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No-Bull Burger Purist, born and raised in NJ, the heart of the tri-state area and home to the oldest (and best) burger joints in the country. I don't need all the frilly toppings, happy servers or trendy decor, just a good burger...

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Palisades Park Mall, Nyack, NY

Where: Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Nyack, NY
What: The Oktoberfest Burger
Build: 3 to 4 ounce burger patty, Black Forest ham, Swiss cheese, beer mustard, sauteed onions, and lettuce on a toasted pretzel bun.
What: Brew-Battered Brats
Build: 5 beer-battered and deep-fried jalapeno-cheddar bratwurst sausages served on a bed of Yukon kettle chips. 

Comment:  Chay, chay, chain...... 
I've been wanting to try the burger at the Red Robin chain for years and all the planets finally aligned today. I went to the Nyack NY location in the Palisades Park Mall, it's fairly new, I'd guess only a few months old. Not only was the place immaculate, I honestly can't remember ever having a nicer, happier, more helpful staff in any restaurant, anywhere. They made it a pleasure to eat there (which can sometimes make up for shortcomings in other areas). With that said, I was a bit disappointed when our excellent waiter, Mike L. told me they cook the meat two ways, pink or no pink.  :  (    
So, pink it was.  I remained optimistic even with this little ordering irritation and when my Oktoberfest burger was served, it was actually a very good representation of all the glamour shots of the burger I'd been seeing in the media up till now. All the toppings tasted fresh but what I came away with was a decent burger, slightly bland and definitely unexceptional. I thought it strange and almost a shame, especially since the RR folks start off with good, fresh meat. No preservatives. No antibiotics. No hormones and No trans fats. (And no seasonings). Although that statement is not entirely fair, they do give you their signature "Red Robin Seasoning" on the table, but I don't want my burger to taste like 20 kinds of herbs, I just want a little salt mixed into the meat prior to cooking and some black pepper on the outside once it leaves the grill, these two spices really go a long way. I also thought it was a bit strange to have a burger come off a charbroil grill and not have any charbroil flavor whatsoever.  And last but not least, the bun. It did not taste much like a pretzel. Actually, Wendy's pretzel bacon cheeseburger is VERY well executed and the bun has a great pretzel flavor. 
Anyhow, RR had a decent lunch and was a nice experience overall ....
RR gets an 8 out of 10 rating which amounts to a "good" on the BC rating scale. 

Before I bang this one out, I have to mention the appetizer - The Brew-Battered Brats were STELLAR. They were the munchiest, tastiest, little appy I've had in a long while. And the whole grain mustard was sweet and quite spicy which complimented the Brats perfectly. I believe they were made fresh, they did not taste anything like a product that went from the freezer to the fryer. Kudos on an awesome treat RR, and one I will be making myself at home for the remaining football season! Check my autopsy shot of the Brats and you'll see the jalapeno-cheddar inside! So good.

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