A few months ago, I read an interesting article in Parents magazine that highlighted the top 10 chain restaurants in the U.S. to consider if you are going out to eat with children. Red Robin was one of those restaurants.
Until recently, I had never been to a Red Robin in my entire life! I was so curious about what made this restaurant great that I contacted the company and asked if they wanted to be put to the ultimate test: have me come check out the place for the first time ever, viewing the restaurant with the eyes of a parent who does NOT enjoy going out to eat with her toddler. I love little D, but she is a pain in the rear at restaurants, always wanting to walk around checking everything out, wanting her food YESTERDAY and wiggling in and out of her seat constantly. It’s exhausting to me and I always feel stressed out, and never relaxed when going out to eat. That’s why we rarely go! So yeah, Red Robin had a tall order to fill when they invited my family to come check out their restaurant.
When we walked into Red Robin just after they opened, the place seemed ready for business, with a handful of families already beating us there in the first few minutes! That seemed like a good sign when people are ready to go in as soon as they open.
The staff was very friendly. Our waitress asked if we had ever been to Red Robin before, and when we told her that we were new, she gave us a lot of helpful information about how their menu works and special perks to be aware of in their restaurant. There were a few things that REALLY impressed me about their menu:
1. If the meal comes with steak fries, those fries are bottomless, meaning that you can get as many helpings of them as you’d like.
2. You can substitute those fries for sweet potato fries (or SEVERAL other side dishes). The sweet potato fries have an extra charge, but they are also bottomless. Yay!
3. For kids entrees, the side dishes are excellent (apple slices, mandarin oranges and the like) and they are also bottomless. Darah had 3 servings of mandarin oranges!!!
4. Kids entrees come with milk or juice (although soda is also an option). And it is bottomless, too! I was absolutely delighted to see that as a choice for Darah.
In addition to the great menu perks, there were other things that really impressed me about Red Robin:
1. Bendy straws for the kids. Seems like a minor point until you are trying to help a toddler drink something. That’s when you realize that the bendy straw is brilliant.
2. Red Robin celebrates with you. We were asked by our waitress if we were celebrating anything special, and we mentioned that Darah’s birthday was the following day. Well guess what? At the end of our meal, she got a special birthday song and a sundae!
3. Red Robin has a loyalty card. You get a free appetizer just for registering, a free burger on your birthday and get your 10th purchase free when using the card. Pretty awesome, right?!
4. The chocolate milkshake. OMG. So good. You can see that Darah was impressed by the fact that she quickly pulled both our shakes to her side of the table.
This is the most fun that I’ve had at a restaurant in a long time. The staff seems not only used to being around kids, but also genuinely fond of them and infinitely patient with them. That goes such a long way toward making a nervous mama feel more relaxed. I thought the food was tasty and I felt like the value was excellent. I’m sad that I waited so long to visit a Red Robin, but that certainly won’t be my last visit! It’s at the top of my list, now, of places to go out to eat with Darah.
I wanted to highlight two cool things happening at Red Robin right now. First, there is a special burger on the menu called the Mt. Vesuvius Burger. It was created by a 12 year old in the Red Robin Kids’ Cook-Off last year. This burger is topped with applewood smoked bacon, provolone cheese, bleu cheese and tangy lava sauce, which is a sweet and spicy BBQ sauce. Sounds great, right? Here’s what makes it even better: fifty cents from every one of his burgers sold will benefit the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, up to $50,000!
Second, the 2011 Kids’ Cook-Off Cookbook is available for you to check out. It has 50 gourmet burger recipes from kids across the country, as well as child safety tips and activities from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. Best of all: it’s FREE! Go to the Red Robin website to download it now!
Win it!: One lucky Stuff Parents Need reader will win a $25 gift card to Red Robin! The contest will run until August 22nd at 11:59pm EST when a winner will be selected via Random.org. The winner will have 48 hours to respond to winning notification before the prize is forfeited and a new winner is selected. Open to residents of the United States. Limit one entrant per household, please.
Mandatory entry: Check out the Red Robin menu and tell me something you’d like to try (or something you already know you love!)
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Disclosure: I received a gift card to Red Robin for review purposes. The opinions expressed here are strictly my own.