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Seattle Burger Review: Red Robin

(Tom Amato, KTTH)

I’m on a mission to find the best burger in the city of Seattle. I travel to various burger joints within city limits and rate the establishment’s most popular burger on a scale of 1-10. Of all the measures I use, taste is most important.

The people asked for it: I went to Red Robin to check out one of their most popular burgers, the Whisky River BBQ. Obviously, there were a ton of burgers to choose from, and should you go there, you’re bound to find something that fits your style. There are two locations in Seattle, one on the waterfront, and and another inside Northgate Mall.

When you order the burger, they’ll ask you if you want pink or no pink. This is them asking you — in a lazy way I’ll add — how you want your burger cooked. Apparently, they’re too busy to decipher the difference between medium-rare, medium, and medium-well.

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I asked for “a little bit of pink.” This was me trying to make sure they knew to cook the burger thoroughly, but not to over-cook it. You know, somewhere between the goal posts. I would recommend clarifying when you order, because the inside temperature is crucial to the taste you desire.

I breathed a sigh of relief when the burger came medium-rare. I was surprised, however, at how dry the burger was for that kind of color. If I would had never looked at the inside of the meat, I would have thought it was medium-well. It contained practically no moisture.

The restaurant chain uses all-natural, domestic, USDA-inspected 100 percent beef, free of preservatives, or artificial and added ingredients.

The Whiskey River BBQ comes with cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, Whiskey River BBQ sauce, mayo, and onion straws (which means the stringy kind).

The cheese sat as a square on top of the burger, which I perceived as odd. It wasn’t melted over, it looked like they threw it on for the last 30 seconds the patty was on the fryer. I’m not putting too much weight into that for my final score, I just think it’s important to bring up.

Here’s my last negative for the burger: They were frugal with the BBQ sauce. That’s supposed to be a major part of the flavor, but they hardly included any. Instead, they added a lot of mayo. I’m fine with the amount of mayo, I just think of your selling point is the flavor of BBQ sauce, it should be a staple of the meal.

Okay, now to the positives. It’s a Red Robin burger. There’s a reason the chain has a great reputation. The ingredients were fresh, the sesame-seed bun was sturdy and complimentary, and the burger was charred on the surface.

If you’ve read or listened to my reviews before, you know I love that. It gives the patty varying textures and a hardy bite. The string onions gave it a nice kick and mixed in well to support the overall taste. The whole meal was fairly clean without much mess. For those looking to avoid your typical fast-food, greasy burger, Red Robin is a great choice.

A single-patty order will cost you $11.99. This of course includes the fries, which are bottomless. I mixed in a few during the course of my consumption, then finished them up when the burger was gone.

The lone patty combined with a side dish will more than fill you up. Important to note, the subtleties that contribute to taste could vary slightly depending on location.

Biggest strength(s): The bun, charred surface, onions
Biggest weakness(s): Lack of BBQ sauce, dry patty for “pink”

I’m just a little bit of juice and a lot more BBQ sauce away from a better score. That said, I’m giving it a 7/10.

What do you think of their burger? Where should I go next? Tweet me @NewProducerTom on Twitter.

Past reviews: 8 OZ. Burger (7.5/10), Little Big Burger (8/10), Uneeda Burger (5/10), Li’l Woody’s (7/10), CaliBurger (6/10), ShakeShack (8/10)

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