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BURGER Magic

Town Center Promenade welcomes beloved chain

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Our tale begins with hungry freshmen inundated with ads for tasty burgers and bottomless steak fries. Bitter disappointment radiated from that college campus when they learned the tantalizing tastes could not be theirs. The closest location for those sweet, sweet burgers was an hour away. AN. HOUR. AWAY. Which is infinite when you’re 18 and hungry. Fast-forward six years, to 2017, the year the promise of juicy burgers was finally fulfilled, when a Red Robin was born in Northeast Florida.

I think that pretty much captures my excitement when I visited Red Robin. Choose from gourmet burgers–like the Madlove, a stack on stack of a half-pound Black Angus patty topped with cheddar and parmesan crisp, melted provolone and Swiss, jalapeño relish, candied bacon, avocado, citrus-marinated tomato and onion with shredded romaine, aaallll on ciabatta–or salads and sandwiches. To give depth, we ordered what you might call a ‘round Robin’: the A.1. Peppercorn Burger, Salmon Burger and Prime Rib Dip.

The A.1.’s single meaty patty ($11.39) is covered with smoked bacon, melted pepper-jack, a house A.1. Peppercorn Spread, tomatoes and crispy onion straws, all on an onion bun. The bun holds up to the toppings; it’s even flecked with herbs, a nice touch. You order these mouthwatering burgers only two ways: pink or not pink. It’s a crime to overcook ’em, so pink is the way to go. They manage to get the nice middle ground of not bleeding all over but not cooked to death.

The salmon was more sandwich than burger, tbh ($14.79). Calling it a “burger” would be a disservice to this quality piece of fish. No fillers or unknowns here; this is a legit fish sandwich marinated in citrus harissa (a red Middle Eastern paste with a big flavor punch). The salmon had a really nice crisp crust; surprisingly delightful, because who expects good fish at a burger joint!? Each bite was fresh, not fishy, and flavorful, an excellent option for a lighter meal or a pescatarian.

Last, and least, was Prime Rib Dip ($14.79). It was the loser of the three, so stick with burgers–it’s what they’re known for, after all!

The bottomless steak fries are a lot of fun, but the sweet potato fries were winners! Skip the upgrade to garlic parmesan fries; not worth it.

But wait, there’s more–a full bar menu more. For the classic burger-and-beer combo, choose from a long list of brews, some local. Of the giant punchy cocktails, I recommend a Screaming Red Zombie ($7.19) for its flavors of orange, maraschino cherry and a lotta delicious.

For dessert, we went with Fruffles ($5.99), brownies shaped like fries, covered in chocolate, sprinkled with salt and sugar. These are OMG good. Gents, Fruffles are a get-out-of-jail-free card if your lady is having the worst day. These will cheer up any chocoholic. Guaranteed.

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