Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Red Robin — 27 years later

The kids want to go back

The pickles were crispy and tangy, especially with the Campfire sauce.
The pickles were crispy and tangy, especially with the Campfire sauce.

Because I write food reviews, people assume that I like food. Yet you’d be surprised at how many people give me gift cards for chain restaurants.

Place

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers

4373 La Jolla Village Drive, San Diego

I get ‘em all: Chili’s, Applebee’s, Buffalo Wild Wings. If there is a chain that sells easy-to-find gift cards at a supermarket, old Patrick is going to get it for a birthday or anniversary.

Red Robin at UTC. I performed at a Red Robin for a boy who had recovered from leukemia.

There are some times near the end of the month when those cards come in handy.

It was a humble little gift card for Red Robin that brought my son, his friend, and me to UTC on a recent Saturday afternoon.

The A-1 Peppercorn burger comes with bacon, pepper jack, peppercorn spread, tomatoes, and deep-fried onions on an undercooked bun.

To be honest, I’ve heard decent things about Red Robin from people who like food. However, my last visit to a Red Robin was 27 years ago. I didn’t eat there. I was working.

Back in college, I spent a summer working as a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle at parties. One of those parties was at a Red Robin for a boy who had recovered from leukemia.

I was supposed to be Michelangelo for the first part of the party, lead the kids through games, then leave for 45 minutes and come back in Donatello — all wearing a football helmet covered with a turtle mask that clearly violated U.S. copyright laws.

The kids kicked my legs while the father, who enjoyed a few drinks before my appearance, slapped my shell hard.

“Great to see you,” he said. “Really appreciate it!! I told Dylan that if he recovered, we’d have this party for him.”

I was touched.

“Thank you. That reminds me. Your deposit check bounced so I need to be paid in cash in advance.”

Now it’s 2017, and I’m sitting with my son and his friend at the Red Robin in UTC. He orders a kid’s burger with meat, lettuce and tomato and salad on the side ($6.99). Both come with a drink and a bottomless side dish. They ask me to get the bottomless steak fries in hopes I will share.

“Why do they call them steak fries when they’re not made of steak?” the friend asks.

“If it’s a bottomless side, does that mean it will spill all over the floor?” my son asks. .

I ordered the $5 deep-fried pickles to share before ordering the A-1 Peppercorn burger ($11.49), made with bacon, pepper jack, A-1 peppercorn spread, tomatoes, and deep-fried onions on an onion bun.

The pickles were served quickly and were crispy and tangy, especially with the Campfire sauce (BBQ sauce and mayonnaise).

The drinks were slow to arrive. The waitress explained they were out of kids' cups. I had to remind her two other times before those drinks came.

The boys were happy with their meals. I didn’t try them. My son wants to go back for the burger.

As for me, that A-1 Peppercorn burger had three measly half-strips of bacon and a bun that was doughy and undercooked — and I did not taste anything resembling anything tasting like peppercorn at all.

I repeatedly had to ask for mustard. To keep calm, I reminded myself that I was paying for this with a gift card.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Luna Bay Booch's San Diego origin story

Woman owned hard kombucha brand brewed elsewhere, now sold locally
The pickles were crispy and tangy, especially with the Campfire sauce.
The pickles were crispy and tangy, especially with the Campfire sauce.

Because I write food reviews, people assume that I like food. Yet you’d be surprised at how many people give me gift cards for chain restaurants.

Place

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers

4373 La Jolla Village Drive, San Diego

I get ‘em all: Chili’s, Applebee’s, Buffalo Wild Wings. If there is a chain that sells easy-to-find gift cards at a supermarket, old Patrick is going to get it for a birthday or anniversary.

Red Robin at UTC. I performed at a Red Robin for a boy who had recovered from leukemia.

There are some times near the end of the month when those cards come in handy.

It was a humble little gift card for Red Robin that brought my son, his friend, and me to UTC on a recent Saturday afternoon.

The A-1 Peppercorn burger comes with bacon, pepper jack, peppercorn spread, tomatoes, and deep-fried onions on an undercooked bun.

To be honest, I’ve heard decent things about Red Robin from people who like food. However, my last visit to a Red Robin was 27 years ago. I didn’t eat there. I was working.

Back in college, I spent a summer working as a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle at parties. One of those parties was at a Red Robin for a boy who had recovered from leukemia.

I was supposed to be Michelangelo for the first part of the party, lead the kids through games, then leave for 45 minutes and come back in Donatello — all wearing a football helmet covered with a turtle mask that clearly violated U.S. copyright laws.

The kids kicked my legs while the father, who enjoyed a few drinks before my appearance, slapped my shell hard.

“Great to see you,” he said. “Really appreciate it!! I told Dylan that if he recovered, we’d have this party for him.”

I was touched.

“Thank you. That reminds me. Your deposit check bounced so I need to be paid in cash in advance.”

Now it’s 2017, and I’m sitting with my son and his friend at the Red Robin in UTC. He orders a kid’s burger with meat, lettuce and tomato and salad on the side ($6.99). Both come with a drink and a bottomless side dish. They ask me to get the bottomless steak fries in hopes I will share.

“Why do they call them steak fries when they’re not made of steak?” the friend asks.

“If it’s a bottomless side, does that mean it will spill all over the floor?” my son asks. .

I ordered the $5 deep-fried pickles to share before ordering the A-1 Peppercorn burger ($11.49), made with bacon, pepper jack, A-1 peppercorn spread, tomatoes, and deep-fried onions on an onion bun.

The pickles were served quickly and were crispy and tangy, especially with the Campfire sauce (BBQ sauce and mayonnaise).

The drinks were slow to arrive. The waitress explained they were out of kids' cups. I had to remind her two other times before those drinks came.

The boys were happy with their meals. I didn’t try them. My son wants to go back for the burger.

As for me, that A-1 Peppercorn burger had three measly half-strips of bacon and a bun that was doughy and undercooked — and I did not taste anything resembling anything tasting like peppercorn at all.

I repeatedly had to ask for mustard. To keep calm, I reminded myself that I was paying for this with a gift card.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Advice to surfers headed for Rosarito

Or Teresitas or K-38
Next Article

Praga: Italian at a Czech restaurant in Mexico

Not many pedestrians. No mariachis. And definitely no striped zebra-donkeys.
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close