Red Robin – Not So Yummmm

Thursday, January 24, 2013 - by Willie Mae

When Lois and I decided to go out for lunch this week, we had no idea where we were headed. If I go by myself, I will just pull in anywhere or head where someone suggests that I try. 

Everyone else will pretty much go anywhere I want to pull in, but when I go with my friend Lois we get tickled because we never can agree on where to go. Oh, she says that she “doesn’t care” but I know better by her tone or the way her mouth curves downwardly when she says that.

It was after church and I don’t like to eat early in the morning so I am famished by the time the service lets out.

I thought I would try one place that I knew Lois liked because she had mentioned it before. This place had a 45-minute wait and my stomach was about to eat my backbone.

There were little girls everywhere wearing ribbons in their hair. I think there was some sort of cheerleading convention in town. Most places in the city would be crowded so we headed back toward the Hamilton Place Mall where Lois is most familiar. 

Whatever I suggested, Lois said, “I don’t care, I am with you; I will go wherever you want to go,” but I know Lois too well (she would find something wrong with her meal if she were in a place she wasn’t hankering for).

Whenever I would hear the commercial “Red Robin …Yummm” I never paid attention to the food in the commercial, but the catchy jingle stayed in my head. I figured it was like a Bob Evans or something and I knew that would be a hit with Lois.

Red Robin had a 15-minute wait. Maybe my stomach wouldn’t work its way to eating my tailbone.

As we were seated, Lois looked up at the hodgepodge of collections hanging on the wall by our table and said, “Look at all those balls! I hope they are glued in real good, those are right over me!”

The place was so crowded it was uncomfortable. It was hopping like mad! The waitress was a frazzled young girl who looked as if she hadn’t had time to look up as she took our order. I guess when you get in that busy mode, you tend to rush people without knowing it. I don’t blame the little thing, I felt sorry for her.

After we told her we needed a  few minutes, I think she counted to one minute and a half before coming back to ask us again if we were ready.  The food was not country cooking; I guess it was what they call “Americana”. I call it “Hip- hop” … with the music; the young mall crowd with all kinds of hardware in their face and then the waitresses that were literally hopping to keep up.

We ordered appetizers and Lois got a milkshake to sip on while we waited. I was the opposite; I wanted something hot. I got the jalapeño coins; I had never heard of those.

For our meal we discussed several things - the Arctic Cod Fish and Chips for $9.97 or the A1 Peppercorn Burger for $10.19. I chose the Whiskey River BBQ Chicken Wrap for $8.29. Lois got the Royal Red Robin Burger for $8.99

Our waitress was still in a hurry because shortly after she had brought our sodas and took our order, she brought me another Coke before I had even taken two sips on my first one, nearly slamming it down on the table.

Lois pointed out a stack of onion rings that were brought out to someone’s table. They reminded me of the stacking plastic rings on a stick and board that I had for my son when he was a baby - assorted sizes that were strategically placed to get smaller as it went up the stand. We had wished we had ordered that – just the presentation made it look appetizing!

When my coins arrived, they were fried slices of jalapeños and I liked the looks of those too! Only, I couldn’t retrieve them.

There was no utensil to get them out of the bucket they came in, and Lois and I planned to share.

We were only given a fork rolled up in a napkin so I took my unused fork and scattered a few on my plate. They were good and hot!

After eating the jalapeño coins, Lois asked for water. She said they were too hot (she was sipping on her milkshake; I thought that would have cooled her tongue).

There were plenty of kids at the tables and I could tell it was a family place to eat, good to bring your family when you want a quick meal and you are not focused on the service.

Our meals arrived and it filled the empty spot in our gullet, but it wasn’t anything to write home about.

My flavorless chicken was diced small and I didn’t taste the Whiskey in the sauce (maybe that was good since I was driving).

I like to find the special places that have fresh food or that have character to remember. I like something unique or that specializes in a signature dish. But sometimes, I try a simple franchise and give you my take on it.

Take the kids… but don’t take home a box.


Wendy's On Dayton Boulevard Opens

Wendy's at 1868 Dayton Blvd. celebrated its Grand Opening on Friday and Saturday at noon. The Wendy's store has a new design.   The store will be open from 10:30 a.m.-1 a.m. every day.   (click for more)

Chattanooga-Based Five Star Food Service Opens 400th Micro-Market

Eight months ago Chattanooga-based Five Star Food Service became one of the nation’s first independent vending operators to surpass the 300 micro-market threshold.   Last week Five Star celebrated the opening of its 400th micro-market at a Jostens production facility in Clarksville. The Jostens installation marks the 133 rd  micro-market Five Star has opened this fiscal ... (click for more)

Cabela's To Open Fort Oglethorpe Store May 13

Cabela’s announced Monday plans to celebrate the official grand opening of its new Fort Oglethorpe store on Wednesday, May 13, with a unique ribbon-cutting ceremony followed by a weekend-long celebration featuring giveaways, family activities and more.  The ribbon-cutting ceremony, hosted by Cabela's executives and special guests, will begin at 9:45 a.m. and conclude with ... (click for more)

City Detective Who Was Arrested Twice In 4 Months Is Fired After Internal Affairs Investigation

A city detective who was arrested twice in four months has been fired by Police Chief Fred Fletcher. David Catchings had been charged with DUI last September and then with domestic assault at the end of the year. Police said, "After a complete review of both investigations – which included recommendations from Internal Affairs, the Administrative Review Committee and Officer ... (click for more)

Physicians Thank Their Patients On Doctor’s Day

March 30 has been set aside as National Doctors’ Day since 1933 as a time to recognize the contributions made by our physicians. While the recognition is appreciated, our greatest satisfaction comes from caring for our patients.  For 132 years, the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society has been the physicians’ voice as we worked together to improve health of our community. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The 15-Year-Old Marine

There are 58,267 names on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall that today sits majestically in the Constitution Gardens of our nation's capital. It has never been lost on me that 33,103 of those who are named were only 18 years old when they died. But what caught my eye during my morning reading is that one of the names carved in the black granite “Dan Bullock“ was only 15 years old ... (click for more)