich but not quite the size a South Louisiana diner would expect for the price.
For burgers we tried the chophouse burger ($10.29) and the peppercorn burger ($10.49).
The prime chophouse was a medium-sized burger with horseradish-sauteed mushrooms, steak sauce, Provolone cheese, dijon mustard and grilled onions on a good onion bun. This was a nice sandwich, but again the taste of horseradish was missing and the onions were grilled instead of crispy as stated on the menu.
The peppercorn burger did have the crispy onion straws, which tasted like yummy tiny onion rings, with bacon, tomatoes, pepper jack cheese, and a steak sauce and peppercorn spread on an onion bun. Unfortunately, this burger also came with a long wire twist tie cooked inside the patty. Our guest took a big bite, made a funny face and pulled the foreign object from his mouth. Our waitress overheard us and immediately summoned the manager who seemed mostly perplexed, saying they didn’t have twist ties like that at the restaurant (which didn’t make us feel better.) He took the burger away and had another prepared and we weren’t charged for either.
We had planned on sampling a couple of the delicious sounding milk shakes on the menu for dessert but found we no longer had an appetite.