Living in Los Angeles, it’s easy to be a food and cocktail snob with celebrity chef owned restaurants practically on every corner and trendy cocktails being crafted by Mixologists instead of slung by bartenders in every hotspot in town. And we Los Angelenos willingly pay dearly for it. But, as I have come to find out, there is a place with innovative cocktails and fantastic food at a reasonable price. Red Robin.
We’ve seen the commercials, sort of goofy and a little cheesey, that conclude with that harmonized “yummmmm!” Based on that, Red Robin was not high on my list of restaurants to try out. But an invite to sample their Can Crafted Cocktails during their launch way back in June (I totally suck for not writing this sooner and my apologies) had me walking through the Red Robin doors in the Glendale Galleria with my friend Carla. While the layout of different locations vary, the Glendale RR was shaped more like an L with more ‘adult like’ secluded seating in the back, away from the hungry mall shoppers and screaming kids. It also has a separate entrance from the parking lot to avoid the sticky hands mayhem all together.
I asked my friend Carla about Red Robin and discovered she had never been to one either. So I promptly dragged her along, neither of us knowing what to expect. I blame my just-out-of- high-school hostess/waitress/OTIS/bartending days at the local Bennigan’s back in Jersey for my low opinion of corporate restaurants. But we were greeted by the ever-so-charming restaurant manager Tony Corona, an excellent waiter named Bill, a comfy booth, clean menus, a clean table and big screen TV’s with surround sound. On the surface everything was great. Then our cocktails and food came and everything got even better.
Carla and I ordered the Coors Light and the Blue Moon cocktails because that’s what we were there to try. The Coors Light was a mix of Coors Light, ginger liqueur, lemonade and simple syrup that had a zesty flavor with the slight bitterness of beer. The Blue Moon was a blend of Svedka Clementine vodka, OJ, simple syrup and Blue Moon draft that leaned towards the sweet side. Carla and I aren’t big fans of beer but we sincerely enjoyed them. It was just enough beer to satisfy the beer drinker but then just enough booze to mellow it out so a non beer drinker could enjoy it.
The appetizer and burger pairings recommended by our server Bill were perfectly flavor compatible. Carla had wings and I had pretzel bites. And, of course, bottomless fries. Between the two of us we had requested every dipping side available (Triple S, Campfire, Ranch, Smokey Blue, BBQ, Maui and Buzzard). Amazing. Then the burgers came. Carla ordered the Fiery Ghost (ghost pepper sauce, fresh and fried jalapenos) to go with her second Blue Moon cocktail. I had the Berserker (a Wolverine promo burger with zesty aioli, Sriracha onion straws and spicy pickles with cheddar) but with a veggie patty instead to go with my Coors Light cocktail. Both were insanely good. Carla’s was almost too spicy for her while mine was perfect. And again, as per our server Bill's suggestions, our cocktails complimented the flavors of our burgers. Vegetarians will be happy to know that any of the burgers can be made with veggie patties, and not with the gross store bought Boca burgers, either.
By the end of the meal Carla and I were stuffed and I had just barely finished my burger. But Carla was suddenly a Blue Moon fanatic and ordered a Spring Beer Shake made with Blue Moon, creamy soft serve and Cointreau. As full as I was I forced myself to try it. It was one of the best shakes I’ve ever tasted and I snuck several more sips while Carla was in the ladies room.
When we were ready to roll out of the restaurant (quite literally roll because we were so full) the check was promptly delivered and far less than what we had anticipated. Between that, the courteous and knowledgeable service, delicious food and killer cocktails we were blown away. Red Robin. Yummmmm! Seriously.
Be sure to check in with the Red Robin in Glendale for seasonal promos like Halloween, T-Day, Christmas and the Emmys and Oscars!
1187 Glendale Galleria
Glendale, CA 91210