The experience

On this chilly evening, we needed to head to Target so Mina could buy herself a new pair of shoes to replace the new ones I bought her.  She ruined the other day and felt bad about it.  She has made enough money selling her pies on sweetmina.com that she had extra after buying Christmas gifts for her friends and family and our Angel Tree family.  We decided to pick a place near Target and ended up at Red Robin.  A good choice since our non-adventuresome friend, Dusty, would be dining with us tonight.

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Mina and I ran inside to minimize our exposure to the cold.  We walked in to find a ton of balloons floating on the ceiling.  I told her she could have one if she could reach it.  That is not as mean as it sounds!  There were plenty that she could reach, BUT, of course, she wanted a certain red one and stared at it trying to figure out how the heck she was going to grab it.  I tugged it down so she could grab it.  We were seated right away and Ogre found a balloon for Benji also.

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Dusty tied Benji’s balloon to his chair, but apparently did not do a great job because it floated to the ceiling.  Benji was not happy about that.  Dusty had to climb on to the bench to get the balloon down and this time he tied the balloon onto his chair really well!

Mina was now getting started on her placemat.  She was busy doing the word find and has become very good at this.  I was impressed that the words were even written backwards and she was able to complete it without any help from me!

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Next, she and I tried to figure out the “mystery message” after X-ing out the clues.  I couldn’t figure it out: “Bird Heart Two Skate??”  What?  I told her she’d have to ask her Papa.  Ogre took one look.  SPOILER ALERT! “Red Robin Loves To Skate.”  Ahh, I’d have to redeem myself later.

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The waitress came by to take our orders.  She was a very friendly and chipper waitress, which was very refreshing and welcome!   Ogre asked her about some crazy burger they have there with a fried egg on it.  I know, it sounds gross.  She said that she actually had tried it once and it was really good!  Ogre couldn’t help himself, he was so enthralled with the ridiculous thought of an egg on a burger that he ordered it.  We ordered some onion rings to start and these came out very shortly.  Ogre cut some up for Benji and I put Benji in his chair to eat.  He liked them a lot and needed a refill very quickly.  Ogre cut up another one for him and I put these on his plate.  That wasn’t enough for him and he stole my onion rings also.

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Next out came my soup and the kids’ dinners, which she had split up for us.  Nice touch!  Benji was excited to see the macaroni and cheese and not so excited about the carrots.  Mina, on the other hand, was eating her carrots without prompt and without ranch!  Wow, lots of surprises at dinner tonight!

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Once again, we didn’t have to wait very long before everyone else had their food.  Including Ogre’s funky burger.  We waited with bated breath as he took a bite.  He liked it! He liked it!  His enthusiasm for his crazy burger did not convince Dusty or I to try it though!  Neither one of us could get over the thought!

Mina was still working on her placemat.  Ogre got her to chill on that for a bit and found a little game on the coasters called Buzzwords.  The buzzword was “Do.”  I must polish my nails and rub them on my shirt as I quickly answered all of the clues correctly.  Ogre was stumped on the one about “tresses.”  Uh, hair do!

Mina was doing a solid job on her dinner as was Benji.  Our waitress was also doing a solid job of keeping up with refills and making sure we were taken care of.  It was a great little dinner that deserved some after dinner rewards.

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Mina ordered the Orange milkshake (like a dreamsicle shake), I ordered a sundae and Dusty ordered the Chocolate Mudslide to share with Benji.  It was all very good, although, I’m not sure Mina really liked hers since she ate a centimeter at the most of her shake.  Benji, I KNOW, liked his.  As he got to the end of his portion, he held out his spoon to Papa and said, “hep…me.  hep…me” Who can resist that??  Ogre obliged until Benji said, “Done.”

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We left and found that it dropped another 10 degrees outside.  Too cold!!

The food

This place serves good ol’ American food -burgers, salads, sandwiches, and an assortment of other fried foods.

DSC_0097DSC_0094I ordered the Apple Harvest Chicken Salad and a French Onion Soup.  The soup was not as flavorful as I would have hoped, even seemed a little watery.  I like my French Onion soup to be hearty and buttery.  This was not.  I was disappointed with my salad.  It sounds a lot better than it tastes.  They describe it as “sophisticatedly fun.”  No, not really. It was pretty boring and mundane.  There was no star, the candied walnuts were lacking, the dressing not that great.  I did not eat the chicken.  I have this thing against cold chicken.  So, overall, the food was sub-par for me.

DSC_0096Ogre ordered the Royal Red Robin Burger a.k.a the Burger with Egg on it.  He was pleasantly surprised and said it gave the burger a “creamy” flavor to it.  The burger was done appropriately (medium) and had good flavor.  He thought it was one of the better burgers he’s had here.

DSC_0098Dusty ordered the Arctic Cod Fish and Chips.  His response was that, “It was good.  It was like fish and chips.” Thanks.

 

DSC_0093Mina and Benji shared the macaroni and cheese.  This was not Kraft, and the kids still loved it.  It was a macaroni with cheese sauce (not the baked kind that they often dislike).

DSC_0102DSC_0101DSC_0100Mina’s orange milkshake, was quite tasty -exactly how you’d imagine a dreamsicle in shake form!  I liked my sundae well enough, but it annoys me when they serve it in those tall dessert glasses -you can’t get a little of everything in each scoop.  It’s hard to get the spoon in to get the hot fudge that sinks to the bottom.   Dusty and Benji thought the Mudslide was pretty good.  Dusty clarified that “only portions” of it were tasty -the portions with the peanut butter, vanilla, and crust were exceptional; the fudge and chocolate were “overdone.”

The kids menu had a plethora of choices -burgers, chicken, pizza, pasta, corn dogs, quesadillas, grilled cheese, spaghetti and came with a drink and a side of fruit, veggies, or fries.  Great variety!

The service

Our waitress today was excellent.  She was genuinely friendly, seemed to be having a great day, was helpful and attentive.  Did not have a single complaint about her!  The food also came out at a nice tempo for having kids, might have even been a little too quick, but I won’t complain about that!

The kids

Definitely one of the kid friendly restaurants.  They have ballons to grab right when you walk in, crayons and an activity placemat with word find, puzzles, coloring and little games to pass the time with on the coasters.  There’s a nice selection of kids menu items and the tempo of our food coming out was great!

Great service, great for dining with kids, food is average.  This is a fun little stop for dinner with the family!

Parents magazine named this one of the 10 best Family Restaurants and they host a Kids’ Burger Recipe Contest and participates in a program that promotes random acts of kindness in schools.  Pretty good for a chain restaurant.

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